Maybe you already have a small teepee in your preschool classroom. If not, please consider getting one. A teepee can enhance your classroom in many ways.
Use a Teepee in the Dramatic Play Area
Your classroom teepee comes in handy for any Native American and Thanksgiving themes that you use with your preschoolers. For the rest of the school year, the teepee is an eye-catching conversation starter between your preschoolers and any adults who come to pick them up or drop them off, thus enhancing your students’ language and speech skills. You will find that the teepee is a source of pride for your preschoolers and they will be anxious to show it off and talk about it.
Be sure to include plastic vegetables, toy garden tools and stuffed animals such as beaver, bears and dogs. A child size faux bearskin rug would be an awesome addition to your teepee in the dramatic play area.
Encourage preschoolers to pretend they are having a pow wow at the teepee. Provide them with toy drums and Native American headdresses so that they can perform Native American dances. Have your preschoolers sit in a circle inside the teepee, discussing issues that are important to them, maybe even trying to work out problems.
Use a Teepee as the Reading Center
The teepee is also a nice place for you or your teacher’s assistant to read to a small set of preschoolers. After the reading, spend some time asking your preschoolers about their thoughts regarding the story. How much did they retain?
Set a few books related to your weekly theme on the floor of the teepee. Allow a certain number of preschoolers at a time in the teepee to peruse the books.
Use a Teepee for Small Group Activities
A teepee is the perfect place for small group activities. It allows your preschoolers a feeling that they are doing something “special”. Even better than that, your entire class gets to feel special, as each small group will take a turn in the teepee.
The teepee is a good place for small groups to work on non-messy projects, such as lacing and sorting.
You will, no doubt, come up with many other ideas for your classroom teepee. If you keep it clean and in good condition, it will serve your preschool classroom well for many years.