See a complete preschool unit study based on the sun with activity ideas for math, science, art, music, language skills, food, outdoor activities and more.
The sun is a familiar figure for children as it is part of their daily routine and normal life. They have likely begun making observations about the sun rising and setting, or “going to sleep” at night. This shows a growing awareness of the regular cycles of the world around them and is a positive sign of their mental development. This unit study gathers several learning activities based on this central character of their day – the sun.
Sun Themed Math Idea for Preschoolers
The sun is a star – the closest star to earth. Stars are so much fun to draw, or tiny star stickers are readily available at most office supply stores. Let your preschooler practice numerals by sticking the correct number of stars into the section of the paper to match whatever number you have specified. For beginning numbers use smaller numbers 1-10. If your preschooler is already mastering numbers through 10 go ahead and use larger numbers. See a sample math lesson that is easily adapted to drawing the rays of a sun or using star stickers.
Pre-K Sun Music Idea
One of our favorite songs involving the sun is “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider”. Be sure to highlight to children how the sun helps dry up the water after the rain, a concept important for learning science principles later in life.
Sun Science Idea for Preschoolers
As a follow up, or introduction, to The Itsy, Bitsy Spider, show the kids a fun science experiment about evaporation. Place two dishes of water out during play time (or while teaching them the song!) and place one in the shade or indoors on the counter, and another outside in the bright sunshine. After an hour go back and compare the two saucers to see which holds the most water.
Pre-K Sun Themed Art Lesson
Use colorful yarn and Elmer’s type glue to create a beautiful sun mural. Let kids create a glue trail inside a circle you’ve drawn for them on their piece of paper. Give everyone access to length of yarn in red, yellow and orange colors. The kids will place the yarn creatively with loops and twirls throughout their circle to create a textured and one-of-a-kind sun.
Sun Themed Food Idea for Preschoolers
Trail mix makes a great snack for kids. Select a variety that has raisins or other dried fruit bits and explain how the sun evaporated all the water out of the fruit/grape to help create their trail mix snack! Another snack alternative is, what else? Sunflower seeds!
Pre-K Sun Playtime Activities
A fun tag alternative that is less likely to result in injury is called “Shadow Tag”. It is, as the name implies, a game where the child who is “it” tries to tag the shadow of another player. Teachers or parents will have to watch closely to tell when someone’s shadow is tagged and it’s time for someone else to be it. Another idea that can be played indoors is to pin the sun on it’s rays. Create a circle shape on a poster board with a single black marker line. Then decorate the rays of the sun coming out from the circle. Cut out circles the same size in red, yellow or orange colored construction paper – one for each child (we just use a saucer plate to trace ours – Easy!). Each child then gets tape on the back and has to walk blindfolded to place their sun within the circle. The closest to the middle, wins.