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Let's Go for a Picnic! Themed Preschool Activities

written by: Shiketa • edited by: Patricia Gable • updated: 1/20/2012

If the weather is nice take your preschool class outside for a picnic! Not so nice? Students will still have fun and learn with an indoor picnic. Find games and activities here to make it a success.

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    Creating Picnic Classroom Centers or Interest Areas

    Planning a picnic unit is a fun way to teach preschool age children about nutrition and enhance learning. Include fun games, reading picnic stories and learning about eating healthy foods. For a picnic theme, preschool classrooms can be transformed with different materials that you can add to the learning centers in your classroom.

    Reading Area

    • picnic related & healthy foods booksCD88BE38AA22A484B8B13B0A331F178178320809 small.jpg 
    • blanket on the floor
    • pictures of people at a picnic
    • picnic word wall and pictures of picnic items

    Art Area

    • add red paint in a ketchup bottle and yellow paint in a mustard bottle
    • encourage the children to paint with a checkered table cloth on the art table
    • grocery store ads (for making picnic food collages)

    Science Area

    • add toy ants
    • provide a watermelon for the children to touch, feel and smell

    Room Decor

    • create a sign that reads," Let's go for a picnic"
    • Invite families to send photos of a family picnics and hang in your room

    Dramatic Play or Home Living

    • add a small barbecue grill
    • apron
    • small table
    • toy food
    • sunglasses
    • empty insect repellent bottles
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    Group Time Fun

    Group time is the only time of the day where you will have all of the children in the same place at one time and a great time to have a picnic discussion. As your class comes together, bring a picnic basket to group time to keep their attention. In the basket include: picnic foods and items that will be needed at a picnic, such as: grill utensils, fruit, insect repellent, matches,etc. Asking picnic related questions is another way to enhance this theme unit and to teach the children about the importance of health/safety at picnics.

    • Pull the matches from the basket and ask the children this question, What are matches used for? Should we touch matches?
    • Before we eat, what should we do?
    • What foods should be in the cooler? What food go on the grill?
    • Who should handle bug spray?
    • What type of fruits & vegetables would you see at a picnic?

    This is just a small list of questions to get the children to thinking about picnic safety and eating healthy at picnics. Be sure to post their comments where parents are able to read them.

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    Movement & Outdoor activities

    The children will love to get moving with some indoor/outdoor picnic fun. At most family picnics, you will see a game of volley ball, horse shoes and/or softball. During your Let's go for a picnic theme, this will be the perfect time to introduce your preschool class to the following indoor/outdoor games:

    Indoor Games

    • Toss the plastic picnic food into the picnic basket
    • Get their bodies moving with "The Ants Go Marching" song

    Outdoor Fun

    • Play volley ball
    • Practice hitting the ball with the bat
    • Potato sack race

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    Great Picnic Stories for Preschoolers

    Here is a list of books to enhance your Let's go for a picnic theme!

    Teddy Bears' Picnic by Jimmy Kennedy, Alexandra Day

    A favorite childhood song is brought to life in this story. The backdrop includes country landscapes, lovable teddies of all shapes and descriptions of a picnic and play.

    Picnic Buddies by Marjorie Hakala, Elliot Kreloff (Illustrator), William B. Winburn

    Picnic buddies is an oversized board book that has foam-layered very sturdy pages that relate the story of an upcoming picnic as each of the increasingly larger pages is turned. The creatures appear to be toys that were either photographed on grass or have been digitally manipulated.

    Dora's Picnic by Christin Ricci

    Dora is going on a picnic and she talks about what her friends are bringing. They have the picnic at Play Park where they all play together and then they all share the picnic food.

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    With your picnic theme, preschool children will have a fun time and learn something, too.

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