Sometimes, it’s obvious that the experts do what the experts do best. When running a daycare or preschool classroom, it’s good to give your kiddos small doses of a wide range of knowledge topics. While early childhood educators may be well-versed in teaching things like phonics or counting (though they do a lot more than that!), sometimes, getting a special guest speaker can really put the kids in awe.
Having spent decades running daycares and preschools in the Vancouver area, we’ve had our fair share of invitations sent out to experts who help us teach our kids valuable lessons. So, in this article, we’ll give you our top 5 preschool guest instructor ideas, for any early childhood classroom.
Preschool guest instructor idea #1: a dancing teacher
Dancing is not just for good exercise and coordination. It teaches children good behaviour towards one another, and courtesy too.
We’ve written about this topic more in the following article:
Having a dance teacher come in to your preschool classroom is a great thing to put in your regular schedule, too. Make sure the dance teacher is capable of teaching for the early childhood age group. It’s also good, but not totally necessary, if the dance teacher can teach various types of dance. Ballet, jazz, square dancing, swing… it can give the kids a taste of what full-on dance lessons can be like. It may even break down stereotypes about dance. Surely, it will let those little ears hear different types of music, too, which is a great cultural lesson.
Preschool guest instructor idea #2: a kids yoga teacher
We’ve also written about this subject in more depth at the following article:
Surely, the biggest reason to do yoga is to learn to calm our bodies and minds – and don’t we know, kids could use that medicine!
Special yoga teachers, or yogis, who are experienced working with kids is a good idea (there may be local certifications available for this in your community). Like learning to become a preschool teacher, classroom management and control is a skill to be mastered. It’s not because a swarm of 4-year-olds will start an anarchist movement against their teacher (our worst fear ever!). It’s more that kids can get distracted, bring up irrelevant topics, poke each other, bicker, or be inappropriate in one way or another.
So, when you combine ‘typical kid drama’ with mindfulness and meditation training – well, let’s just say that a calm yogi who understands kids is better than just any calm yogi – ha! Plus, they should be able to get a feel for when ‘enough is enough’ with their little fan base.
That said, you’d be surprised how well kids can pick up on yoga moves, and sitting still.
Preschool guest instructor idea #3: a music teacher
Music is surprisingly good for the young brain, did you know that? We wrote about this topic in more detail at the following article:
Not all early childhood educators are trained in music instruction, let alone know how to play an instrument. So this one is really important to get a professional for. Proper music teachers can explain music theory, pitch, and notes to preschoolers in an age-appropriate way. It can prepare them for more advanced musical instruction later.
Oh, and they can make music fun too! Kind of like, the nanny in the Sound of Music, right?
Preschool guest instructor idea #4: an animal veterinarian
What preschool classroom wouldn’t love to cuddle with animals! A local veterinarian in your community may just be willing to bring some furry creatures over for the class to learn about. They may also have some reptiles in their ‘back pocket’ too, if you know what we mean!
While this may not be a regular instructor to invite to the class, like a yoga or dance teacher would be, vets can be part of lesson on animals or biology for the classroom. If your class takes care of a pet together, like a rabbit or hamster, the vet can also be the one to teach them how to care for their little pal.
Preschool guest instructor idea #5: an amputee speaker
Every year, our daycares put on a “Little Fox Run,” in honour of famous Canadian, Terry Fox. He was an amputee who aimed to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.
We wrote about our lesson ideas for hosting a Little Fox Run at the following article:
One of the things we do around that time of year, is to invite a speaker from The War Amps. Despite the name, they also support child amputees, and non-veteran amputees.
One way to break down stigmas around amputees is to show kids, at an early age, how ‘normal’ they are. It’s good to let the kids ask questions about artificial limbs, and to see one and touch one too.
Kids can also learn from amputees that, if you are determined, nothing can stop you! Amputees can still do a lot to follow their dreams and contribute to society. They can teach us a lot about overcoming adversity, too.
Preschool guest speakers create special learning environments
Guest instructors in preschool classrooms are not just for expertise. They can also show kids that these professions exist in real life, and that there are many kinds of people in the world. They will get a taste of life outside their little ‘bubbles’ of home, family and preschool, day-in, and day-out.
Plus, a new adult paying attention to them can always warm their hearts!
See related on our blog:
- 11 Preschool field trip ideas and lesson topics to go with them
- 4 Top benefits of outdoor education in early childhood
- What is experiential education in early childhood, and why is it important?