A Year of Preschool Books & Activities

As a teacher and a mom, the real new year starts for me in September when the kids head back to school. In honor of the new school year, I've gathered some of my favorite preschool book and activity ideas for each month of the year. Each month focuses on a specific theme, so you can mix and match the books and extension activities.

Themed preschool books and activities for each month of the year

September is the perfect time to read about and explore the changing colors of the leaves in Fall.
Preschool leaf books and activities for September
Tree-themed books for preschoolers:
Let It Fall by Mariann Cocca-Leffler
Leaves by David Ezra Stein
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

Tree-themed activities for preschoolers:

Autumn trees with real leaves from Housing a Forest
Leaf cutouts and tissue paper tree from Rockabye Butterfly
Fall popcorn trees from Happy Hooligans
12 ways to use leaves

October is one of my favorite months because there are so many fun Halloween books and projects. As you can see, I especially love pumpkins.
Preschool pumpkin books and activities for October
Pumpkin-themed books for preschoolers:
The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino
Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins by Dianne Ochiltree
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer

Pumpkin-themed activities for preschoolers:
Secret message pumpkins
Five little pumpkins paper bag game
Goofy pumpkin faces
Symmetrical pumpkins from Teach Preschool
Paper plate pumpkin from Learn Play Imagine
Hand print pumpkins from Playing with Words 365

Of course, there's plenty of fun turkey books and crafts for November.
Preschool turkey books and activities for November
Turkey-themed books for preschoolers:
10 Turkeys in the Road by Brenda Reeves Sturgis
The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing
A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr 

Turkey-themed activities for preschoolers:
Clothespin turkeys from Dirt and Boogers
Shape turkeys from Housing a Forest
Paper plate turkey wreaths from A Mommy's Adventures
TP roll turkey from Busy Bee Kids Crafts 
Turkey toast from Toddler Approved and Coffee Cups and Crayons

December is a great time to revisit the tree theme, this time focusing on Christmas trees.
Christmas tree-themed books for preschoolers:
A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea
Where Would I Be in an Evergreen Tree? by Jennifer Blomgren
The Little Crooked Christmas Tree by Michael Cutting
Christmas Tree Farm by Ann Purmell
The Littlest Christmas Tree by R.A. Herman
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

Christmas tree-themed activities for preschoolers:
Craft stick Christmas tree ornaments from A Homeschool Journey 
Christmas tree puzzle from Ready Set Read

January is a great time to focus on books and activities with a snowman theme. (Find 25 more winter books and activities here.)
Preschool snowman books and activities for January
Snowman-themed books for preschoolers:
Snowmen All Year by Caralyn Beuhner
The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle
Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright

Snowman-themed activities for preschoolers:

Snowman in a baggie from Mollie's Mom
Snowman name graphs from Ready Set Read
9 snowman crafts for kids from No Time for Flash Cards

February is all about hearts.
Preschool heart books and activities for February
Heart-themed books for preschoolers:
My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
One Heart: A Valentine Counting Book by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Lilly's Chocolate Heart by Kevin Henkes
Hear Your Heart by Paul Showers
The Shape of My Heart by Mark Sperring

Heart-themed activities for preschoolers:
Heart animals
Valentine's Day math for preschoolers
Valentine hearts letter match from Make and Takes
Heart activities for preschoolers from Carrots Are Orange
Heart number puzzles from Kiwi Crate
Bouquet of hearts from Toddler Approved

April showers bring May flowers, but March is a great time to talk about rainbows.
Preschool rainbow books and activities for March
Rainbow-themed books for preschoolers:
A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman
The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow by Sean Callahan
Elmer and the Rainbow by David McKee
Maisy's Rainbow Dream by Lucy Cousins
All the Colors of the Rainbow by Allan Fowler
My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess

Rainbow-themed activities for preschoolers:

Sticker rainbow and pot of gold
Rainbow and cloud craft from Live, Learn, Love
Rainbow salt tray from Learning 4 Kids
Rainbow bubbles science experiment from Science Sparks
Make a rainbow from Almost Unschoolers
Rainbow lessons for preschoolers from Max and Ellie

Take advantage of all those Easter eggs during April and learn some facts about eggs. I've included books and activities about both Easter and regular eggs.

Egg-themed books for preschoolers:
The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston
Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller
Where Do Chicks Come From? by Amy E. Sklansky
The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown
Ollie's Easter Eggs by Olivier Dunrea
10 Easter Egg Hunters: A Holiday Counting Book by Janet Schulman

Egg-themed activities for preschoolers:
Bubble wrap Easter eggs from No Time for Flash Cards
Shaving cream Easter eggs from In Lieu of Preschool
Wet chalk tape resist eggs from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Marbled Easter egg craft from School Time Snippets

Flowers are the perfect theme for May.
Flower-themed books for preschoolers:
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehert
Flower Garden by Eve Bunting
Jack's Garden by Henry Cole
The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting

Flower-themed activities for preschoolers:
Flower prints from soda bottles from Inner Child Fun
14 flower activities from Teach Preschool

Check out these beach books and activities for June.
Preschool beach books and activities for June
Beach-themed books for preschoolers:
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt
What Lives in a Shell? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
The Seashore Book by Charlotte Zolotow
Sea, Sand, Me! by Patricia Hubbell
Beach by Elisha Cooper
Miranda's Beach Day by Holly Keller
The Sand Castle Contest by Robert Munsch

Beach-themed activities for preschoolers:
Beach ball craft from Gummy Lump
3 beach theme activities from The Preschool Toolbox

In our area, July means one thing: mosquitoes! So it's a great time to learn more about bugs.
Preschool bug books and activities for July
Bug-themed books for preschoolers:
Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth
Bugs Galore by Peter Stein
Bugs! by David T. Greenberg
I Like Bugs by Margaret Wise Brown
Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks
Bugs A to Z by Caroline Lawton
I Love Bugs! by Emma Dodd
Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin

Bug-themed activities for preschoolers:
Finger print bugs from Teach Preschool
Paper plate spider from No Time for Flash Cards
I for for Insect preschool science from Inspiration Laboratories
Egg carton bugs from Gummy Lump
Homemade bug jar from She Knows

August is a great time to have some picnics and read about them too! (Find 5 book inspired picnics here.)
Preschool picnic books and activities for August
Picnic-themed books for preschoolers:
Picnic by Emily Arnold McCully
Piglet's Picnic by Jessica Souhami
Having a Picnic by Sarah Garland
The Pig's Picnic by Keiko Kasza
We're Going on a Picnic by Pat Hutchins

Picnic-themed activities for preschoolers:
Picnic craft
Paper weaving picnic craft from Gift of Curiosity 
Picnic centers at Bright Hub Education
Crepe paper watermelon from Children's Learning Activities
Watermelon playdough from A Magical Childhood
Picnic songs from Everything Preschool

Obviously, this list doesn't cover all the books you'll read in a month, but reading several books around the same theme can deepen a preschooler's understanding of a topic, increase their background knowledge, and improve their vocabulary. I compiled this list for my own reference, but I'm hoping it will also make it easier for other busy moms and teachers to pull books and activities around a common theme. You can also find books and activities sorted by title, author, or topic.

I would love to add to the list. Any recommendations? 

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  1. WOW, what a thorough list! Thanks for the fabulous resource!

  2. I second the, "Wow!" Thanks for putting this together! Helps so much!

  3. Another Wow coming your way. I run a preschool story time at the library. This is going to be a fabulous resource. THANK YOU!
    Sharon- popping by from the Weekly Kids Co-op

    1. Thanks, Sharon. Do you have a blog? I'd love to check it out!

  4. What a wonderful resource of fun book activities! Pinning and tweeting. Coming by way of Mom's Library Link Up. Mia of PragmaticMom

  5. I'm the new librarian at my son's preschool and I can't tell you how helpful this is. Thank you!

  6. Here's an addition to this wonderful set of recommendations: Free online picture books that are narrated in up to 15 languages! Great for new readers. Great for language learners. Great for our kids in general. http://UniteforLiteracy.com

  7. this is great! Thanks for sharing. Pinned!

  8. I love these books by month! Thanks for doing such an awesome round up... and Happy New Year ;)

  9. I am a speech language therapist in early intervention and autistic support. It is so exciting to find such a creative list for monthly themes!!!!! So excited to use and make work in my classroom/with my kiddos!! So much easier than reinventing the wheel! Thank you so much!

  10. What a lovely selection of books. I love that you have one for each month.

    Thanks for linking to The Sunday Showcase. I've pinned to our board.

  11. Thank you for your post. I'm inspired now to start the school year!

  12. Thanks for saving me so much time when prepping for my preschool class! This list is awesome! I'd love for you to come share this at our Pinning for Play link party!

  13. This is such an amazing resource!!! Just pinned! And I'm with ya on the 'year' for us starts in September. I even buy academic calendars that go August-August rather than ones that start in January.


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