Classroom Activity
Night and Day
Day or night, this activity is just right for helping children develop skill in a host of areas.

AGES 3–4


  • black and white drawing paper (same size)
  • colored chalk, crayons, or markers
  • clear tape
  • books about night time and day time

Objective: Children will develop fine-motor, language, and observational skills as they engage in activities to learn about day and night.

In Advance: Collect pictures or books that depict daytime and nighttime scenes, including: In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (HarperTrophy, 1995, $6.95); My Day: A Book in Two Languages by Rebecca Emberley (Little, Brown, 2000; $5.35); and Pooh's Busy Day by A.A. Milne (Dutton, 2000, $5.99).


  1. Read children books to encourage discussions and develop their understanding of day and night. Invite them to create drawings about daytime and nighttime.
  2. Prepare a sheet of chart paper with the heading Daytime. Ask children to share what they already know about daytime. Encourage them to describe how daytime looks compared to nighttime and the things they can do during the daytime. Record their responses on chart paper. Provide children with white drawing paper, crayons, or markers, and ask them to create a picture about daytime.
  3. On the following day, prepare a sheet of chart paper to develop a language experience chart about Nighttime. Ask children to share their thoughts about nighttime and to talk about the things they do at night. Ask open-ended questions such as, "Why does nighttime look different than daytime?" Or, "Where do the sun and moon go when we can't see them?"
  4. Provide children with black drawing paper and colored chalk. Invite them to make drawings about nighttime. Tape both the nighttime and daytime drawings together to make one large drawing. Invite each child to include a dictation about each drawing. Encourage children to share their daytime and nighttime drawings with their classmates. Find an area in the classroom or hallway to exhibit their work.

Curriculum Connection

Science: Sunlight Experiment. Invite children to find small objects in the classroom or outdoors. Cover a sunny windowsill with black construction paper. Ask children to place their objects on the black paper. Explain to children that they will leave the objects on the paper for one week. At the end of the week, invite the children to remove the objects. What happened to the paper?

Good Morning, Baby*
Good Night, Baby*
by Cheryl Willis Hudson
(Scholastic Inc.; $4.95 each)

I Hate to Go to Bed
by Katie Davis
(HarcourtBrace, 1999; $14)

The Little Quiet Book
by Katherine Ross
(Random House Books, 1989; $3.99)