Family is an important part of a little one’s life. They are the people that surround them and make up a special part of their identity. Families can look quite different from child to child. Whether you have one parent or two, lots of siblings or are an only child, children like to talk about those who are important to them.
To kick off our family theme, we first read The Family Book by Todd Parr. We loved the book’s vibrant illustrations and simple message that each family is different and special. It really drew us in to an open discussion about who makes up our family tree. As an independent follow up activity, I created a family sensory bin to apply word building, sensory and fine motor development, and further identifying our families.
FIND EVEN MORE FAMILY THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
FOR HOME PRESCHOOL AND PRESCHOOL CLASSROOMS.
- small bin
- sensory filler material (beans, rice, yarn, etc.)
- free printable family picture cards (link at end of post) or manipulatives
- magnetic letters
Assembling Your Family Sensory Bin
You only need a few materials to create a family sensory bin. We grabbed a small bin and chose to fill it with black beans. If you’re looking for a non food item, yarn, aquarium gravel, or buttons may serve as good substitutes.
Next, we used our family member cards from our family lesson plan packet. These cards include grandmas, grandpas, moms, dads, sons, daughters, toddlers, and babies. There are a variety of ethnic backgrounds and hair color, giving the kids plenty of options to find who they identify with.
Finally, magnetic alphabet tiles were added for building each family member’s name.
As an introduction to our family sensory bin, we began by listing everyone who makes up our family. You may choose to do this on chart paper or create a graph for a larger group of children. Once we had a list of our family, I introduced how the family sensory bin would be used. This sensory bin would be ideal for one or two children to independently work on.
The children were excited to start exploring. They quickly ran their fingers through the beans to explore the contents.
As soon as they found someone in their family, they would practice word building by searching for letters that made up the family member’s name. For example, if they chose to work on themselves, they would find the letters that make up the word daughter or son. Or if they had a baby brother, they would build the word baby, using the word on the card as a guide.
The fun continued as family members were found and their names were built with the alphabet tiles. We are looking forward to continuing this word building family sensory bin activity as part of our independent learning area. We hope you enjoy this hands-on way of learning about families!
Click the button below to request your free printable family cards.
If you’d like to get a little more crafty with your family theme, make our cardboard tube family crafts. They make for fun pretend play in a block, housekeeping, or dramatic play center. They also really encourage kids to engage in imaginative play using family members of their very own!
MORE FAMILY THEME FUN WITH PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
The full Family Theme Lesson Plan Pack also includes:
1) Family Graph (for whole group)
2) Family Cards (for sorting, counting, graphing, patterning and more)
3) Letter Matching Family Game Mats and Alphabet Family Members (uppercase and lowercase)
4) Family Homes Number Matching Activity
5) Shape Family Matching
6) Sibling Survey Recording Sheet
7) Family Letter Puzzles
8) Small Family Number Cards (0-35)
9) Large Family Number Cards (1-10)
10) Family Member Class Book
11) Family Word Cards
12) Family Roll and Graph Game
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.