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Run a Theme Day

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 15 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Run A Theme Day

Many kids spend a great deal of their time at day nurseries, so it’s important that nursery staff members plan games and activities that are both fun and educational, such as scheduling special theme days. Kids do some of their best learning when they are having fun, and seasoned teachers never underestimate the value of using games and activities to enhance children’s education.

Tips for Choosing a Theme

In general, kids tend to be enthusiastic about special days sponsored by their nurseries and schools, no matter the theme. Holidays lend themselves naturally to special occasion days, but the fun need not end there. Seasons, colours, countries, cultures, careers, and activities all make great themes. Some nurseries host special theme days only occasionally, but considering that they are easily run and enjoyed by most kids, owners may wish to plan for theme days on a regular basis.

Some possible themes that are suitable for day nurseries include:

  • Career Day: Kids can choose a career that interest them (in advance) and then teachers can look for books and stories related to some of the careers. Kids can create crafts related to their career of choice, possible paper hats or vests that people may wear when performing the chosen jobs.
  • Red Day: Children and staff members are encouraged to come dressed in red, art projects are done using only shades of red, poems and stories with the word “red” in them are read, and all snacks, meals, and beverages are tinted red.
  • Spain Day: Kids and teachers greet one another in Spanish (“Hola! Buenos dias!”) and enjoy a traditional Spanish lunch. Teachers can give basic information about Spain’s climate, geography, music, art, and natural resources. Kids may enjoy dancing to Spanish music and learning the words to simple a Spanish song or poem.
  • Weather Day: Kids can talk about their favourite weather conditions and learn about dressing appropriately for the weather, weather around the world, and how meteorologists predict the weather. Meringue “clouds” or snowflake cookies would make terrific snacks for Weather Day, and if teachers tape paper on a long wall, kids would likely enjoy creating a weather-related mural.

Planning Theme Based Games and Activities

The most important thing to remember when running a theme day is to see that the children are actively involved in as many aspects as possible, beginning with the planning. Taking suggestions for themes and then asking the children for their ideas about activities can help teachers plan fun and memorable days for the kids in their care.

Kids may enjoy dressing in special clothing, creating crafts, listening to music, and preparing and eating meals and snacks that are related to the day’s theme. Some regular activities can be adjusted a bit to fit in with the chosen theme, such as counting objects in the native language of a chosen country and creating crafts that relate to the theme of the day.

Encouraging Kids’ Active Participation

Most children are happy to play along with theme days, but older kids may not be as enthusiastic as younger ones. Children are easily swayed by peer pressure as they grow, but teachers can encourage older kids to participate by enlisting their help with younger children. Allowing older kids to take leadership roles not only makes them more likely to display positive attitudes, but teaches them valuable social skills, too.

Maximising Educational Opportunities

Smart teachers understand the importance of looking for the educational benefits in everyday activities, and theme days offer unique opportunities for specialised learning. Expanding vocabulary is a natural component of theme days, giving teachers the chance to introduce kids to new words. Choosing theme based music and reading material is a good idea, and math and measuring skills can be enhanced while preparing foods that fit in with the theme of the day.

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