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Learn About Centers -- An Introductory Activity
Grade Level(s): Preschool
By: Paula Diekhoff, Preschool Teacher

Staff and children travel around the room, singing and repeating about each center's attributes. This is an activity to use during the first day of preschool.


  1. Staff and children make a train. The teacher is the engine.
  2. The train stops at each center as the teacher sings about the center purpose. The children echo the teacher lyrics.
  3. The teacher then gives a brief description as to what can take place in each center (activities, safety or social rules, etc.)

The center song is to the (partial) tune of Where Is Thumbkin?

1) This is the book corner... (teacher sings)
This is the book corner (kids repeat)
Its a quiet place... (teacher sings)
It's a quiet place (kids sing)

-- teacher will then stop and give a brief description of activities children can do in this area

2) This is the art center... (teacher sings)
This is the art center (kids sing)
Cut, glue and paint... (teacher)
Cut, glue and paint (kids echo)

-- teacher then gives short description of activities/equipment/ rules

3) This is the touch table... (or whatever you call your sensory table) (teacher)
This is the touch table (kids)
Feel different stuff... (teacher)
Feel different stuff (kids)

-- teacher gives center description

4) This is the dress-up center... (teacher)
This is the dress-up center (kids)
Here you can pretend... (teacher)
Here you can pretend (kids)

--teacher gives center description


I used this for the first time last year with a group of 17 preschoolers. It was a quick way to introduce the centers during circle time, before the children began free play. On the second day of school, we introduced the shelved games in the math, science, language and small motor areas. You can adapt this to the centers you promote. For example, show and sing about the block corner...


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