If you’re looking for animal activities for preschoolers, you’ve come to the right place! Preschoolers are often fascinated by animals and love to learn about, imitate, and play animal-themed activities. Keep reading to discover fun animal-themed activities for preschoolers that are easy to adapt to the needs of your program.
Preschool Animal Activities
Animal of the day
Select an animal to focus on each day of the week (take suggestions from the children!). Each day, select a book on the “animal of the day.” Sing a song with words or sounds related to the day’s animal. Encourage children’s questions about the animal. What does it eat? Where does it live? How does it move? Encourage children to try imitating how the animal moves and sounds. Let children take the lead and follow their interests.
Provide a selection of animal toys from various habitats (aquatic, tropical, arctic, etc.) and lay them out for the children. Ask children which habitat they think an animal lives in and try to organize the toys by habitat. The activity can be as simple as “which animals live in the water and which live on land?” Children can also match baby animals with their mothers or group animals together based on different characteristics, such as whether or not they have fur or tails, or the number of legs they have.
Sorting activities promote essential early literacy and math skills and help children learn to interpret the abundance of information that surrounds them. Provide lots of opportunities for children to sort and experiment. Children will often start to sort without prompting.
Encourage children to build habitats for the animals with blocks, craft materials, and other toys. Don’t worry about keeping things accurate. Children can get creative and silly with their animal habitats!
Shapes and Movements Game
Imitate various animal walks. Add body twists and stretches. Include arm movements. Alternate walking, leaping, hopping, running, skipping—whatever movements all the children in the group are capable of doing.
Let children who wish to do so be the leader. Ask children to suggest animal movements to imitate.
Physical activities during the preschool years promote large-motor skill development and coordination. Fun, engaging activities that get children moving are more appropriate for preschoolers than organized sports. Encourage children to experiment with how they move and have fun!
Looking for more ways to engage children in physical activities? Check out our course Fun and Fitness: Addressing Childhood Obesity. Interested in learning more about the way children learn and specific activities to address children’s different learning styles? Check out our course Many Ways to Learn for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
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