Preschool Princess Unit
When my daughter was about a year into her boycott of pants she discovered a book at the library. It was a version of Rapunzel with stunning illustrations by Sarah Gibb. We read this book together every day for a month, renewed the book and read it every day for two more weeks. She returned it to the library regrudgingly and then checked it out one week later for a whole other month. Clearly, she was in love.
At this point I wasn't sure, was she in love with the story? The character of Rapunzel? The illustrations (easily swoon worthy)? or Something else entirely.
Not being a huge princess fan, I admit I waited a while before venturing down the road any further with her. At the end of the day, however, I am a big believer in following a child's interests and my daughter is more of a little of everything kid, rather than a fixate on one idea kid. Her last really big interest was in the Sound of Music and that project had taken us to some fun and unexpected places.
But Princesses? Where to go with princesses?
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Since her interest began with a book about Rapunzel, we started with a story study. I gathered all the versions of Rapunzel that I could find and we started reading. Her favorite was still the Sarah Gibb version.
Literacy|Math|Sensory: We built castles with blocks for Rapunzel and retold the Rapunzel story, since we were all so familiar with it by this point.
Math: We built and measured towers for Rapunzel. This was a fun activity that ended up inspiring a LOT more building. First with the Fairy Tale Blocks we used for this activity and then duplos, Magna-tiles, and more.
She enjoyed the books and Rapunzel activities, but that didn't seem to be what she was interested in. She still kept returning to that same version of Rapunzel (don't worry, I did eventually buy her a copy) and had started discovering other princesses through books at the library. So, we branched out.
Back at the library I started amassing a collection of books about Princesses. There were a lot to choose from, but I was focused on finding the ones that stood out. That jumped away from your average pretty girl in a dress being saved by a prince. I also started paying attention to what she noticed in the books. She's a quiet kid so knowing what makes her tick requires a lot of observation. I listened to her comments and questions while we read and watched what themes entered her play. She seemed to be interested in the castles and the outfits.
Art: We did some open ended paint with glitter (always a messy hit) and tried a few drawing prompts. The one pictured above was a favorite, especially the day she drew a princess riding a bicycle. All you need for this is a piece of white paper, a sharpie and some markers. I drew the crown on the paper and then left it as pictured for them to find. I often make copies of drawing prompts so they can do it again if they are interested.
Building|Technology|Literacy: We made a book about Castles. I used a blank book (You can find a pack here) and wrote a title on the front. We looked online and found some photos of castles. I also printed some pictures I had taken of castles they had made. They gave me descriptions of their castles to add to the book. We added a few more pictures to the book over the coming weeks of their creations.
Math: Estimating & Counting with Gems. I have a collection of glass "gems" that get used for various purposes. For this unit, we used them as a math manipulative for a few different activities. The first and most popular was estimating. I filled a glass jar with gems. They took turns guessing how many we inside. Then we poured with out and counted together. Later, I placed the gems and some different sized containers in a tray on their shelf for further exploration.
Creativity: Bathtime is a favorite in our house and I love coming up with fun things to do in the tub. My very first was this DIY Foam Counting Train. For this one I simply cut some rectangles and triangles in varying sizes from purple and white foam along with a couple "royalty" (which admittedly turned out a little abstract). These are presented at bathtime and the constructing that had taken place for weeks downstairs was transferred to the bathtub and a flat canvas.
Today, she is still interested in princesses although her favorite changes. This project eventually seemed to naturally merge with a more general building project that has taken over our play spaces for the past few months. She has, however, started adding pants into her wardrobe again and, with Winter approaching, for that I am grateful.
With every unit or project we do, I like to create some of my own ideas specific to our interests, but I also always turn to my other fabulous bloggers for ideas. Here are some other amazing and creative ideas for a princess unit from my blogging colleagues.
*The Worst Princess. Book & Activities : Here Come the Girls
Arts & Crafts
*Princess Crafts : Baby Centre
*Pipe Cleaner Dancing Princesses : Zing Zing Tree
*Princess Peg Dolls : Here Come the Girls
*Pipe Cleaner Tiaras : Zing Zing Tree
*The Paperbag Princess : Sun Hats and Wellie Boots
Science + Sensory
*Castle in the Clouds : Go Science Girls
*Frozen Play Dough : Here Come the Girls
*FREE Princess Printable & Sensory Play : Life Over Cs
*Frozen Sensory Play with Shaving Cream & Ice : Theres Just One Mommy
*Princess Popsicles : Mini Monets and Mommies
*Playdoh Princesses : Here Come the Girls
*Princess Yoga : Kids Yoga Stories
Various. See Specific Activities.
To see all of our Preschool Units, visit our THIS PAGE.
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