Adding Layers* to Your Preschool Theme: Using YouTube



Many of my preschoolers love music and really absorb the rhythms and messages of various songs.  However, other than a circle time song or flannel board activity, I am NOT a singer, nor am I musically inclined.  Using Youtube helps me provide some fun and educational music that children enjoy.

For each weekly preschool topic, I create a 15-20 minute YouTube playlist (link to playlists at end of post).  My playlist format usually consists of a letter of the week; a short educational video and song or two about our topic; along with a general song clip to reinforce the alphabet, counting, or shapes that we are working on.

Some clips will reappear throughout the year, such as the Months of the Year song or The Seasons song.  As the weeks go on, I also take one or two video clips from the previous week’s playlist and add it to the current week for transition purposes and to build upon what we previously learned.

Not all children enjoy videos or songs, so 15 minutes is about all they can handle before getting restless.  We do not have a TV at school, since children get plenty of screen time at home. Instead,  I use my laptop computer for this short period of time, positioned on a chair across from the lunch table.

Regulations don’t allow viewing while eating; so I turn it on during our lunch time preparations — as I am warming up items, cutting skins off apples, etc.  Lunch occurs right after our group circle time and before heading outside for parent pick-ups, so the children are ready to take a break from me and my voice.

My playlists are always evolving as new children with different interests and aptitudes enter my program, but they will give you a starting point to create your own.

I try to remove those clips that weren’t popular or well received, which is easy to distinguish, as children will be distracted or talk over the video.  To me, that is a fail.  If they are quiet and engaged or singing along quietly, then you know you have a winner.

You can view and use my playlists here or copy them for your own channel and mix and match up your own:

Darlene Gormly’s YouTube Created Playlists

*Adding layers to your theme is a process of expanding into each area of your classroom and providing activities and materials that enhance the depth of knowledge and understanding of the topic.