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Thematic Units for Preschool

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Do you use thematic units in your preschool classroom or homeschool? I love using fun and engaging themes to help my preschoolers grasp important concepts and build early learning skills in exciting new ways. 

Want to learn more about how you can use thematic units in your preschool classroom or homeschool lessons this year? Keep reading to discover why thematic unit studies are a great idea for your preschoolers and learn how to build your own. Plus, check out more than 20 thematic units for preschool from The Primary Parade for you to use with your early learners this school year.

planning thematic units for preschool lessons and activities

What are preschool themes?

Preschool themes are lesson plans designed around a theme or topic. For example, pumpkins in October. Themes involve creating integrated lessons for all subjects: literacy, math, fine motor skills, science, art, etc. All these subjects are supported by the theme. 

Ideally, you want your preschoolers to experience curriculum in a wide variety of ways. As a teacher, you’re working to create thematic units that make connections between cognitive, emotional, physical, and social abilities. You want your preschoolers to have opportunities to meet every learning objective and build their vocabulary along the way.

Themed lessons are ideal for preschoolers because they cover all content areas. By applying themes they are interested in and themes that naturally occur (like turkeys in November) we can help our students learn in a way that’s valuable and true to real life. 

Why use a thematic unit study?

Thematic units can be lots of fun for preschoolers! Plus, they are a great way to incorporate fun crafts, skill building activities, excellent storybooks, and even important conversations with your students. 

Thematic units for preschool keep kids engaged, help them to make connections and apply what they’re learning to increase comprehension.

Building Your Own Thematic Units

Begin by choosing a theme you love. Then incorporate it throughout your lessons for the day, week, or even the month. Consider what your preschoolers are interested in when you create a thematic unit. 

planning thematic units for preschool

As teachers, we are good at sticking to the plan. However, we need to be able to incorporate the new things our students are experiencing. For example, Spring is coming. Beginning a Spring thematic unit in your preschool classroom would be a great way to explore all the new things about this season your preschoolers will soon be experiencing.

Keep in mind while building a thematic unit that not all topics are ideal for introducing new skills or lessons. Consider using review lessons, centers, crafts, and activities instead to keep your thematic unit engaging without being overwhelming.

How To Use Thematic Units

Thematic units are so fun to explore! It seems I’ve always got a new idea for a themed unit study or preschool lesson theme. How do we turn these adorable thematic units into lessons and activities that teach our preschoolers the important early learning skills they need to master?

Begin by thinking of yourself as a student too. Plan to learn from your preschoolers as you teach. In this way, you’ll be showing your preschoolers that learning is a lifelong endeavor. Think about the objectives you need to cover that week and plan thematic units for preschool that cover those objectives. Then, incorporate your theme into every objective for the day, week, or month. 

Thematic Units from The Primary Parade

Over 20 thematic units for preschool

Building your own thematic unit can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry, I’ve taken a lot of work and planning out of the equation for you. I’ve put together 20+ thematic units for preschool that are perfect for your classroom or homeschool lessons this year. These units cover a wide variety of important preschool objectives. Plus, there’s sure to be a few themes your preschoolers will absolutely love! Check out my entire preschool bundle of thematic units below:

All About Me

all about me activities for an all about me thematic units

This thematic unit is meant to last 5 days, so it’s perfect for the first week of school. Learn more about your students as they begin to master important preschool objectives with 15 activities including reading activities, math activities, play dough mats, self portraits, and much more in this all about me thematic unit.


preschool apple activities for kids

September is a great time to study apples with your preschoolers. You can use these apple themed lessons to help kids practice important skills with 15 fun activities including learning about Johnny Appleseed, painting apples, and an apple picking relay!

Back to School

back to school activities for preschool thematic units

Another fun thematic unit for the first few weeks of school is this back to school theme. You’ll find tons of activities that are perfect for the first month of preschool including pattern practice, a name writing activity, and first day of school portrait ideas.

Bug & Insect

bug and insect thematic units

Do your preschoolers love creepy crawlies? Bugs are fascinating! You can capitalize on their interest with this bug & insect thematic unit including activities and lesson plans for handwriting, number recognition, and butterfly observation.


preschool christmas activities

Christmas is my favorite time of year for a thematic unit! Preschoolers will be super excited about these two Christmas themed weekly lessons. You’ll find math and reading center ideas plus tons of activities your preschoolers will love in the weeks leading up to the holidays.

christmas thematic units

Community Helpers

preschool community helpers

This community helpers thematic unit is one of my favorites. Learn more about police, fire fighters, and the postal service in this engaging thematic unit study with 15 fun activities for your preschoolers to enjoy. You’ll find lesson plans, hands on activities, and engaging games in this thematic unit study all about community helpers.


A farm theme for preschool is a super fun way to learn all about where our food comes from this school year. Plus, it’s a great way to practice handwriting, rhyming, counting with ten frames, and scissor work with all the fun activities in this farm theme. Plus, you’re going to love the “wrangling animals” game!

Ice Cream

ice cream themed lessons for  thematic units

I love ice cream! This adorable ice cream thematic unit is a really cute way to help your preschoolers practice important early learning skills like identifying letters and counting money. Your preschoolers will love the ice cream dramatic play center in this thematic unit too. Plus, it’s a  great excuse to have an ice cream party!


preschool ocean theme

Discover all the wonders in the ocean with this ocean thematic unit for preschool. Plus, your early learners will practice important learning objectives like subitizing, learning compound words, and building fine motor skills with fun crafts, activities, and centers all about the ocean.


preschool plant theme

With fun read alouds, play dough activities, and gardening fun, I’m sure your preschoolers will love this plant theme. It’s perfect for introducing your preschoolers to botany this year!


pond theme activities preschool

There’s a lot going on at the pond, so there’s plenty to study for your preschoolers with this fun theme! Discover all the plants and animals hiding out at the pond while learning about CVC words, color matching, life cycles, and poetry with your preschool learners. You don’t want to miss this pond thematic unit.


preschool pumpkin activities

A pumpkin thematic unit is a super fun way to keep your preschoolers excited about learning this October. Preschoolers will have lots of fun with the printables, craftivity ideas, and read alouds in this fun pumpkin unit.


space theme activities thematic units for preschool

Get ready for lots of fun measuring planets, counting moon craters, and learning to talk like an alien. This space theme is a whole lot of fun for preschoolers!


summer themed preschool activities

Getting ready for Summer in your preschool classroom or homeschool? This Summer theme is filled with fun activities and read alouds to keep the learning going all Summer long. Read alouds, math activities, and fun crafts and games like a sand castle sensory bin will be big hits with your preschool learners.


thanksgiving activities for kids

This Thanksgiving themed week helps preschoolers learn about the first thanksgiving while developing important early learning skills like one to one correspondence and letter identification.


turkey activities thematic units for thanksgiving

What could be more fun than a thematic unit all about turkeys in November? This unit is adorable! Plus it’s filled with fun learning activities like counting feathers, stuffing turkeys, and silly turkey rhymes too.

Valentine’s Day

valentines day activities

Ready to make some valentines with your preschoolers? This Valentines thematic unit has fun letter writing activities, heart threading, and sweetheart subtraction activities to help your preschoolers learn important early skills while having fun this Valentine’s Day.


weather activities for preschool

Teaching preschoolers about the weather can help them to not be afraid of frightening weather like thunderstorms. Plus, it’s a great way to introduce important scientific topics like the water cycle. You can teach your preschoolers all about the weather with this weather thematic unit filled with activities like cloud name art, weather graphing, and science experiments.


zoo theme lessons

Let’s go to the zoo! You can take your preschoolers to the zoo with an exciting preschool zoo theme without leaving your classroom. Using the fun read alouds, crafts, and activities in this unit you’ll be able to help your preschoolers practice literacy, math, and science skills in a fun and engaging way this year.

In Conclusion

Are you ready to get started using thematic units for preschoolers in your classroom or homeschool? If you’re not sure if thematic units are right for your students, I encourage you to give them a try first. I know you’ll love these fun and engaging preschool thematic units as much as I do. Are you already using thematic units with your preschoolers? Share your favorites in the comments. I can’t wait to read your awesome theme ideas!

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