Themed Monthly Centers for Kindergarten

Themed monthly centers like this make learning math, science, and ELA concepts fun and exciting for your students all year long!

If you teach kindergarten or homeschool young children, you know there is a lot to cover! The primary grades are when children are learning the basics of math and literacy concepts that will lay the foundation for future success. While trying to touch on all of these important concepts, you might worry about how to keep your lessons engaging. If this sounds familiar, I’ve gotcha covered! Let’s talk about using themed monthly centers for kindergarten and how it’s a total game-changer!

The Benefits of Using Themed Monthly Centers

First things first, let’s chat about thematic teaching. In case you’re not familiar, thematic teaching is when you base all of your learning activities and lesson plans around one central topic. This theme might be seasonal, holiday-related, or focused on another fun topic like farm animals or dinosaurs.

Thematic teaching works wonderfully in classroom settings as well as for homeschooling families. Aside from being versatile, there are many other benefits to thematic teaching, and I know once you hear about them all, you’ll be ready to adopt this teaching style too!

1. Make Lessons More Engaging

The idea behind thematic teaching is that when you choose a topic that’s highly interesting to students, you won’t have to fight to keep their attention. We’ve all seen the glazed-over look of students who are checked out from the lesson. Using themed monthly centers helps to keep your lessons fun and engaging and keep students interested!

2. Save Time

Another huge benefit of thematic teaching is that you save time planning. When you have one theme in mind, it becomes infinitely easier to plan all of your activities, choose books, and even classroom decor to match! Plus, you can use the same themes year after year. Simply prep those themed monthly centers ONCE, and save them for next year!

3. Target Multiple Subjects

Another huge benefit to thematic teaching and using themed monthly centers is that you can teach in a cross-curricular format. All of the resources in my themed monthly center packs cover a variety of subjects including:

  • phonics & literacy
  • math
  • writing & fine motor skills
  • science
  • social studies
  • reading
  • crafts and more!

I love being able to use ONE resource for a whole month of activities that focuses on important skills my students need practice with. Plus, since everything falls under the same theme, you can count on having a cohesive curriculum plan for the month that feels organized and intentional.

Choosing Themed Centers & Activities Your Students Will Love

As I mentioned before, the most important thing to keep in mind is choosing a topic that’s interesting to your students. Luckily, in kindergarten, this isn’t too difficult.

My rule of thumb is to work in some holiday, or seasonal themes throughout the year because those are always a hit! Kids love the holidays, and using this fact to your advantage really pays off when it comes to lesson planning.

Aside from holidays, other fun themes to consider are real-world topics like science, animals, seasons, and social-emotional topics.

Children can relate to these themes since they are tangible and visible in their lives. Relatable topics are always interesting to kiddos, so make sure to include a few of these as well.

If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got you covered. I’m so excited to share my FULL YEAR of thematic teaching topics along with themed monthly centers and activities your students will LOVE!

Fall Themed Monthly Centers

First up, FALL! Autumn is arguably my favorite season. I love the fresh start of a new school year. I love the crisp fall air, pumpkin patches, Thanksgiving, and all.the.fall.things! And guess what? Your students do too! This makes planning your themed monthly centers for fall super simple.

Back to School Centers

For the first month of school, I like to focus on back to school themed activities that excite kiddos about a new year! We work on a variety of fun, themed monthly centers and activities that focus on math and literacy concepts that will lay the foundation for success all year long.

In our back to school themed monthly centers students work on things like:

  • feed the crayon beginning sounds
  • watercolor name craftivity
  • pencil shape matching game
  • feelings match
  • number composing puzzles
  • and so much more!

I love that we can focus on so many different math and literacy skills throughout the month with these center activities.

Apple & Pumpkin Themed Monthly Centers

Throughout September and October, we usually move on to learning all about apples and pumpkins! These are fun topics that pull in some science-based themes.

These themes are especially fun if you plan on visiting an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch with your students! Our centers and activities for this topic include activities that focus on:

  • apple life cycle
  • pumpkin life cycle
  • labeling apples and pumpkins
  • apple taste test by color
  • apple recipes to make as a class
  • non-fiction readers about apples and pumpkins and more!

The nice thing about this theme is that we can learn so much about apples and pumpkins, and also use an apple and pumpkin theme in our math and literacy center activities to focus on letters, numbers, and shapes!

Bats and Spiders for October

Remember how I said that choosing themes your kiddos will enjoy is key?

Well, if your kindergarten students are anything like the kiddos I’ve worked with in the past, I’m betting this monthly unit will be their favorite!

Learning about creepy bats and spiders towards the end of October is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween!

These themed monthly centers are filled with spooky activities that will teach children interesting facts about bats and spiders.

Aside from the activities, there are so many great books for this theme too! For an in-depth look at what I suggest, be sure to take a peek at this post! I discuss how to use books and lessons in the classroom for high engagement in October!

Fall Themed Monthly Centers

In November we round out the fall season with autumn-themed centers that are so much fun! I love November since it’s a time to focus on gratitude and celebrating Thanksgiving.

This is an attitude I love to cultivate in our classroom community. It’s always fun to discuss things we’re thankful for and see what stands out as most meaningful to the children in my group.

To go along with our Thanksgiving topic, our themed monthly centers for November also focus on other fall themes like seasonal changes in the leaves, harvest time, and even healthy foods too! Our centers and activities continue to promote these themes through fun lessons that focus on so many different math and literacy skills like:

  • vocabulary
  • tracing & writing
  • counting
  • letter matching
  • beginning sounds
  • shapes
  • colors and more!

Themed Monthly Centers for Winter

Winter is a magical season in the classroom. By this time of year, it’s likely that your students have adapted to your daily routine and perhaps developed independence too! I love when this happens since it allows for a bit more flexibility in the way we conduct our daily center activities.

Holiday Activities for December

December is such a fun month in the classroom and there are SO many themes you can use. Whether you’re a homeschooling family or a classroom teacher, I think you’d probably agree this is also a pretty busy time of year! For this reason, I like to give myself some flexibility in my planning. Some of my favorite themes from our holiday unit include:

  • gingerbread
  • real reindeer
  • holidays around the world

These topics are broad, so they can be used for so many different fun activities throughout the month. Which ones we end up using may vary from year to year depending on how much time we have, but it’s just nice to have options!

Winter Themed Monthly Centers

Our winter centers and activities resource is one of my favorites since we jump into this right after the holiday break.

While everyone is still getting back into the swing of things, it’s important to choose super engaging topics that will serve as an easy way to capture attention and review some of the math and literacy topics students may have “forgotten” over the break. In January, we focus on:

  • snowmen
  • penguins
  • polar bears

These topics are great since they’re relatable to real life. Children are always so fascinated by animals, and who doesn’t love to build a snowman?! In this unit, I have a long book list dedicated to some of my favorite books that go along well with these activities also!

Centers for February

We finish off the winter months in February with some fun-filled themed monthly centers that focus on Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, friendship, dental health, community helpers, and more!

These topics are a great way to ease our way out of winter and set our sights on spring! Plus, planning a Valentine’s Day celebration is always one of my favorite things year after year! Our February monthly center resource includes:

  • a variety of fun writing craftivities
  • thematic writing prompts
  • thematic directed drawings
  • themed math and literacy center games
  • non-fiction readers
  • playdough mats
  • crowns and more!

Since this unit is jam-packed with so many fun activities, we can use them for whole-group learning, center time, small groups, one-on-one instruction, and even homework.

Spring Themed Monthly Centers

Springtime is always my favorite time of year to focus on science-based topics! There are so many relatable things happening in the spring that are fun and easy to observe like plant life cycles, butterflies, bugs, and baby animals. I like to keep this in mind as I plan my activities for this season.

March Centers & Activities

In March, we cover a lot of ground. Our primary themes consist of rainbows, farming, and St. Patricks Day. We learn about different types of animals on the farm as well as all about rainbows and how they form in the sky. And we can’t forget about a bit of leprechaun magic as well, right?! Our activities for March include:

  • write the room activities
  • writing prompts
  • digraph sorting
  • rhyming center
  • search and find sight words
  • farm measurement and comparing
  • shape matching
  • count and graph activities and more!

We’re able to target so many different skills through fun themes that keep student engagement high all month long!

April Themed Monthly Centers

In April we shift our focus towards all things spring. We learn about Earth Day, spring seasonal changes, Easter, and oviparous animals.

April themed monthly centers are all about Earth day, spring seasonal changes, Easter, and adorable animals we associate with springtime.

These topics are always exciting for young learners and we’re able to continue building upon the skills we’ve been learning all year long.

Some of my favorite activities from this unit are the frog and chicken craftivities. Each craft focuses on the life cycle of each animal.

Students will build their animal crafts and write about what they’ve learned about the life cycle.

Every set of themed monthly centers we use throughout the year has at least one craft that helps students reflect on what they’ve learned. These make great bulletin board displays or keepsakes for memory books!

Themed Activities for May

We wrap up the year in May learning about weather, insects, and living and non-living things. These topics are a great way to finish out our studies for the year and review what we’ve learned.

May themed monthly activities like these include adorable insects and weather themes to get your students excited about learning beginning sounds, syllables, digraphs, CVC words, measuring, addition and subtraction, and more.

I use these themes to help review a variety of important skills:

  • beginning sounds
  • syllables
  • digraphs
  • CVC words
  • more or less
  • measuring
  • addition
  • subtraction and more!

In those final months, when students (and teachers/parents) are restless it really helps to have engaging themes like our May topics!

After all, I don’t know too many kindergarteners who wouldn’t like to learn more about bugs!

Themed Monthly Centers for Summer and Beyond

Once the school year has wrapped up, the learning doesn’t have to end! As a homeschooling family, I understand that many parents choose to adopt a year-round approach to teaching.

You don't have to stop learning in the summer months with these summer themed monthly center activities including ocean and beach themes your students will love.

If this is you, or if you’re a classroom teacher who works in the summer months, you can use themed monthly centers to simplify your planning then too!

During the summer, I like to review everything we’ve learned in a fun way with time-relevant themes like ocean animals, beach fun, and rodeo. Since many of your students will likely be visiting the beach, the rodeo, or the aquarium in the summer, they’ll be so excited to participate in these activities!

Plus all of the themed monthly center activities in these resources cover important math and literacy skills that students should be working on through the summer months! Cross-curricular teaching helps avoid that summer slide and makes sure students are ready when fall rolls around.

Themed Monthly Centers for the Whole Year

How would it feel to have an entire year of themed monthly centers, lessons, and activities planned and ready? For me, I knew this would be a total game-changer year after year. There’s nothing better as a teacher than knowing you have fun and engaging activities planned that will actually help your students learn (and retain) the information they need to master for the year!

For this reason, I created a year-long bundle of all my themed monthly centers and activities. The bundle is such a great value for anyone who’s looking to streamline their lesson planning and add meaningful activities to the curriculum, not fluff!

Grab these monthly themed center activities for the entire year with this ELA and Math Year-Long Bundle

Each month has engaging hands-on center activities to target kindergarten math and literacy skills, writing prompts, fine-motor activities, craftivities, book lists, non-fiction readers, special activities, and more!

This bundle will ensure you never have to worry about what to put on your lesson plan or spend hours trying to find perfect themed activities to align with your plan. Push the easy button and check out the full-year bundle of activities here!

Save This Post

This post is filled to the brim with engaging ideas for your own themed monthly centers! Pin it on Pinterest so you don’t lose track of all these great ideas to try in your classroom.

Use themed monthly centers all year long for engaging lessons and activities focusing on a variety of skills from ELA to math and beyond. Using themed monthly centers like this means low prep, fun, and easy activities to fill each month of the year. #thehomeschoolstyle $homeschoolactivities #monthlycenteractivities #monthlycenters #themedcenteractivities #backtoschoolactivities