During circle time, ask children if they have ever been berry picking. With their help, name all the types of berries that can be picked and places nearby where you can go to pick them. Be sure to have pictures and illustrations on hand. (Open word flashcards-Berries) Print and laminate the word flashcards. Use them to spark a conversation with your group and ask children questions about the theme.
A few suggestions
- What is your favorite type of berry?
- Which berry do you like the least?
- Have you eaten these berries before (show children pictures of different types of berries as you name them)?
Make your own berry hat
Use an old straw hat and have children glue plastic berries all over it. They can take turns wearing your berry hat during the theme.
Hide several different plastic fruits throughout your daycare. Children can search for them and drop them in a fruit basket set on a table (or in the center of your circle time area). Use the plastic fruit to get children to discuss the theme.
I can talk about berries…using a puppet
Use a puppet to encourage children to speak about the theme. It may help shy children or those who require language support to participate in the discussion. Cut a few different berries to show children what they look like inside.
Print a variety of posters and use them to decorate your daycare. (Open thematic poster-Berries) Print.
(Open stickers-Berries) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create an original sticker collection.
(Open educa-decorate-Berries) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the illustrations to decorate your walls. Hang a few from the ceiling too.
(Open educa-theme-Berries) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the items to decorate the walls of your daycare to set the mood for the theme.
Hang several plastic berries (or berry illustrations and pictures) from the ceiling. Display berry-filled posters or pictures on the walls of your daycare.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Berries) Print, laminate, and store in a “Ziploc” bag or in your thematic bins.
(Open picture game-Berries) Print two copies and use the cards for a memory game.
Activity sheets are provided for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets-Berries)
A different way of using activity sheets
Stick two crayons end to end. Encourage children to use one end to complete part of an activity sheet before rotating it and inching their fingers to the other end to complete it using the second color.
Different working positions
Stick activity sheets on walls, on the floor, under tables, etc. Invite children to stand up, sit, or lie down to complete them.
(Open educa-nuudles-Berries) 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. To order Magic Nuudles.
(Open writing activities-B like berry) Print for each child or laminate and use with a dry-erase marker.
Use the flashcards to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing corner, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Berries) (Open giant word flashcards-Berries) strawberry, raspberry blackberry, blueberries, currants, field, shrub, pick your own, wild berries, to cultivate, strawberry plant, preserves
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
(Open lacing-Berries) Print, laminate, and punch holes all the way around each berry. Set them on a table along with shoelaces with a knot at one end. Let children thread the shoelaces through the holes.
Divide your group into two teams. Have each team line up on a line, facing each other. Set a ball (or other object) in the center, between both teams. Associate a different type of berry with each player from the first team. Associate the same berries to the children in the second team. When you name a fruit, the two children who were given the corresponding berry must run to the ball and try to grab it and bring it back to their team to earn a point.
For this activity, use educatall pictograms. Hide pictures of berries (or plastic berries) throughout your daycare. Name a color. Children must race to collect as many berries of the corresponding color. If you prefer, name berries.
Modeling dough activity placemats-Berries
(Open modeling dough activity placemats-Berries) Print and laminate. Let children pick a placemat and provide modeling dough. Encourage them to use the dough to fill or reproduce the shapes that are on their placemat.
(Open bowling game-Berries) Print and laminate. Use the stickers to create games. Create your own bowling game by pressing them on empty plastic bottles. Arrange your homemade bowling pins on a table. Children can use a tennis ball to make them fall. Give each child three tries.
(Open large stickers-Berries) Print and use the stickers to create games. Collect empty metal cans in different sizes. Use the stickers to decorate the cans. Stack the cans to build a pyramid on a table. Children can use a frisbee to make them fall. Give each child three tries.
Fine motor skills-Crumpled berry shapes
(Open berry shapes) Print for each child. Have children tear and crumple pieces of tissue paper. They can apply white glue all over the shape they prefer and fill it with crumpled pieces of tissue paper. Display their artwork.
Hide berries throughout your daycare. Every time a child finds a berry, he or she must set it inside a basket placed on a table. Once all the berries have been found, eat them as a snack.
Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry
Children walk around your yard. Every time you say “strawberry”, they must walk very quickly. When they hear you say “raspberry”, they must walk slowly. Finally, whenever you say “blueberry”, they must stop in their tracks. You may delimit a territory with a start and a finish line.
Sit in a circle with your group. Sing a song (or invite a child to sing a song). Children pass a plastic strawberry around the circle. When the song ends, the child who is holding the strawberry must perform an action chosen by the singer. For example, he or she may be asked to stand on one leg, to bark like a dog, to perform somersaults, to jump three times, etc.
ACTIVITIES INVOLVING PARENTS
Visiting a fruit store or market
Ask parents to join you on a trip to your local fruit store or market. Use this opportunity to show children different types of exotic fruit that they may not be familiar with.
Invite each child to bring a different type of fruit to daycare. Cut the fruit into pieces with your group and use them to prepare a colorful fruit salad.
Pick your own berries
Invite parents to join you on a trip to a local berry farm. Children will love picking (and eating) berries.
I am learning to count-With berries
(Open I am learning to count-With berries) Print, laminate, and display at children’s eye level. Using Velcro, children add the correct number of berries to each basket.
Hunt and seek-Berries
(Open hunt and seek-Berries) Print and laminate. Children pick a card and search for the item in the scene.
Educ-same and different-Berries
(Open educ-same and different-Berries) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the item that is different in each row.
(Open educ-pattern-Berries) Print and laminate. Children must determine the correct order and complete each set by sticking the appropriate pictogram in the squares using Velcro or adhesive putty.
(Open puzzles-Berries) Print, laminate, and cut out. Children must place the puzzle pieces the right way to complete each scene.
Find several pictures of berries (greeting cards, calendars, books, etc.). Cut each one into two or three pieces using decorative-edged scissors. Give each child one puzzle piece and hide the remaining pieces. Children must find the missing pieces and complete their puzzle.
(Open miniature berries) Print and laminate. Hide the berries throughout your daycare and encourage children to search for them. The child who finds the most berries can hide them for the next round.
Observing textures with berries
You will need several types of berries. Encourage children to use magnifying glasses to look very closely at the berries and identify differences and similarities. It may also be interesting to try to grow your own berries.
Slice different types of fruit (bananas, apples, oranges, pears, etc.) and set them out to dry on paper towels. Observe the changes over the course of a few days. You may also purchase dried fruit and invite children to taste them.
Strawberry and raspberry juice
Use a juicer to prepare personalized juices.
Prepare a delicious fruit salad with your group. Let children participate. They can use plastics knives to cut fruit into pieces, add the cut fruit to the bowl, and stir very gently.
Enjoy a traditional chocolate fondue or simply give children small bowls of chocolate pudding that they can dip pieces of fruit in.
Cut several different types of fruit into pieces. Let children slide them onto skewers. Serve your fruit skewers with a yogurt-based dip at snack time.
Have children slice different types of fruit using small plastic knives. Spread vanilla pudding in a store-bought pie crust and let children press the fruit pieces all over.
Exotic fruit taste test
Purchase several types of fruit that children may not be familiar with and have fun tasting them one by one.
ARTS & CRAFTS
(Open puppets-Berries) Print the various models on cardboard. Ask children to cut them out and decorate them with arts & crafts materials. Glue a Popsicle stick behind each one to turn them into puppets.
(Open models-Berries) Print the models and use them for various activities and projects throughout the theme.
Find several pictures of berries. Print them and let each child pick the one he or she prefers. Have them tear pieces of paper. They can crumple the pieces and glue them on their berry.
My berry hat
(Open educa-decorate-Berries) Print and cut out the items. Have children glue them on a strip of paper. When they are done, they can glue both ends together to form a headband.
(Open mobile-Berries) Print for each child. Have children color the items and assemble them to create a mobile. You may use a clothes hanger, a perforated plastic container or a paper plate as a base for your mobile.
Salt dough berries
Salt dough (or modeling dough) berries. Provide salt dough or modeling dough and encourage children to sculpt berries. Set their creations out to dry. If you wish, you may add Kool-Aid powder to your dough to give it a fruity scent.
Trace pairs of large berry shapes on cardboard. Staple identical shapes together, leaving an opening at the top. Ask children to stuff the giant berries with newspaper. When they are done, staple the opening closed. Have children paint the berries.
Cut fruit shapes out of adhesive paper and invite children to glue pieces of tissue paper, confetti, scraps of construction paper, etc. all over the shapes. Seal each one with another piece of adhesive paper and hang your mosaics in front of a sunny window.
(Open coloring pages theme-Berries) Print for each child.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO USE THE COLORING PAGES
Identical coloring pages-Berries
Print the same coloring page for each child and an additional copy for your model. Color only certain parts of your picture. Present the model to your group and ask them to color their picture to make it look exactly like yours.
Print and laminate several coloring pages and arrange them in a binder with a few dry-erase markers. Leave everything on a table for children to explore.
Play musical drawing with your group. Give each child a coloring page. Have children sit around a table. When the music starts, they must pass the coloring pages around the table. Every time the music stops, they must color the picture in front of them until the music starts again.
Give each child a picture to color. When they are done, cut each picture into pieces to create unique puzzles.
SONGS & RHYMES
(Open songs & rhymes-Berries) Print.
By: Patricia Morrison-Sung to: The mulberry bush
Here we go through the strawberry field
The strawberry field, the strawberry field
Here we go through the strawberry field
We’re going to fill our baskets
Take a big bite of a juicy berry
A juicy berry, a juicy berry
Take a big bite of a juicy berry
Oh what a yummy treat
We’ll take them home and cut off the leaves
Cut off the leaves, cut off the leaves
We’ll wash the berries and make preserves
So we can eat berries all year
The educatall team