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Preschool Fall Themes: Four New Ideas for Your Classroom

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 3/2/2012

If you're tired of apples and pumpkins, why not try some new ideas this school year. These preschool theme ideas are seasonal, and perfect for fall, but they offer some new twists on the typical fall themes. If you want to try something new, check these out.

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    Fresh Fall Ideas

    While there are many "old standby" themes that teachers love to use in the fall, some fresh new preschool fall themes can be fun too. The following preschool theme ideas are seasonal, and work great for fall. Why not try one this year when planning your fall themes?

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    Mum's the Word

    Chrysanthemums are abloom and on display everywhere throughout fall. If you want to teach a flower theme with a bit of a twist, try a "mum's the word" theme. Mums come in a variety of colors, so you can work on colors through this unit. Matching pictures of potted mums by color and/or size, counting mums, and painting pictures of mums by dipping blooms in paint are good ideas for this theme. You could plant and send a mums home as grandparents' day gifts. Work on the letter "M" this week.

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    Squirrels and Acorns

    Squirrels are busy gathering acorns for the winter during the fall. So, when the weather gets cooler, why not take a closer look at these furry creatures? You can teach preschoolers about how squirrels prepare for winter by gathering acorns. Bring acorns to school for counting and use as math manipulatives. Make "acorn" snacks with your preschoolers using donut holes. Spread the top half with peanut butter, and dip in crushed nuts. Go outside and collect acorns and nuts to bring inside and sort. A trip to the playground to view some real squirrels if you're lucky enough to have them around your school would also be fun.

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    Fall Colors Theme

    Use fall colors like gold, crimson, orange, and brown for this theme. While autumn themes are common, this theme's focus is on the colors associated with fall. A day's worth of activities for each color of fall would be a good way to teach this unit. You could call Monday "orange" day, and have lots of activities using the color orange. Finger paint with orange paint, serve orange snacks, and talk about signs of fall that might be orange. This could be leaves, fires, or pumpkins. Repeat each day with a different color.

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    Bonfires are traditionally related to fall. Bonfires after fall football games bring back memories for some of us teachers. A bonfire theme could be used in a preschool setting to usher in a fire safety theme. Teach the difference between big and little using pictures of a big bonfire and a small campfire. Make s'mores or roasted hot dogs on sticks outside with your own small fire. (Make sure to have plenty of helpers handy for safety purposes) Preschoolers can make a bonfire art project by using orange and yellow paint and a sponge to paint a fire. When dry, glue tiny twigs under the paint.

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    These new preschool fall themes are sure to be a hit with both your students and your fellow teachers. Keeping the learning fresh will keep you motivated for the year ahead!