Guide to Preschool Theme Days
Beware of Prejudice!
Perhaps the easiest way for preschool teachers to avoid many fears and worries with respect to cultural sensitivities is to simply get to know the children and their parents. In some cases, the worry about offending a possibly poor family by asking for particular clothing colors or materials can be counteracted when getting to know them as genuinely creative and willing to meet challenges heads on.
Have a Backup Plan
Everyone is supposed to bring a pumpkin, but two children did not. Plan ahead and have some extra pumpkins on hand.
Communicate with Parents ahead of Time
About a month in advance, send home a parent letter that explains the upcoming theme day, what you plan on accomplishing with it, and how the parents can get involved. Invite comments and concerns to be shared with you. For example, if you plan on having a theme day that coincides with Grandparents’ Day but learn that one preschooler’s grandma suffers from Alzheimer’s, consider adding a segment in which you explain that in some situations family members need to help grandparents to remember things. Pick out age appropriate books ahead of time to help during this portion of the theme day.
Allow Plenty of Time for Preparation
Preschool theme days have a better chance of being a smashing success if you allow plenty of time for planning and thinking through all of the aspects of the events. Discuss your plans with another seasoned preschool teacher or the preschool director. Accept input and rework some segments of the activities if they appear to draw a lot of criticism.