This week, we picked another “easy” theme – Animals! It once again correlates with an event we are going to. But with later themes like Bugs, Farm (later this summer) and so on, we will see a lot more Animals over the next few months! We had some familiar activities from our farm theme but we took a closer look at other animals too, especially animal teeth! Here is our baker’s dozen of animal tot trays and activities!
- Animal Print/Letter Matching
- Two Animal Puzzles
- Mom & Baby Farm Animal Matching
- More Animal Print/Letter Matching
- Animal Dough Tray
- Bird Sticker Matching
- Animal “Teeth” Coloring
- Paw Print Punching
- Animal Books
- Animal Print Stamping
- Simple Animal Sensory Bin
- Confetti Collage
- Animal Teeth Matching
- Printed animal prints tracks flash cards on cardstock (2 sheets), cut
- Included animal cards A-G here
- Also included foam apple letters A-G from alphabet puzzle (from Staples)
- Just a tray with two puzzles – Melissa & Doug Farm Animals Peg Puzzle and Melissa & Doug Safari Animals Peg Puzzle
- This is reused from our first Farm week
- Included only 4 animal sets to match this time
- This is another set of those animal cards above
- For the matching letters, this time we put letter stickers on colored cardstock circles
- Used three small containers with three colors of play dough
- Included six little animals to make footprints (Party City favors and characters from Michaels)
- Also included two stampers and pig dough pusher tool from the Lakeshore Learning Shape & Play Dough Designer Kit
- Printed simple circle Word document on cardstock and cut into sets of two
- Got out 12 sets of bird stickers, put one per set on cards
- Gave him 4 of the cards and 6 stickers
- Printed out four coloring pictures of animals with distinctive teeth
- Included some triangular crayons
- Included paw print punch that he had trouble with a few months ago – let’s see if he can do it now!
- Also included some animal-themed paper scraps for punching
- (Note: I put the punch in a container — he always wants a spot to put the punched out paper)
- Finally, an easy one – I just collected some animal-themed books and put them in a large clear container. Some favorites include:
- ZooBorns!: Zoo Babies from Around the World
- Barnyard Dance! (Boynton on Board)
- What Do You See? Magnifying Glass and Storybook Set
- Jellycat Cordy Elephant & Mouse Book
- Put three very old animal print stamps of mine on wood blocks
- Once we noticed that E wouldn’t be able to push hard enough on an ink pad, we included a brown marker to make stamps
- Then we included some cardstock squares and samples
- Used a big bus bin
- Included some characters and parts from the PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3 Large Zoo (that he hadn’t seen in a long time)
- Just put in some green, blue, and brown Easter grass. We needed a clean bin this week!
- Idea is based off this pin — thank you!
- Used Silhouette to cut rectangular ‘frame’ from black cardstock
- Made background with blue and green cardstock
- Stuck piece of clear contact paper on frame, trimmed edges
- Taped background to back of frame so it shows through sticky side of contact paper
- Included collection of animal and leaf confetti to make a collage
- (When done, I covered the top with another piece of clear contact paper, and trimmed the edges)
- Printed two copies of toothy animals – thank you!
- Used two different colors of cardstock & trimmed edges
- We used as a matching game but a memory game (as suggested in the pin) would be great too!
We enjoyed this set of animal tot trays! Tons of fun!
The dough was a LOT of fun. Making animal ‘tracks’ with the different animals was so entertaining (for M & D too!) We kept making “mountains” and seeing who could get to the top. `
One other one I wanted to talk about was the animal print stamping. This was a random, last minute activity idea. It was nice to make use of another thing that I randomly kept for a decade. As I already struggle to throw things away, I am for sure going to keep an eye out while we do our spring cleaning!
The big box of books was a nice addition too. We would treat it like a library, picking 3 or 4 at a time to read on the couch.
That said, I actually cut two planned activities – we can do those some other time. Also, I had a little too much on my plate, so I moved the planned Bus theme that was coming next to later in May, and decided to prolong (and focus) the animal theme a bit with Bugs. (That’s good too because there are SO many bug ideas and now we can do it again later this summer when the fireflies are out!)
Linked up over at the Everything Early Childhood Link Up!
Cool Books for Animal Tot Trays