Theme and activities
Educational activity planning by theme: games, crafts, coloring pages, stories, songs & rhymes, and printable activity sheets.
This theme will help you create a special restaurant within your daycare!
What the club has to offer
(Open thematic poster-Restaurant) Print, laminate, and decorate the walls of your daycare with all kinds of posters.
(Open educa-decorate-Restaurant) Print, laminate, and cut out. Use the illustrations to decorate the walls of your daycare and to set the mood for the theme.
(Open educa-numbers-Restaurant) Print and laminate the posters. Display them on a wall to decorate your daycare for the duration of the theme.
(Open educa-letters-Restaurant) Print and laminate the posters. Display them on a wall to decorate your daycare for the duration of the theme. (Open garland-Restaurant) Print. Let children decorate the garland. Cut out the shapes and hang the garland in your daycare or near the daycare entrance.
This special tool was created in response to a special request received. (Open models-Menu of the day) Print, laminate, and display to let parents know what you will be serving for lunch and snacks.
Use the following questions to spark a conversation with your group:
Educ-chat is a game which includes several illustrations which represent subjects, verbs, and complements. These illustrations can be used to encourage children to make complete sentences and to build their vocabulary. (Open educ-chat-Restaurant) Print, cut out, and laminate the cards. Make three piles (subjects, verbs, and complements). Have children pick one card from each pile. Encourage them to "read" the sentence. The sentences may sometimes be silly, but you are sure to have plenty of fun. If you prefer, you may place the cards yourself and then invite a child to "read" the sentence.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with your group. Use them to decorate your daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Restaurant) Print, laminate, and store in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.
Activity sheets are suggested for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets-Restaurant)
(Open writing activities-R like restaurant) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open stationery-Restaurant) Print. Use the stationery to communicate with parents, in your writing area, or to identify your thematic bins.
(Open educa-nuudles-Restaurant) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet and use Magic nuudles to give it a three-dimensional look. Variation: You don't have Magic Nuudles? Have children fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers.
The flashcards may be used to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing area, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Restaurant) (Open giant word flashcards-Restaurant) Print. Menu, placemat, waiter, cash register, tab, utensil, money, debit card, table, chair, tray, deep fryer, oven.
(Open felt board-Restaurant) Print the different pieces and glue them on felt. Cut them out. Glue four pieces of black felt on a piece of cardboard. The felt shapes will stick to the felt board. Children will enjoy moving them around to create different scenes.
Provide several different kitchen accessories such as measuring spoons, measuring cups, pots, pans, spatulas, can openers, oven mitts, etc. Deposit the items in a large bag and invite children to take turns picking an item. Have them name the items they pick. They can ask a friend for help if needed.
Picture clue story-Food
(Open picture clue story-Food) Sit in a circle with your group. Begin reading the story. When you reach an illustration, pause and let children identify the missing word which is represented by the picture.
Story and memory game-Food
(Open story and memory game-Food) Print, cut out, and laminate the cards. Set them face down on a table. Invite children to pick three cards and invent a story using the illustrations. Trick: To solidify the cards, glue each illustration to the top of a frozen juice can. Variation: If you prefer, print two copies and use the cards for a memory game.
Print and laminate the word flashcards. Children take turns picking a word flashcard and presenting it to the group. You may discuss each item with your group, allowing them to share what they know about it, etc. Ask questions to encourage children to talk.
Have fun with these wonderful workshop ideas provided by Caroline Allard.
Arts & crafts:
ACTIVITIES FOR ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Game-This is my spot-Restaurant
(Open game-This is my spot-Restaurant) Print two copies. Laminate and cut out the cards. Glue one copy of each card on the table using adhesive paper. Drop the other copies in a bag. Children take turns picking a card to determine their spot at the table for the day. You may also use the cards to determine naptime spots or for your task train.
My restaurant path
(Open My restaurant path) Print, laminate, and secure the illustrations on the floor using Mac-Tac to create a path leading to various areas within your daycare. The path can lead to the areas children frequently visit such as the bathroom or the cloakroom. If you prefer, the illustrations can also be used to define your various workshops.
At the restaurant
Serve lunch to your group as if they were at the restaurant. Play the role of the waitress and take children's orders. Use silly names. For example, you may use their parents' names, just for fun!
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Give each child a drinking straw. Deposit a few ping pong balls on a table (or feathers). Divide your group into two teams. Using colourful adhesive tape, determine a start and finish line. Children must take turns moving a ball from one end of the table to the other by blowing into their straw.
Fruits and vegetables lacing
(Open lacing-Fruits and vegetables) Print, laminate, and punch holes around the contour of the shapes. Offer shoelaces (with a knot at one end). Let children thread the shoelaces through the holes.
(Open lacing-Bread) Print, laminate, and punch holes around the contour of the shapes. Offer shoelaces (with a knot at one end). Let children thread the shoelaces through the holes.
Empty a couple boxes of toothpicks in the centre of the table. Give each child a container. Ask them to collect as many toothpicks as possible in one minute. They must use their thumb and index to pick them up one at a time. You may use a kitchen timer. When the timer rings, count how many toothpicks each child collected.
Welcome to Mario's
You will need hula hoops, frisbees, cones, and a variety of balls (ping pong, foam, tennis, etc.). First of all, divide your group into two teams. One team will be the waiters and the other team will be the customers. The customers each take a hula hoop and find a spot within the daycare where they must sit in their hula hoop which represents their table. Each waiter takes a frisbee and places a ball in it. Using one hand, they must carry the frisbee and serve the ball to a customer. The waiters must serve all the balls to the customers. When they are done, the waiters become the customers. Variation: You may also create an obstacle course which is to be completed by the waiters.
Show children how to spin frisbees on their fingers like pizza dough. Be sure to have children stand a few feet apart since they will most likely drop their dough at first.
I am hungry
One child plays the role of a hungry ogre and crawls around the daycare. The other children are food. They must avoid being eaten by the ogre. Whenever the ogre touches a child, he becomes an ogre too. The game continues until there is nothing left to eat.
I am melting
Ask children to pretend they are a piece of melting chocolate. This activity will help them learn to relax their body. At first, have them stand straight and tall, like chocolate bars. Then, tell them they are beginning to melt. They slowly bend one body part at a time... until they are completely melted, lying down on the floor.
MUSIC AND RHYTHM ACTIVITIES
I am going to the restaurant...
Sit in a circle with your group. Begin by saying, "I am going to the restaurant. I am ordering..." Name a food item. The child sitting next to you must repeat the sentence, name the food item you chose, and add one of his own. Continue until each child has added an item. You may also provide a basket full of plastic food items and use them to help children remember what the others have ordered.
Sit in a circle with your group. To the sound of music, children pass a food item around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding it must deposit it in front of him. The music starts up again and children start passing another food item around the circle. At the end of the activity, determine which child collected the most dairy products, the most vegetables, etc.
Provide several pots and pans, plastic containers, and kitchen utensils. Let children use them to create their own fanfare and parade around the streets of your neighbourhood.
(Open educ-trace-Restaurant) Print for each child. Children must trace the lines with the correct color and then color the object at the end of the line using the same color.
Educ-same and different-Restaurant
(Open educ-same and different-Restaurant) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the illustration which is different in each row.
(Open educ-pairs-Restaurant) Print. Children must draw a line between identical illustrations or color them using the same color. For durable, eco-friendly use, laminate and use with dry-erase markers.
Hunt and seek-Kitchen
(Open hunt and seek-Kitchen) Print and laminate. Children pick a card and search for the item in the scene.
Where does food come from?
(Open association game-Food) Print and laminate. Using Velcro, children must associate the food items to their origin.
Story and memory game-Food
(Open story and memory game-Food) Print, cut out, and laminate the cards. Place them face down on a table. Children take turns picking three cards and inventing a story related to the illustrations. Trick: To solidify the cards, glue each illustration to the top of a frozen juice can. Variation: Print two copies and use the cards for a memory game.
(Open game-meals) Print and laminate the game. Using Velcro, children must associate the food items to the correct meal.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
(Open paper dolls-Restaurant) Print and laminate. Leave the pieces on a table. Children will enjoy dressing the doll many different ways.
Throughout the theme, give children turns being your helper. Let them help you prepare and serve meals and snacks. At the end of the week, give each child a Future chef diploma. (Open diploma-Future chef)
(Open poster-Cook) Glue the poster on your thematic bin or use it to decorate your walls. Include the following items in your thematic bin: apron, oven mitts, utensils, pots and pans, rolling pin, salt and pepper shakers, wooden spoons, measuring cups, measuring spoons, a baker's hat, etc.
(Open poster-waitress) Glue the poster on your thematic bin or use it to decorate your walls. Include the following items in your thematic bin: notepads, trays, plates, menus, napkins, utensils, crayons, etc. In your kitchen area, set up a few tables and chairs, a cash register, paper placemats, and plastic dishes. Give children turns playing the role of the waiter/waitress. Children will enjoy ordering various food items and pretending they are at the restaurant.
I am setting the table
(Open placemat-Set the table) Print for each child. Encourage them to color their placemat. Laminate them when they are done. Children can use their placemats to learn how to set the table the right way.
(Open Restaurant menu) Print. Transform your role play area to make it look like a restaurant. Provide notepads, crayons, menus, aprons, tablecloths, flowers, pretend money, a cash register, dishes, plastic food items, etc.
What's in the pot game
(Open game-What's in the pot) Print. Children cut food items out of grocery store flyers and glue the ones they wish to "cook" in their pot.
Purchase a large quantity of plastic utensils. Invite children to use them to create various structures. Use modeling dough to make the utensils stick together. Variation: Add drinking straws to create even more original structures.
Have children listen to the sounds their mouth makes. Have them chew on a variety of different food items.
Learning to measure
Fill a large container with rice. Add measuring cups, different sizes of containers, and utensils. Deposit a few empty containers on the table. Use rubber bands to indicate the levels you want children to fill the containers to. When all the containers have been filled, have children place them in order. Children will enjoy manipulating, pouring, and measuring the rice.
Provide several different ingredients (flour, sugar, spices, water, salt, etc.). Let children explore them and use them to create a variety of mixtures.
Let children's imagination guide them in creating characters with the following vegetables: carrots (cut into sticks or grated), celery (cut into sticks with the leaves), snow peas (in the pod), lettuce, green peppers, parsley, potatoes, cucumbers, etc.
Sweet and salty
Our tongue tastes a variety of different flavours. Discuss with your group (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, etc.). Provide examples. Have children taste cocoa powder, sugar, salt, vinegar, etc. Have children talk about the different flavours and identify the ones they like and the ones they dislike. Variation: Have children taste different foods while blindfolded.
Ask each child to bring a food item from home. Use the items to create a special recipe with your group. Using all the items may be a challenge. If there is one ingredient which absolutely cannot be used, try to include it as a decorative item. Children are sure to love their recipe! Variation: You may also ask children to select items from a specific food group (fruits for example). A fruit salad can easily be prepared with young children.
ARTS & CRAFTS
(Open puppets-Restaurant) Print the different puppet models on heavy cardboard. Have children cut them out and decorate them with a variety of arts and crafts materials. Attach Popsicle sticks to the back of each model to create puppets.
(Open stencils-Restaurant) Print and cut out the various shapes. Children can use them to trace or paint items related to your theme.
Tablecloth or placemat
Use a white paper tablecloth or placemats and have children decorate and color them. Set your tablecloth or placemats on the table during lunch or snack time.
Collect several grocery store flyers. Give each child a piece of construction paper folded in two. Encourage children to cut food items out of the flyers and use them to create their own original menus which include the foods they like to eat.
Have each child cut a large circle out of construction paper. If you prefer, you may cut one very large circle and make a large pizza as a group. Deposit scraps of coloured paper on the table and invite children to garnish their pizza. They may color the circle with a red marker to represent tomato sauce and add pepperoni and vegetables cut out of construction paper.
My miniature cook
(Open miniature cook) Print, cut out, and color. Glue the pieces on empty toilet paper rolls or Styrofoam glasses to create miniature cooks.
Print and decorate two strips of white cardboard. Measure each child's head and staple the strips together to create a headband. Staple a small white plastic bag to each headband to create cute little chef hats.
Crumpled food items
Collect several black and white food item illustrations. Let children select a food item and have them fill the shape with crumpled pieces of tissue paper.
Modeling dough food
Offer modeling dough and encourage children to shape a variety of food items.
Deposit a white paper tablecloth on a table and invite children to make veggie prints using carrots, potatoes, celery, etc. When you cut the base of the celery, it becomes a rose. The center of an apple becomes a star. Dip them in paint and stamp them on the tablecloth.
(Open craft-Mr. Sandwich) Print, cut out and assemble the pieces to create a fun character. Glue a Popsicle stick to the back and invite children to use it as a puppet. They will invent silly stories.
Cook spaghetti pasta and drain. Dip spaghetti in poster paint and use it to paint on paper.
(Open creative coloring-Restaurant) Print for each child. Have children complete the picture.
COMPLETE THE DRAWING
(Open complete the drawing-Restaurant) Print for each child. Have children draw the missing parts.
(Open coloring pages theme-Restaurant) Print for each child.
SONGS & RHYMES
Here we go to the restaurant
by: Patricia Morrison
sung to: The Mulberry Bush
Here we go to the restaurant
Here we go to the restaurant
Here we go to the restaurant
We will order chicken