Activities for Animal Themes
activities that include a recipe for Monkey Bread and ideas for preschool
and kindergarten games. A zoo literacy lesson plan, dramatic play fun,
science activities, graphing, counting, art, and craft projects are all
here. There are lots of preschool activities for a Zoo theme!
Animal Activity Theme
Play: "Zoo Keeper"
Materials: Nets, boots, gloves, pail, plastic shovel or scoop, hay, pictures of animals and zoo keepers also stuffed animals.
Description: Set out the materials. Children can pretend to be a zoo keepers working at the zoo and feeding the animals.
and Art: "The Zoo Book"
Materials: Books of different animals that are found in the zoo. they can be factual books or they can be regular picture books, the other material needed is crayons.
Description: Teachers ask children to write
their own stories of what the animals they will see at the zoo (young children
can just draw animals) and then have them illustrate it. After they
have done that have them share their books with the class, if they would
like. The students will benefit from hearing the other stories as
well as writing their own.
Circus and Clown Activities are in the Rainbow Resource Room.
Materials: Gold and orange yarn, and brown rice.
Description: Teachers pre cut a duck for all of your children. Then give each child a handful of gold and orange yarn cut into small pieces. The gold yarn is used for the beak of the duck. Then you use the orange yarn for the feet. The children then spread glue over the rest of the ducks body, pouring rice over the glue. Pour enough to make a thick coat. Dump the excess rice and BAM you have a feathered friend.
Comments: I did the activity with my 3 and 4 year olds and they loved using the rice to make a animal. A lot of them only thought of rice as a delicious meal item.
The Farm Theme and Bird Activities are in the Rainbow Resource Room
Materials: 2 clothes pins, "Z" shape cut out of yellow construction paper, brown ripped up pieces of construction paper and a marker to draw eyes and mouth.
Description: Young children can cut their own "Z" from yellow construction paper or it can be precut by adult. Brown construction paper pieces are ripped by children and glued onto the "Z". Next, eyes and mouth are drawn with the marker. Finally, clothes pins are clipped on bottom of the "Z" to make the legs of the giraffe.
Comments: The children love making this craft. It is very adaptable to different age groups.
Animal Face Sandwiches
Materials: Bread, peanut butter, raisins,
pickles, carrots, plastic
Description: Let children make animal face sandwiches for sanctum. Give them each a slice of whole wheat toast and have them spread on peanut butter. Let them place raisins in the centers of their toast slices to make eyes and noses. Then give them thin slivers of pickles to add for whiskers and grated carrots to sprinkle on for fur.
Materials: Paper plates, orange, yellow, brown and red yarn, yellow cotton balls, markers, crayons, glue and construction paper.
Description: Use the paper plate as the lions head. Glue yellow cotton balls or colored yarn all around the paper plate for the lion's mane. Have the children draw and color the face of the lion. Cut out ears from construction paper and glue them to the top of the paper plate. If desired, cut out the eyes of the lion, to make a mask!
"One Elephant Went Out One Day"
Description: All children sit in a circle on the floor. One child gets up and imitates an elephant with one arm dangling like a trunk, and the other arm dangling behind like a tail. The child then skips around the circle while everyone sings:
One elephant went out one day,
The child then picks
a friend to come and join him/her.
Two elephants went out one day,
This continues with each new elephant picking a friend until everyone is up. Then everyone sings for example:
Five elephants went out one day,
Comments: I have used this song with the kids at my "nanny music" club which I run for nannies and their charges, and I also used it in the nursery I managed in Edinburgh, Scotland.
"Guess The Animals"
Materials: A bag of animal cookies.
Description: Teachers provide a bag of animal
cookies and invite the children to take turns pulling a cookie out of the
bag. Younger children can act out the noise the animal makes or movements
that animal does. The other children get to guess what animal they have.
Older children that understand charades can act out the animal any way
they need to. Children 8 and up can make it as a game of pictionary,
using a board or paper.
Enhance your curriculum with picture books
about animals take a look at
Play: "Animal Cracker Charades"
Materials: 1 Box of Animal Crackers and a tape recorder.
Description: Teachers choose one child to
pick out an animal cracker, so no one can see which one is picked.
The child turns away from the others and eats the cracker. Now, the child
"becomes" that animal and pretends to be it through motions.The other children
must guess what animal it is. The one who guesses correctly is the
next cracker eater.
Materials: Pictures of animals (National Wildlife is good)
Description: Ask the children to move around like different animals. Can be played like charades, worked into zoo units or have a parade. You can add sound, to calm children down in the end. Pick slithery animals like snakes or stalking cats or silently swooping owls.
Enhance your curriculum with action rhymes, fingerplays and songs take a look at Nursery Rhymes about Animals
"The Itsy Bitsy Monkey Song"
Sing this song to the tune of The Itsy Bitsy Spider:
The itsy bitsy monkey climbed up the coconut tree.Teachers can replace "itsy bitsy" with "great big".
Materials: Frozen roll dough around 15, melted butter, cinnamon and sugar
Description: We were studying about animals
and I had this recipe for Monkey Bread. I am not sure why they call
it Monkey bread but they do. You take the slightly frozen dough and cut
it in fourths. Then have the children put it in the melted butter and
roll it in the sugar and cinnamon. Next, put it in the slightly buttered
loaf pan. Cover loosely with saran wrap and let rise over
The next morning put it in the oven on 350 and bake for about 30 minutes. The children were so excited that they had made Monkey bread. They had a wonderful time licking their fingers.
For lots of recipes and cooking experiences
take a look at the
"Freddie the Frog"
Materials: A bean bag box and bean bag.
On the word "SPLASH", the child throws the bean bag into the box in the center of the circle. Keep repeating until everyone has a turn with the bean bag.Freddie the Frog went to jump on a log
Comments: This is a fun small group activity!
Art: "Terrific Toads"
Materials: Book: Frog and Toad are Friends, brown construction paper with the out line of a toad, bird seed and glue.
Description: Teachers read the book and then
provide the toad outlines. Let the kids put big splotches of glue on the
paper. For best results use straight glue, not mixed with water. Sprinkle
Follow up by making "toad houses". Cut an
oatmeal container in half, cut out a door, hide outside in summer and wait
to see if you get a toad. It really works! Remember to let the toad go
after you look at it.
Or you can stop by for