NEW! (Open interactive planning-Dreams) Type your activities on the document and print it. Use the document to organize and present educational activities related to the theme.
Throughout the theme, crown a different child each day. Give him the title of "dream child". Determine a specific privilege for each child. For example, you may choose to wave a child's obligation to clean up when he is done playing or let him stay with you during naptime.
NEW! Thematic poster-Dreams
(Open thematic poster-Dreams) Print, laminate, and decorate the walls of your daycare with all kinds of posters.
(Open educa-decorate-Dreams) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the illustrations to decorate the walls of your daycare and set the mood for the theme.
(Open educa-theme-Dreams) Print and laminate the elements representing the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group while decorating your daycare.
(Open stickers-Dreams) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and cut them out. Use them to create a collection of original stickers for the children in your group.
Decorate your ceiling with items which can be seen in the sky such as a moon and stars. You may hang tiny Christmas lights and glue illustrations on the ceiling in your naptime area. Attach a paper clip to the end of fishing wire and hang sun, moon, and star illustrations from the ceiling. Stick glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. Write each child's name on a sun or moon and hang them from the ceiling over your circle time area to identify their spots.
NEW! The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate your daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Dreams) Print, laminate, and store in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.
NEW! Activity sheets are suggested for each theme. (Open activity sheets-Dreams) Print and follow instructions.
Print the writing practice sheet for each child or laminate and use with a dry-erase marker. (Open writing sheet-D like dream)
Construction and building blocks:
- Animal bin...some animals come out in the day, and others come out during the night. Now there's an interesting discussion.
- Blocks of all kinds to build your dream house! Children can make it as real or as silly as they want!
- Children may also build the monster that hides under their bed with construction games such as K'nex.
Arts & crafts:
- A pipe cleaner, string, beads, and feathers to make a dream catcher, like Amerindians.
- Blue or gray paper and white paint. Children can paint clouds, a moon, and stars.
- Scissors and white, gray, and yellow cardboard to cut out clouds, a moon, and stars.
- Magazines children can use to cut out things they have seen in their dreams. They may use them to make a collage.
- Stars, stars, and more shiny stars of all kinds!
- A star and moon mobile craft.
- A collage using sand. Children apply glue to a drawing and the sandman adds sand everywhere!
- Children create the monster that haunts their bad dreams! This craft can be 2 or 3-dimensional, depending on the ages of the children.
- Coloring pages with stars, night-time activities, imaginary objects, etc.
- Have children draw a dream they remember.
- Children draw in the dark, with only the light of a flashlight.
- Creative coloring activities.
- Pyjamas for dress-up play.
- Create an area which resembles a bedroom. Add a mattress, blankets, and stuffed animals.
- Silly clothes children can use to dress up like the characters that exist in their dreams.
- Puppet theater (Chinese shadows).
- Memory game with illustrations related to night-time or dreams with the educatall.com picture game or a store-bought version.
- Blue modeling dough...to which you have added glitter! Provide cookie cutters shaped like stars, circles, etc.
- Association game with figurines representing various emotions. Discuss the emotions children experience when they dream.
- Lite-Brite game.
- Books about night-time, dreams, imagination, etc.
- Decorate your reading corner with small lights, tulle or delicate fabric, etc. Create a dark (not too dark) hideout.
- Book and CD sets that children can enjoy with headphones.
- Sequential story children can recreate.
- Games with educatall.com word flashcards.
- Various activity sheets related to the theme.
- Explore the letter "D" like dreams.
- Create an obstacle course in the dark. Deposit objects children must search for throughout the obstacle course. The objects should represent night-time. Some possibilities are slippers, pyjamas, a dream catcher, stars, etc.
- Parachute game with cloud, moon, and star cutouts. Use the parachute to throw them into the "sky".
- Different sizes of balls that can represent the moon...throw them up in the air, roll them, or bounce them on a parachute.
- Activities involving flashlights in the dark. Glow sticks are also fun.
- A few yoga positions are great for relaxing before bedtime.
- A bin containing colorful marbles.
- A water table and dolls. Children can give the dolls a bath, like their parents do every night.
- Games involving shadows behind a white sheet.
- Observation with a telescope...real or a cardboard tube decorated by the children in our group.
NEW! Word flashcards
The flashcards may be used to spark a conversation with the group, in your reading and writing area, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Dreams) fear, dream, angel, shadow, monster, darkness, night, dream catcher, moon, nightlight, bed, to sleep
Picture clue story
(Open picture clue story - Dreams) Print. Sit in a circle with your group. Begin reading the story and pause for each picture clue. Point to the picture and encourage children to guess the missing word.
(Open educa-chatterbox-Dreams) 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.
NEW! My little book of dreams
(Open my book of dreams) Print for each child. Invite children to color the pictures and add details. At the bottom of each page, write their description of a sweet dream.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
NEW! Sweet dream magical spray
Give each child a small spray bottle that produces a fine mist. Let them decorate their bottle with pretty stickers. If they wish, they can even write their name on their bottle using Fun Foam adhesive letters. Older children could use glitter glue to write their name on their bottle. If you wish, add glitter to each child’s bottle to make them even more magical. Note that the glitter will however settle on the bottom. Before naptime, invite children to spray their “magical spray” over their naptime mattress to ensure sweet dreams. This simple exercise is excellent for strengthening tiny muscles in children’s hands and preparing them for writing.
NEW! Nightlight decorating
Purchase an inexpensive nightlight (dollar store) for each child in your group. Provide tiny stickers, for example shaped like moons and stars. Invite children to decorate their nightlight with the stickers. This is an excellent fine motor skills exercise. Children will be so proud to take their nightlight home and install it in their bedroom.
NEW! Modeling dough activity placemats-Dreams
(Open modeling dough activity placemats-Dreams) 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.
NEW! Playing cards-Dreams
(Open playing cards-Dreams) Print and laminate. Give each child the same number of cards. They can take turns hiding them throughout the daycare. Each child then tries to find as many cards as possible.
NEW! Dream path
(Open dream path) Print a dream path for each child. Encourage them to select a challenge (something they would like to work on) individually. Write each child’s challenge on his or her path. Together, create a list of small rewards. Also select a larger reward that children will receive once they reach the end of their path. Each time a child succeeds his or her challenge, they can press a sticker in one of the boxes. Every time a child presses a sticker in a box containing a picture, he can pick a small reward from your pre-established list of rewards.
My most beautiful dream
Hang a sheet in your daycare. Place a lamp behind the sheet and ask children to mime their most beautiful dream. The other children enjoy the show!
Night or day
(Open night or day) Print the illustrations and place them in a transparent pocket, back-to-back. Show children one of the illustrations. When you show them the sun, children must move about and dance. When you show them the moon, they must lay down on the floor. Alternate the two illustrations often in order to keep children moving.
Provide children with flashlights. Turn the lights off and close the curtains to make the daycare as dark as possible. Children walk around the daycare and have fun observing objects with their flashlights.
Counting sheep obstacle course
(Open game-Counting sheeps) Print, laminate, and glue the illustrations on the floor to create a path. Children must hop from one illustration to the next. Deposit a pillow and a blanket at the end of the path. The first child to reach the end of the path may lie down and relax while counting sheep, all the way up to five. When he is done, he may hop back along the path.
Before visiting Dreamland, encourage children to count sheep while enjoying a game of leapfrog. Have them stand in line, single file. The first child crouches down and the child behind him jumps over him, placing his hands on his friend's back. He then goes to the back of the line and so on...
Before naptime, have children sit with their legs crossed on their mattresses. Their mattresses shall become magic carpets. Create an imaginary journey, complete with obstacles and events of all kinds which will help the fly off to Dreamland. For example, you may guide them to relax by having them imagine they are catching butterflies. Have them close their eyes since the sun's rays are so strong. Tell them they are helping the Sandman deposit sand in his bucket. Smell the flowers along the way...
Tell children how the Sandman has magical powers. His bucket contains very special sand! When he sprinkles some on our face, our eyes close and we are off to visit Dreamland. Before naptime, play the role of the Sandman. Once all the children are lying down on their mattresses, walk around the daycare, pretending to sprinkle sand and helping children fall asleep.
Place a blanket on the grass or snow. Ask children to lie down on the blanket, on their backs. Encourage them to relax. Tell them to use this time to think about activities they would like to do with their families or their friends. Later in the day, discuss the activities they imagined.
Lie down on the ground. Children look at the sky and select a cloud on which they think they would have sweet dreams. One by one, children point to their cloud. Invite them to describe its color and its shape and to tell you why they chose that particular cloud.
ACTIVITIES INVOLVING PARENTS
I can't believe my eyes!
At the beginning of the theme, ask children to tell you about their dreams, present and future. Ask them what they would like to do, what they would like to eat, what a perfect dream day would be like... Select a few suggestions and use them to plan a dream day! They may have difficulties expressing everything they dream about. Use your observations and ask parents to help you. I am sure you will be able to arrange many activities which would make your group happy and correspond to their interests. For example, you may bake chocolate cookies, serve pizza for lunch, provide princess costumes or policeman uniforms, organize water games, set up a sand table, etc.
(Open perpetual calendar-Dream day) Parents may participate by allowing their child to bring their favorite toy or object to the daycare. Children will love presenting it to the group. Greet children in an original fashion. Serve their favorite foods for lunch. You may ask parents to prepare their child's favorite food. Do your best for each child to enjoy a dream day!
NEW! Countable dreams
(Open countable dreams) Print for each child. Children must cut out the pictograms representing dreams and glue the correct number of “dreams” in each bubble, per the indicated number.
NEW! Counting sheep to fall asleep
(Open counting sheep) Print for each child. Children must cut out and glue the correct number of sheep in each box. Laminate each child’s sheet and display them next to the area where they sleep. Encourage children to count sheep as a quiet naptime activity.
NEW! Big and small dreams
(Open big and small dreams) Print for each child. Children cut out the pictograms representing big and small dreams. They glue them on a piece of cardboard, from smallest to biggest. In the empty bubbles, children can draw their own dreams, from their simplest dream to their wildest dream.
NEW! Coloring hunt and seek-Dreams
(Open coloring hunt and seek-Dreams) Print and laminate. Children must find and color the items in the scene.
Hunt and seek-Dreams
(Open hunt and seek - Dreams) Print and laminate. Children pick an illustration and search for it in the larger picture.
Snakes and ladders-Dreams
(Open snakes and ladders-Dreams) Print and laminate. Use a dice and small figurines as pawns.
I am dreaming of a monster I can lace
(Open lacing-Monsters) Print, laminate, and cut out. Punch holes around the contour of each monster. Children lace them with yarn, string, or ribbon.
Sequential story-Day and night
(Open sequential story-Day and night) Print and laminate. Children place the illustrations in the correct order to recreate the story.
Am I dreaming?
Glue illustrations under a table, making sure children do not see you. Cover the table with a thick blanket. Invite children to enter the "house" with a flashlight to see what they will find. Ask them if they see the special surprise. If they do, tell them to crawl out of the house. If they do not see anything at first, give them a few more minutes to discover the surprise. Once all the children have had a turn, discuss what they saw as a group. Did they really see something or were they dreaming?
I am sleepwalking
Provide children with flashlights. Turn the lights off and shut the curtains to make the daycare as dark as possible. Children walk around the daycare and have fun observing various objects.
Did I really hear something or am I dreaming?
Have children lie down on the floor and close their eyes. Make a sound and ask children to guess what it was. You may tap on the wall, snap your fingers, break a tree branch, crumple a piece of paper, tap your foot, make a bear sound, etc.
In my dream, there was...
Have children sit in a circle. Begin the game by saying, "In my dream there was..." Complete the sentence with a word, a bear for example. Each child must repeat the things which were in their friends' dreams and add one of their own.
Deposit several objects in an opaque bag. For example, you may include a feather, a tiny toy horse, a pencil, a piece of fruit, a paintbrush, etc. Sit in a circle with your group. One child picks an object and begins telling you about the dream he had (which includes the object he picked). Determine a set period of time for each child to speak. The next child then picks another object and continues the dream, including his object, and so on. Use a timer to announce the end of each child's turn.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
NEW! My coloring dream chart
(Open my coloring dream chart) Print for each child. Use the chart daily to help children fulfill their dreams. Here, “dreams” will represent “challenges”. After each succeeded challenge (or fulfilled dream), invite children to color a box. At the end of the week, discuss the results. Did children fulfill their “dreams” and reach their goals? If you wish, this chart can also be used to keep track of how often children dream during naptime.
NEW! My dream registry
(Open dream registry) Print a registry for each child. When children wake up from their nap, encourage them to color a box per the legend to indicate whether they dreamed while they slept or not.
NEW! Nightmare traps
For each child, you will need an empty tissue box. Provide a variety of arts & crafts materials (pompoms, adhesive tape, pipe cleaners, scraps of paper and cardboard, wiggly eyes, etc.). Invite children to use their imagination to create unique nightmare traps. Tell them that the best nightmare traps are highly colorful. Show them how they can form balls with adhesive paper and insert them in their box so that once the nightmares enter their trap, they won’t be able to escape.
NEW! Sweet dreams visualization chart
Give each child a large piece of construction paper or cardboard. They can pick the color they prefer. Set magazines and catalogues on the table. Encourage children to cut out items and pictures that they consider pretty or dreamy (scenery, various scenes, locations, travel pictures, games, etc.). They can glue them on their visualization chart. Display each child’s chart next to his naptime spot. Children will love admiring their sweet dreams visualization chart before falling asleep.
NEW! Stable and predictable naptime ritual
(Open naptime routine) or (open mini naptime routine) Print the routine. Laminate it and add velcro behind the pieces. You could also use the routine with magnets or use the illustrations to create a flipogram by arranging them on a ring. You can personalize the routine for each child or your group. Using an illustrated routine at naptime is very reassuring for children.
NEW! Sleep train
(Open sleep train) Print, laminate, and cut out the items. Set the train next to the area where circle time or naptime unfolds. Add a train car under one element at a time to indicate what it is that children need to accomplish.
NEW! Dream sprayer
Here is a fun idea that will add a touch of magic to naptime. Create a sweet dreams spray. You can simply press adhesive fluorescent stars on a spray bottle. Add water and let children spray fine droplets all around their naptime mattress to create a relaxing effect.
Children sing lullabies, and you record them. Play your recordings for them at naptime.
ARTS & CRAFTS
NEW! Little anti-nightmare monster
(Open model anti-nightmare monster) Print the model on cardboard. Invite children to trace it on a folded piece of felt (color of their choice). Help them cut along the lines so that they obtain 2 perfectly identical monster shapes. When children aren’t looking, fill a small bottle containing an eye dropper with water. Decorate the bottle with adhesive stars and tell children that the bottle contains a special anti-nightmare liquid. Invite them to press a few drops of anti-nightmare liquid on several cotton balls that they can set on one of their monster shapes. They must then set their second monster shape on top of the first one. Seal the contour with hot glue so that both layers are stuck together (or sew them if you wish). Using a permanent marker or a fabric marker, have children draw a monster face on their anti-nightmare character. They can set it next to their naptime mattress (supervision required).
NEW! Paper dream catchers
(Open dream catcher feathers) Give each child a paper plate. Help them cut out the center of their plate. Once this is done, they turn the contour of their plate over and glue the ends of Popsicle sticks (different colors) on opposite sides, crisscrossing them in every direction. Provide small Fun foam flowers that children can press on one side of their plate contour. Next, have them cut 4 pieces of yarn or ribbon and glue one end of each one behind the bottom of their plate using hot glue. Have them thread necklace beads on each piece of ribbon or yarn before knotting the other end so that they can’t fall off. Print the feathers (black & white or color version). If you choose the black and white version, have children color the feathers. They must cut tiny slits around the feathers to create volume before attaching each feather to a ribbon or string. Hang the dream catchers in your naptime area using invisible thread.
A blanket for everyone
Have children paint on fabric squares. You may use fabric paint but acrylic paint adheres very well and will not wash off. It is an economical solution! Once the squares are dry, assemble them like a quilt or ask a mom who sews to do it for you. This blanket can be shared. Let a different child use it each day.
My guardian angel
Using construction paper, make a cone. Each child chooses a picture (parent, grandparent, or other) and uses it for the face. Cut out the picture in a circular shape and glue it to the point of the cone. Have children trace their hands and cut them out. Glue them onto the angel to represent the wings. Add feathers to decorate.
(Open craft - Angel) Print for each child. Have children color the pieces and glue them on an empty toilet paper roll which they previously decorated with lace and feathers.
Cut two circles the size of a plate out of cardboard for each child. In the centre of the two circles, cut out circles the size of a bowl. They will look like donuts at this point. Glue them together, inserting a piece of tulle between the two circles. Have children decorate the contour of the circles on both sides suing tissue paper, adhesive paper with designs, etc. Glue feathers on a fishing wire (or string) using hot glue. Insert small plastic beads and make knots to hold them in place. Make a hole in your circle to insert your decoration and tie a knot. Repeat as many times as you wish to add additional decorative pieces.
Night-time sky and daytime sky
Glue blue and black sheets of construction paper back-to-back. The black sheet will represent the night-time sky and the blue sheet will represent the daytime sky. Prepare white craft material (cotton balls, string, tissue paper, chalk, stars, moon, etc.) children can add to their night sky. Prepare objects children may use to represent the daytime sky (cotton balls, sun, string, kite, bird, etc.) When children are done, hang from the ceiling.
My very own dream
Provide children with a variety of arts & crafts materials. Children use the materials to make a collage of their very own dream. Glue each child's collage over his naptime spot.
(Open creative coloring - Dreams) Print for each child. Have children complete the picture by drawing a nightmare they once had. Then, have them transform their nightmare into a dream by modifying their original drawing.
NEW! (Open coloring pages theme-Dreams) Print for each child.
SONGS & RHYMES
by: Patricia Morrison
sung to: Row, row, row your boat
Dream, dream, dream all night
Dream a happy dream
No monsters, no monsters, no monsters, no monsters
Just the sweetest dream
The educatall team