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January Preschool Themes

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What Is a Preschool Theme?

Preschool themes, sometimes called thematic units or lesson plan themes, are usually centered around one topic. When teaching preschoolers, I like to choose preschool classroom themes that focus on holidays, seasons, or things that interest my students like dinosaurs, bugs, or farm animals.

Great preschool themes create integrated lessons for many different subjects including literacy, math, fine motor skills, science, art, and music. A great preschool theme supports a variety of subjects and learning concepts. The goal of a great preschool theme is to help your students experience the concepts in lots of different ways. 

Making connections between cognitive skills, emotional skills, physical abilities, and social abilities is the goal of a great preschool theme. If you do it well, you’ll be creating amazing opportunities to meet your learning objectives every day.

January preschool themes

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The Benefits of Using Preschool Themes

There are all kinds of wonderful benefits to carefully chosen preschool themes. First of all, they’re tons of fun for everyone! The January preschool themes I’m going to share with you today incorporate hands-on learning through crafts and games, activities to help your preschoolers build important early learning skills, beautiful books, and a whole lot more. 

With these January themes for preschoolers, your students will be making meaningful connections between subjects and concepts. It’s an easy way to show your preschoolers that learning isn’t just something that happens in a classroom. Your preschoolers will begin to see that everything is connected, even seemingly unrelated subjects like art and math.

How to Build Your Own Preschool Theme

Building your own preschool classroom themed lessons takes planning and preparation, but it can be a lot of fun too! Begin with a theme you love or one that your preschoolers are curious about to make it easy. Then, build lessons around your theme.

I think choosing themes that match up well with the season or an upcoming holiday are an easy way to capitalize on your preschoolers’ natural curiosity about upcoming events. Not all topics are ideal for introducing new lessons to your students, but you can use review lessons, centers, crafts, and activities to keep kids engaged without overwhelming them.

Next, I like to choose books that match my preschool theme. A great book can teach your students all kinds of things! Plus, reading aloud to preschoolers is the very best way to encourage them to fall in love with books. 

Then, weave in lots of opportunities for hands-on learning like sensory bins, movement games, science experiments, and crafts. If you’re looking for interesting preschool theme ideas, you’re in the right place. See my favorite preschool theme ideas for January below.

12 Interesting Preschool Theme Ideas for January

Are you ready to see some of the most interesting and fun January themes for preschoolers? Check out 12 great January preschool themes for your students down below.

100 Days

Celebrating 100 days of school is a fun way to help your preschoolers mark their achievements so far and encourage them to keep working hard and learning for the rest of the school year.

January preschool themes

You can use this theme to introduce all kinds of early math concepts, 100th Day Art Activities, and enjoy some great books like Planet Kindergarten: 100 Days in Orbit by Sue Ganz-Schmitt.

Arctic Animals

January is a great time to explore Arctic animals with your preschoolers. I’ve got a variety of Arctic Animal Crafts you can use to help bring this theme to life while practicing fine motor skills with your students this Winter.

arctic animal crafts

Plus, an adorable Arctic Fox Craft that’s great for practicing early math concepts and learning about shapes with preschoolers too.

winter shape craft


National Bird Day is January 5th so it’s the perfect time of year to introduce your preschoolers to our feathered friends with bird-themed January lesson plans. Discover crafts for cardinals, penguins, and other birds to add to your preschool classroom lesson plans in my list of 25 Easy Winter Crafts for Preschoolers

Chinese New Year

Explore calendars, learn how to read them, and discover the differences in the lunar calendar while you learn about China. Celebrating Chinese New Year in January or February is a fun way to explore and learn about the culture, history, and geography of China with your preschoolers.

chinese new year craft of a dragon

You can make your very own Chinese Dragon Craft to celebrate too. 

Evergreen Trees

Most trees lose their leaves during the winter months, but evergreen trees stay green all year long. You can explore and learn about these trees with your preschoolers by going for a nature walk.

Then, practice shapes as you create an evergreen tree with my Christmas Tree Craft (without the holiday decorations). 

Happy New Year

Coming back to school after the holiday break is more fun with a great preschool theme. Check out my Happy New Year Activities to bring the celebration to your classroom.

Then, take time to discuss New Year’s resolutions and what they mean with your preschool students.

Hot Chocolate

Get ready to explore scientific concepts with my Hot Chocolate Science Experiment.

christmas science experiment with hot chocolate for winter

Then, practice numeracy skills and fine motor skills with a hot chocolate color-by-number activity.

Finally, get crafty making some of your very own hot chocolate to enjoy while you read Do Frogs Drink Hot Chocolate? by Etta Kaner. 

J is for January Preschool Themes

Teaching preschoolers the alphabet is a lot more fun with a good preschool theme. Try a J is for January preschool theme with your students to learn more about the letter J and the rest of the alphabet too.

Check out How to Teach the Alphabet in Preschool for more great activity ideas and teaching tips.

Martin Luther King

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is remembered and celebrated on the third Monday in January each year. The holiday is a great opportunity to talk about civil rights, social justice, and learn about the important contributions of Dr. King with your preschool students. 

January preschool themes

Don’t miss my printable Martin Luther King Jr. Activities you can use as a part of your January preschool themes. Plus, tips on celebrating Martin Luther King Day with preschoolers.


At this time of year, snow is on all the students’ minds and the teachers too! Snow might just be a perfect classroom theme for your students. You can use these January preschool themes to explore winter weather, snowflakes, snowmen, and more.

how to make a snowman

Try these fun snowman preschool classroom theme activities:

How to Make a Snowman

25 Easy Snowman Crafts

Snowman Shape Craft

Shape Snowman Activities

Snowman Write the Room

Snowman Counting and Alphabet


Snowflakes are beautiful and unique. You can introduce your preschoolers to the science behind snow and snowflakes with the book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

Then, have fun learning with these hands-on snow activities:

Snowflake Name Craft

Build a Snowglobe Activity

Snow Name Craft

January preschool themes

Winter Sports

January is a great time of year to learn about winter sports with your preschool students too. There are so many exciting winter sports to explore! Read Snowy Sports: Ready, Set, Play! by Per-Henrik Gürth aloud to introduce your preschoolers to ice skating, snowboarding, and skiing. 

What’s your favorite January preschool theme? Do you have a preschool classroom theme that’s perfect for this winter month?

Share your great ideas in the comments. I’d love to read them and discover some of your favorite ways to make learning more fun all January long too.

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