Preschool for Toddlers: Zoo

I won’t lie, I wasn’t quite as proud of October’s production as I was with my ice cream one in September.

But still, not bad. (I know, could there be a more rave review?)

Ella loves animals more than just about anything, so I figured this would be one that really appealed to her.

We started out by singing “Going to the Zoo” (I taught them a simple action for each verse beforehand).

And then, of course, books. Oh, glorious books. So many good options for this topic. Here are six possibilities:

We read three books (Life-Size Zoo was an especially big hit – the girls loved looking through and naming the animals).

After that, we made “monkey snacks” with slices of bananas and mini-chocolate chips to press into the bananas (like bugs). This was very popular and then we put them in the freezer to get hard. (There are some other really cute ideas for zoo snacks like these animal crackers eating ants on a log)

While the bananas froze, I pulled out a muffin tin and put a little plastic animal (like these) I’d borrowed from my neighbor in each of the twelve cups. I would name an animal and the girls took turns picking the one I’d named. Then when they were all gone, I let them choose one of them, tell me the name again and put them back in a muffin cup.

I spread out all our alphabet flashcards (which have animals on the opposite side) and they took turns picking a letter. For the ones who knew the letters, I would say a letter and they would find it. For the ones who didn’t, I would let them pick any card and then tell them what the letter was. 

Then, time to eat their frozen bananas.

We read a couple more of the books and then I let them play for a little bit.

We finished with one of Ella’s favorite games, “Hide the __________.” They would stay in the living room and count to twenty together (you would die over how cute it is to hear three little toddlers counting to twenty), while I hid one of the plastic animals in Ella’s bedroom. Then, they would all come in and two of them would sit with me while the third girl looked for the animal. I think they would have done this activity all afternoon long.

I wish I’d started planning for this one just a little bit earlier because I think there are SO many great activities and options out there on this topic.

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  • Reply Karen November 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Sounds to me like you did a pretty great job with the zoo theme despite less long term planning. Thanks for sharing your ideas and experience. I'll bet the girls had a wonderful time.

  • Reply sarah s. November 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    This sounds so fun! I think you did a very good job 🙂

  • Reply Lindsay November 14, 2012 at 4:16 am

    I love that you have a preschool for toddlers! I definitely think that learning should begin early, especially reading.

  • Reply Jaclyn N Lil M November 15, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I love this idea 🙂 MY LO is 10 1/2 months old and enjoys the zoo!! This is a great way to learn his letters and also learn how to "match"
    Thank you for sharing

  • Reply Mia November 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    We loved Dear Zoo too! Love your zoo post!

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