Our community theme is one of my favorites because there are so many fun things we can do. I could probably spend a month on this theme exploring lots of jobs, places and community helpers.  
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for our community theme:
And here are the details for each activity:
Making Inferences:
 Madelynn loves a good guessing game, so our next book Clothesline Clues to the Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook was a lot of fun! Each page gave clues in both the text and the pictures to help Madelynn guess what the person's job was. This was an easy way to introduce making inferences in a very straight forward format.
Making Inferences:
 Our next book, Whose Hands are These? by Miranda Paul was another fun read aloud with a similar guess the job format.  The jobs were a little bit more difficult in this one (engineers, cooks, physicians, etc.) But the text clues rhymed with the job on the following page which helped a bit.
Community Helper Book:
While reading Career Day by Anne Rockwell, Madelynn learned about many new jobs (musicians, judges, etc.)  After we read, she made her own community helper book, reading the sentences and then illustrating each one.
When I Grow Up Writing:
Our next book When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic, was a fun silly take on different jobs people can have. I love that it encouraged Madelynn to think outside the box about what she wants to be when she grows up instead of the typical teacher, police officer, firefighter, etc.  Of course then she decided she wanted to be a tooth fairy, but hey who am I to crush her dreams :)
 Tracking Print:
Our last book was Our Town from our set of Little Red Readers. Madelynn is starting to read easy level A books with patterned text. First, I read the beginning of the sentence, "Our town has a..." and paused, then she read the last word. She did a great job using picture clues to read the words.   And after the first 2 pages she was able to read the sentence by herself.
Community Sand Tray:
Our first literacy activity this week was a community themed sand tray.  I filled the tray with black sand and a few yellow straw pieces to form a road. Then Madelynn used small wheel cards as a model to write letters in the sand with her finger. She also used the cut up straw pieces but decided her finger worked better.
Jobs Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make a J. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase j's in the mail carrier, stamp them and make the "J" sound each time.  
Build a House Sound Match:
This month we are focusing on beginning sounds so we started with this build a house matching game.  I printed houses and roofs with different letters and pictures on them for each letter of the alphabet. Madelynn chose a roof, said the word, then tried to identify the beginning sound. If she got it right she matched it to the letter house. If she wasn't sure about the sound I had her pick another picture instead.
Community Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we created a little neighborhood of houses.  First Madelynn cut the house and other pieces out. For the grass she made snips all the way across the top as well to create texture Then she wrote the letters in her name on each house. After she finished writing, she glued the pieces together and added the houses to the page in order to spell her name. To finish off the sky she added cotton balls for clouds.
Dinosaur Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw and label her community. She drew a large building and herself.  I encouraged her to label each item so she wrote her name to label herself.
Car Count and Color:
To continue working on counting and identifying numbers, Madelynn worked on this color by code activity. Madelynn counted the dots then had to follow the directions to make each spot the correct color.  Now that we've been doing these activities for a few weeks we moved onto 6-10 dots in each area.
Community Helper Patterns:
This week's math focus was on patterns so I made mini community helper cards and patterns for her to copy.  We started out with a few simple AB patterns then tried ABB, AAB, and ABC patterns as well. Having the cards handy to copy made this a pretty easy task for Madelynn and was a great way to introduce new types of patterns.
Ice Cream Patterns:
To  expand on the new patterns we learned with the community helper pieces, I created these ice cream scoop patterns with missing scoops for Madelynn to complete.  She pointed to and said each flavor then used fine motor tweezers to grab and place pom pom scoops on the remaining cones to complete each pattern.
Sticky Band Aid Patterns:
Are your kiddos band aid obsessed like mine? I swear we go through boxes of band aids faster than milk over here.  I put that band aid love to work this week with these band aid pattern pages and Madelynn loved every minute of it!
Stamp Patterns:
Our final pattern activity was building stamp patterns. For this activity I put a strip of paper labeled with a type of pattern in an envelope.  I also placed small stamps in that envelope. Madelynn opened each envelope to find the pieces she needed to make each type of pattern. The tricky part was AAB and ABB patterns because she had to figure out with shape was the correct A or B otherwise she wouldn't have enough shapes.
Construction Zone Sensory Bin:
In this bin: black beans, vehicles, toilet paper and paper towel tubes

Build a City Craft:
Check out this amazing city Madelynn built with just paper! It was super easy to prep, I just cut out a bunch of rectangles and squares and glued some paper inside a shoe box lid.  Then Madelynn rolled the paper for buildings and added windows, doors and roads. I used hot glue to attach the buildings to the box lid so that they would be more stable.  After it dried, she used it to play with her toy cars and other vehicles.
Community Helper Matching:
After learning about lots of different jobs and the work that people do, I put together this book with 2 similar jobs on each page along with pictures for sorting.  I laminated and added velcro to all of the pieces so they could be used over and over again.  Then Madelynn practiced identifying the tools, vehicles, and hats that belonged to each community helper and sorted them onto the correct page.
Make a Mailbox Craft:
To make her own personalized mailbox Madelynn first cut out all of the template pieces from cardstock. Next she glued the pieces together, and I added a velcro dot to the mailbox door so that she could open and close it easily.  I helped her punch a hole in the side to attach the flag with a brass fastener so that it could move up and down as well.  Finally she personalized her mailbox with foam letter stickers to spell her name.
Dinosaur Mud Sensory Bin:
In this bin: packing foam, uppercase letters, lowercase stamps, mailbox

If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:
And that's it for this week. I can't wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!
September:

October: 

November:

This week was all about chocolate, mud, and teddy bears. Brown is not exactly a color I was excited to teach about, but I came up with some really fun ideas (like painting with chocolate!) that made brown just as fun and exciting as PINK was last week. 
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here is a look at what we have planned for our next 6 color themed baby bins:

Here are the details for each of our activities:
Pink Read Aloud:
Our brown read aloud was a no brainer. I chose Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? because of the title, but also because it was a great review of all the colors.  I used the last page to point to each animal and reinforce the color words with Aubrey.  The only color she knows 100% of the time is pink, but she is starting to say other color words so I know they are starting to sink in a bit.
Brown Sensory Bin:
Play Food (chicken, pretzels, mushrooms, bread, etc.)
Pentagon Puzzle Card


Play ideas for this bin:
1. Put together a brown pentagon puzzle card.
2. Put together Mrs. Potato Head.
3. Find all of the food. Feed it to Mrs. Potato Head.
4. Find all of the animals.
5. Use the blocks to build towers. 
6. Put on an animal puppet show.
Brown Bear Sticky Window Puzzles:
To prep this fun fine motor activity, I printed pictures of the animals from the book then sliced each one in half.  Then I taped contact paper to a sunny window sticky side out. Aubrey chose a piece then tried to find the matching half.  Using the sticky paper made it easier for her to match the pieces together and hold them in place instead of just matching them on the table or floor which can be frustrating for her when the slide around.
Chocolate Bear Painting:
For this baby safe painting activity, I made chocolate paint by mixing cocoa powder with water.  It was seriously so easy to make! I added water until it reached a paint like consistency.
After the paint was all mixed up I put a few scoops in a plastic dish and Aubrey used a brush to paint a bear printable brown. The paint smelled AMAZING, but because it was unsweetened cocoa powder it definitely didn't taste yummy which was good for discouraging tasting.
Pigs in Mud Sensory Bin:
Aubrey is still not crazy about getting messy, so i tried to mix both messy and clean play together with this pigs in mud bin. To make the mud I again mixed together cocoa powder and water in a large bin until it made a mud like consistency.  Then I added a few fruit cups filled with water and some plastic pigs. Aubrey washed the pigs and dumped and poured the cups of water.
Brown Color Collage:
At the end of each color week we are making a color collage that I will put together in a book for Aubrey to flip through.

To make the brown book page, I first cut out a large rectangle from the center of 2 pieces of brown cardstock. Then I cut two pieces of contact paper that were slightly bigger than the brown rectangles.

  I took the backing off of one piece of contact paper and stuck one rectangle on it.  Then I gave Aubrey a tray full of brown pictures, stickers, sequins, and feathers to create a brown collage.

After she was finished, I glued the second brown rectangle on top of the first and pressed the remaining piece of contact paper over the top to seal the collage inside. Next, I trimmed the excess contact paper around the rectangle.  I hole punched the top corner and added it to a small metal ring with our red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink collage pages to form a unique color flip book.

If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:

Check out all of our Baby Bin themes here:
September:

October:

November:

Preschoolers LOVE playing with all kinds of vehicles. Cars, trains, and airplanes oh my! Madelynn is no exception so we spent this week playing with all kinds of vehicles and I made sure to weave in lots of fun ways to learn all week long.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for our Transportation theme:

And here are the details for each activity:
Vehicle Memory:
Our first story was Down by the Station by Jennifer Riggs Vetter. I love song books and this was a great one because it began with the familiar "Down by the Station" song, then there are lots of new verses introducing all kinds of fun vehicles. Afterwards we played memory with vehicle cards to build vocabulary.
Identifying Characters:
This week I introduced story elements to Miss Madelynn starting with characters. I told Madelynn that usually characters are the people or animals in the story and that they are the ones that a story is mostly about.  Then we read The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra Barracca because I knew Madelynn would just fall in love with the characters, especially Maxi the dog.  After reading I had Madelynn draw the characters in the story. There are really only 2 main characters (Jim and Maxi) so she was able to easily identify the characters and draw them.
Making Inferences:
 Madelynn loves a good guessing game, so our next book Whose Vehicle is This by Sharon Katz Cooper was a lot of fun! Each page gave clues in both the text and the pictures to help Madelynn guess what the vehicle was and then also who drives that type of vehicle. This was an easy way to introduce making inferences in a very straight forward format.
Transportation Vocabulary:
Next we read Transportation By Gail Gibbons. After reading I gave Madelynn 3 sorting mats for land, air and water along with small vehicle picture cards.  She sorted them into the correct place and tried to name each vehicle.
 Tracking Print:
Our last book was My Ride from our set of Little Red Readers. Madelynn is starting to read easy level A books with patterned text. First, I read the beginning of the sentence, "I went for a ride on a..." and paused, then she read the last word. She did a great job using picture clues to read the words.   And by the end of the book she was able to read the sentence by herself.
Train Read and Color:
This week we focused on beginning sounds so we started with this color by code activity. Madelynn identified each picture, then decided what letter it started with. Knowing it was one of the 5 listed on the left side of the page helped with some of the trickier sounds, then she followed the directions to make each spot the correct color.  
Car Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make a Z for ZOOM. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase z's in the car, stamp them and make the "Z" sound each time.  
Dump Truck Sound Sort:
This dump truck sort was a fun way to focus on just 3 beginning sounds.  I printed labels for our trucks and lots of rocks with pictures on them.  Madelynn chose a rock then sorted it into the correct truck. Of course there was lots of driving and delivering pretend play in between. It definitely kept her engaged and learning!
Train Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we recreated this little train that we made in Tot School last year.  First Madelynn cut the train pieces out. Then she traced the letters in her name on each car. After she finished writing, she glued the train pieces together and added the cars to the back in order to spell her name. To finish off the picture she used a black marker to draw a train track at the bottom.
Transportation Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw and label air vehicles. She drew a hot air balloon, a parachute and an airplane.  I encouraged her to label each item so she wrote HOT for hot and my teacher mommy heart grew 3 sizes that day, haha! The O was a for real accident, but she is starting to hear ending sounds in words too which is awesome progress for just a few months of journaling!
Transportation Sand Tray:
Our first math activity this week was a transportation themed sand tray.  I filled the tray with black sand and a few yellow straw pieces to form a road. Then Madelynn used small wheel cards as a model to write numbers in the sand with her finger. She also used the cut up straw pieces but decided her finger worked better.
Build a Train Addition:
We began to learn about addition for the first time this week with this fun build a train activity. First Madelynn chose 2 cards with numbers/colors on them.  Then she built a "train" with linking cubes to match the cards she chose (5 blue and 1 red). Next she colored her train on her paper and counted how many she had in all. The concept of "in all" was difficult at first because she still wanted to count each color separately but eventually it began to click.  Finally, I helped her to record the total for each train. 
Vehicle Addition Box:
Our next addition activity was this fun counting box.  I filled a tray with our transportation counters, then set out colored number cards for Madelynn to choose from.  She used the cards to build a number sentence and model it with the counters.  Then using the counters she could count to find out the total.  Although she is too young for the abstract concept of addition symbols and equals signs she was able to find the total and read the complete number sentences (4+3=7) to me each time with help.
Sailboat Addition:
For this part part whole activity I cut out foam triangles and semi circles from foam sheets then added foam sticker dots and numbers to each one.  First, I had Madelynn choose 2 "sails." Next, she identified the numbers and counted the dots.  Then, she searched for a matching boat to put underneath for the total.  
Transportation Story Mat:
For our last addition practice of the week, we used our transportation counters again along with a land, sky and water scene.  Madelynn chose 2 cards that each had a number, color and vehicle on them.  She added the matching counters to the story mat, then counted up to find the total.  After she placed the number in the number sentence we practiced reading from left to right again.  A good way to embed math vocabulary even if she didn't totally understand the concept yet.
Exploring Vehicles and Ramps:
This activity was a no brainer.  For science this week we made a ramp by laying a sheet of cardboard on top of a plastic bin and adhering it with a bit of double stick tape. I then gave Madelynn a few strips of washi tape and a bunch of cars and asked her to predict how far each car would go.  She stuck the tape down then pushed each car down the ramp.  She insisted on moving the tape to where each car ended up to record the result, so we talked a bit about how predictions are not always correct and that is okay!
Car Track Craft:
For this 2 part craft we started out by making lots of paint tracks all over a car outline with our little wheelie cars and tempera paint. After the car was completely covered, we let it dry overnight.  The next day I took a black marker and traced over the outline again so it was easier for Madelynn to see and cut.  She cut out the car, then used additional paper shapes to add details to her car an build a road scene.

In this bin: black beans, cut up yellow plastic straws, Melissa & Doug vehicles and signs

With this bin Madelynn first scooped the beans out onto a tray to build a road, then added the yellow straws for lines. Next she added all of the vehicles driving them around and following the signs. Finally she discovered that the vehicles were also fun and challenging to stack so she tried to see how many she could balance without them falling over.
 Salt and Watercolor Ocean Craft:
For this 2 part craft we started out by making glue "waves" all of a sheet of paper with white school glue.  Next, Madelynn sprinkled salt on top of the glue then shook off all the excess.  Then she used an eye dropper to add watercolor to the page which created a fun experience watching the salt soak up the color as it spread across the page.  Then we let the paper "ocean" dry overnight.  The next day to finish off her project she glued triangle and semi-circle foam shapes onto the page to create boats.
In this sensory tray: black beans & yellow straws(road), split peas (grass/land), blue gems & cotton balls (sky), blue play dough (water),  transportation counters

If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:
And that's it for this week. I can't wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!
September:

October: 

November:

Back to Top