Family Lesson Plan Ideas for Preschool

Michele Meleen
Girl showing a draw of her family

Family has a broad definition and means something different to each child. Look for lesson plans that highlight your child's unique family and all the other types of families they'll encounter in life.

Family Lesson Plan Objectives

Preschool lesson plans incorporate common themes, such as family, to help kids learn about the world they live in. At this age, kids should start to understand:

  • How families that are recognized legally by the government are formed
  • Who is considered their family, why they are a family, and how they relate to each other
  • How to recognize and respect other families, especially those that look different from their own

Defining Family Lesson Plan

The definition of family and the meaning of family can be two different things. This lesson will focus on the definition that a family includes a group of people who are bonded through biology or law.

  • Legal family: People who choose to become a family can sign important papers that say they are now a family. Examples include adoption and marriage.
  • Biological family: People who share the same blood or genes are born from another family member. Examples include parents, siblings, and grandparents.

Create Playdough Families

Explore the basics of biological relation with play dough. Give your child four different colored lumps of play dough. Ask them to make one person from each color using a gingerbread man cookie cutter. Set these four people in a row in front of your child, but not in the way of their workspace. Now have the child mix two play dough colors and cut out a person. Ask which two original people share the same colors and explain that these would be the parents. Continue the activity to explore more family relationships and explain that this is one way people become a family.

Play the Family Guessing Game

Find photos of close family members, strangers cut out of magazines, or family friends. Randomly hang the photos around the room. Ask your child grab one picture at a time and guess if it is their family member or not. If it is a family member, they should bring the photo back to you. If it's not a family member, they should leave it where it hangs. Once they've been through all the photos, discuss the correct answers.

My Special Family Lesson Plan

Your child's unique family is special because they are a part of it. Help kids celebrate what makes their family great by exploring each family member and the group as a whole.

Create A Family Puzzle

Create A Family Puzzle

Use a printable puzzle overlay in a photo editing program to turn a family photo into a puzzle. Add the overlay to a family photo then print on cardstock. For a sturdier puzzle, glue the image to a piece of cardboard then cut out the pieces when dry. Have your child put the puzzle together and discuss how each family member is a piece of the final puzzle that is your family.

Make Your Family Tree

Create a family tree poster using a free family tree template for kids. Make a simple poster by having your child cut and glue pictures of specific family members in the correct spots on the tree. Laminate the page and hang it in a shared space. Point out each person on the finished product and share basic information or a fun story about them.

Different Families Lesson Plan

Once your child understands the basics of what makes people family, they can start to learn how families might look different.

Craft A Paper Family

Print out a few copies of a basic paper doll template. Ask your child to create a family that looks different from their own. They will need to choose how many family members to include, then you can help cut out that number of dolls. Kids can decorate each doll with crayons and craft supplies. When their new family is complete, stand all the figures up and have your child share information about each person and how they are related.

Host A Family Story Time

Invite other family members to join in on a family story time where you read books about different types of families and family relationships. As you read, ask your child to identify which people might belong together as a family in the book. Options for great picture books about dynamic families include:

Explore Bonds and Relationships

For preschoolers, family is a concrete idea that includes who they consider family. Teach your preschooler family is more of a concept that can look different to each person.

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Family Lesson Plan Ideas for Preschool