This tool was created in response to a special request we received. (Open group identification-Pandas) Print and use the items to decorate your daycare and identify children’s belongings and personal areas.
(Open picture game-Pandas) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use them to spark a conversation with your group. Ask children questions about the theme.
Illustrated discussion board
(Open picture game-Pandas) Print several pictures linked to your theme and glue them on a large piece of colorful cardboard. Laminate it. During circle time, use your illustrated board to present various items associated with your theme. Give each child a dry-erase marker. During your discussion period, children can circle the items they are able to identify. This will help younger children visualize what you are talking about.
A treasure hunt to discover the theme
(Open educa-decorate-Pandas) Print and laminate. Set the items throughout your daycare. Ask children to find them and bring them to you. Together, name the items associated with your theme. Encourage your group to guess the theme.
Poni discovers and presents-Pandas
(Open Poni discovers and presents-Pandas) Print, laminate, and cut the cards. Use your Poni puppet or another puppet that children are familiar with to present the pictures to your group.
If possible, find an oversized teddy bear for each child. Arrange them in a circle, in your circle time area. Children will enjoy leaning against the bears during discussion periods and even wrapping the bears’ arms around their body. If you don’t have a bear for each child, set a single bear in your area and have children take turns sitting with the bear. The giant bears could also be set next to children’s naptime spots. They will enjoy their company as they sleep.
Hold a magic wand in your hands. Sit in a circle with your group. Use your wand to point to a child and indicate that it is his turn to speak.
Suggested questions to spark a conversation:
- Do you know any stories about pandas?
- Do pandas have fur or feathers?
- Where do pandas live?
- Have you ever seen a panda?
- Can you name a panda’s body parts?
(Open thematic poster-Pandas) Print, laminate, and display where children are sure to see it.
(Open educa-theme-Pandas) Print and laminate the different elements representing the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and children’s parents) while decorating your daycare.
(Open educa-decorate-Pandas) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Use them to decorate your walls and set the mood for the theme.
(Open stickers-Pandas) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create a collection of unique stickers. Use them to reward children throughout the theme.
(Open educa-numbers-Pandas) Print and laminate the posters. Display them on a wall to decorate your daycare for the duration of the theme.
(Open educa-letters-Pandas) Print and laminate the posters. Display them on a wall to decorate your daycare for the duration of the theme.
(Open pennants-Pandas) Print and let children cut out the pennants. Next, hang them in your daycare or in your daycare entrance.
Hang artificial bamboo from your daycare ceiling. On the walls, display pictures of pandas and let children observe and admire them throughout the week.
My panda floor
(Open modèles-Pandas) Print and have children color the pandas. Cut them out and press them on the floor using adhesive paper. The illustrations can delimit your daycare corners and workshops and be used to create a path linking various areas.
(Open picture game-Pandas) Use the pictures to decorate your daycare or to spark a conversation with your group. Print, laminate, and store the pictures in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.
(Open picture game-Pandas) Print the illustrations twice and use them for a memory game.
(Open activity sheets-Pandas) Print and follow instructions.
(Open educa-spots-Pandas) Print for each child. Use bingo markers to add color to each circle. If you don’t have bingo markers, simply have children set dry cereal or press a sticker inside the circles.
(Open writing activities-P like panda) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open educa-nuudles-Pandas) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet. Once they are done, they may use Magic Nuudles to turn the coloring pages into three-dimensional works of art.
Variation: If you do not have Magic Nuudles, ask children to fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers.
To order Magic Nuudles
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-Pandas) (Open giant word flashcards-Pandas) Print. panda, bamboo, paw, forest, zoo, fur, claws, cave, leaves, mountain, black and white, teddy bear
Create sorting games. Set the pictures from the theme’s educa-decorate document in the center of the table. Ask children to pick a picture, name what they see, and associate it to a predetermined category (size, color, theme, shape, etc.).
Print and laminate the theme’s word flashcards. Have each child pick a word. They can take turns presenting their word to the group (ex. bamboo). Discuss each item and ask children questions to see what they know about the theme.
(Open educa-chatterbox-Pandas) Print and laminate the cards. To create your chatterbox, you will need an empty shoebox or a small bin that you can decorate as you see fit. Fill it with tiny objects, illustrations, pictures, and accessories related to your theme. To help you, we have created a series of cards that you may use. During circle time or, for example, when children are waiting for their lunch, have them take turns picking a card or object out of your chatterbox and naming the corresponding item.
(Open giant word flashcards-Pandas) or (Open word flashcards-Pandas) Print several word flashcards. Glue them on paper and laminate them. Arrange the pages in a binder. Show children how they can trace the words using dry-erase markers. If you wish, you can leave a space under each word. Older children will enjoy trying to write the words on their own.
ACTIVITIES FOR BABIES
Ask parents to bring their child’s favorite teddy bear to daycare. Collect a variety of stuffed bears. Babies will enjoy touching them, transporting them throughout the daycare, and giving them hugs. Let them sleep with their teddy bear at naptime.
Collect a variety of types of fabric with different textures (including pieces of synthetic fur) and encourage children to manipulate them.
I walk like a panda
Move around your daycare holding babies in your arms and imitating a panda (heavy steps).
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Modeling dough activity placemats-Pandas
(Open modeling dough activity placemats-Pandas) 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 panda faces) Print on adhesive paper and use the stickers to create pyramid games. Press them on black and white disposable paper drinking glasses. Stack the glasses to build a pyramid. Children can try to make the pyramid fall by tossing a frisbee towards it. Give each child three tries.
Punch holes around the contour of a black paper plate for each child. Invite children to add eyes, a nose, and a mouth to represent a panda face. Give each child a long piece of ribbon or string. Invite them to thread it through the holes.
Homemade memory game-Pandas
(Open panda faces) Use 12 black paper plates to create six pairs of panda faces. Arrange the plates upside down on the floor or table (so children can’t see the faces). Children take turns turning 2 plates. Every time a child finds identical faces, he keeps the plates. If the faces are different, the child turns them over again for the next child to try to find matching faces.
Encourage children to throw a stuffed panda back and forth. Divide your group into teams of 2 children. Invite them to count how many times they catch the panda without it touching the floor. You could also invite children to stand on a line and have them throw a panda as far as they can in front of them. Press a different color of adhesive tape on the floor to indicate where each child’s panda landed. If you wish, have children toss the panda as high as possible in the air for a different challenge.
(Open string activities-Pandas) Print for each child. Children trace the lines with waxed string pieces (Wikki Stix). Variation: Trace the lines with glue and press string on the glue-covered lines.
Wikki Stix are sold on the educatall online store: https://www.educatout.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=wikki+stix&x=0&y=0
Have fun walking like a daddy panda, a mommy panda, and a baby panda with your group.
Hide plastic pandas, stuffed pandas, or pictures of pandas throughout your yard. Tell children they are going panda hunting. They must collect all the pandas they find. Set a cage in one corner of your yard and have them place the pandas inside.
Baby panda, are you sleeping?
A child (or the early childhood educator) personifies a panda. The panda moves away from the group, closes his eyes, and pretends to sleep. The other children move towards the panda, whispering, “Baby panda, are you sleeping?” The baby panda continues to sleep. Children move closer and closer and repeat the question, speaking louder and louder as they get closer. The panda then wakes up, growls, and tries to capture his peers as they run away.
Beware of the panda
Select a child who will be the panda and chase the other children. When the panda touches one of his peers, the child who is touched becomes the panda. Variation: The child touched by the panda must stop in his tracks and remain perfectly still with his arms stretched out until he is saved by one of his friends (who runs under his arms).
Can you identify the animal?
Children pick an animal (use a picture game or figurines). They take turns hiding their animal in their hands or behind their back and naming its characteristics so that the other children can identify it. The first child who names the correct animal shall be the next to play.
Gummy bear sorting-Fine motor skills
Purchase several bags of gummy bears. Pour the bears into a bowl. Set disposable drinking glasses corresponding to the different candy colors on the table, next to the bowl. Children take turns taking a gummy bear out of the bowl using tweezers and setting it in the glass of the corresponding color. Encourage children to name the color of each bear. Challenge children to use spoons, chopsticks, toothpicks, or even mittens to remove the candy from the bowl.
Tiny multicolored pandas
(Open sorting sheet-Colors) Print and laminate the sheet. Provide gummy bears. Invite children to manipulate them using their thumb and index finger so as to associate each bear to the circle of the corresponding color. This exercise will help children develop their fine motor skills. Variation: You may use tiny plastic bears if you have them.
(Open game-Four pandas) Print, glue the cards on opaque cardboard, and cut them out. Arrange all the cards upside down on the floor or table (so you can’t see the illustrations). Children take turns rolling a die. Every time a child rolls a “1”, he can turn a card. If he doesn’t already have this panda in front of him, he keeps the card and places it in front of him for everyone to see. The first child who has collected all four pandas wins.
I can invent a panda
(Open I can invent a panda) Print, laminate, and cut each page into pieces along the dotted lines. Give children the pieces and let them use them to create unique pandas. They can mix and match them as they wish.
(Open counting cards-Pandas) Print and laminate. Prepare a series of wooden clothespins on which you can paint or draw numbers 1 to 9. Children count the items on each card and place the corresponding clothespin on the correct number.
Color by number-Pandas
(Open color by number-Pandas) Print for each child. Have children color the picture per the color code.
Snakes & ladders-Pandas
(Open snakes & ladders-Pandas) Print and laminate. Use a die and small toys as playing pieces. The object of the game is for every child in your group to reach the final square.
Homemade wooden puzzles
Print pictures of pandas and color them if necessary. Press several Popsicle sticks together and glue a picture on top of them. Cut around each stick and set them in a Ziploc bag. Repeat with the other pictures. Children will enjoy placing the sticks in the correct order to see a panda appear.
Life-sized bear patterns
Select a few large stuffed bears. You will need 5 to 10 bears, depending on the ages of the children in your group. Ahead of time, arrange a few bears in a row and photograph them. Repeat the exercise several times, changing the order and selection and photographing the bears each time. Show your group a picture and ask children to find the bears that are shown and arrange them in the same order as seen in the picture. The more bears you have, the greater the number of combinations you will be able to photograph and the bigger the challenge for your group!
(Open educ-pairs-Pandas) Print. Children must draw a line between identical items or color them using the same color. For durable, eco-friendly use, laminate and use dry-erase markers.
(Open educ-trace-Pandas) Print for each child. Children must trace each line using a crayon of the corresponding color and then color the object at the end of the line using the same color.
Educ-same and different-Pandas
(Open educa-same and different-Pandas) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the item that is different in each row.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Find a floppy stuffed bear and hide his eyes with his paws, sitting in front of a baby or toddler. Have fun removing the bear’s paws quickly as you say “peek-a-boo”. Older children can join in the fun and take turns hiding the bear’s eyes with its paws. They can also hide bears behind furniture. Little ones will love searching for them.
Assemble several giant Fun Foam puzzle pieces to create a path, much like a life-sized board game. (Open giant die-Pandas) Print and laminate the die faces. Glue each image on one side of a cardboard box that you have previously wrapped with bear-themed wrapping paper. Invite each child to pick a toy that they can set on the first puzzle piece, the start of the game. Children take turns rolling the die and moving their toy forward or backwards per the number of items shown on the die. For example, if a child rolls “+2 images”, he must move his toy forward 2 squares. If he rolls “-1 image”, he must go back one space. The first child who reaches the end of the game wins.
(Open mandalas-Pandas) Print for each child. Invite children to color their mandalas to provide them with a relaxing activity whenever needed.
Draw a giant panda outline and display it on a wall. Provide materials that children can use to decorate it. Encourage them to work together as a group.
My favorite panda
Invite children to look at books about pandas for inspiration. Have them draw the panda they prefer. When they are done, they can present their drawing to the group.
Musical panda hat
Set a hat on the table along with a variety of arts & crafts materials (yarn pieces, buttons, fabric scraps, felt, etc.). Children decorate the hat and when they are done, they can use it to play musical hat.
Sit in a circle with your group. To the sound of music, children pass a stuffed bear around the circle. When the music stops, the child who is holding the bear is eliminated. When the music starts again, the bear resumes traveling around the circle.
Fill clear plastic bottles (different sizes) with panda-related miniature erasers, confetti, pinecones, or other small items linked to the theme.
Add tiny objects to your traditional rice or pasta bin. Create a second sensory bin by filling a container with shredded black and white paper.
Forest-themed sensory bin
Fill a bin with dried leaves, tree branches, pine needles, and pinecones. Children can play with forest animal figurines.
ARTS & CRAFTS
My miniature panda
(Open my miniature panda) Print, color, and cut out the panda parts. Glue them on an empty toilet paper roll to represent a panda. You may also use a Styrofoam drinking glass or paper cup if you wish to make larger pandas.
My moving panda
(Open my moving panda) Print for each child. Have them cut out the parts and decorate them using markers and other materials. Use fasteners to assemble each child’s panda so the arms and legs can be moved.
My panda hat
(Open educa-decorate-Pandas) Print and cut out the items. Glue them around a paper headband.
(Open clock-Pandas) Print and cut out the various parts. Children glue the numbers around the contour of a paper plate, making sure “12” is at the top and “6” is at the bottom. Cut out the hands and use a fastener to insert them in the center of the plate which will become the panda’s tummy. Have children glue the head, arms, legs, and ears in place.
(Open glasses-Pandas) Print the model for each child. Invite them to cut out and color their glasses. Provide adhesive glitter they can press on the sides of their glasses. They will love wearing their special glasses when you are out and about in your neighborhood.
(Open models-Pandas) Print and let children decorate the pandas. Cut them out and hang them in your daycare or in your daycare entrance.
(Open puppets-Pandas) Print the models on heavy cardboard. Have children cut them out and decorate them with a variety of materials. Glue a Popsicle stick behind each model to create puppets.
(Open masks-Pandas) Print and set the models in the center of your arts & crafts table. Let children create their own mask using various materials and markers. Knot a piece of string on either side of each child’s mask so that you can tie them behind their head.
(Open coloring pages theme-Pandas) Print for each child.
Identical coloring pages-Pandas
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.
The educatall team