Kids love pets and animals so much that many different books and learning activities circle around them. Many classes across the United States use animals and class pets as learning tools for motor skills, math concepts, letter recognition, and empathy lessons. Because everything is a learning opportunity, we have a list of 20 great pet-themed activities for you and your preschoolers!
1. Pets and Their Homes Matching Game
Kids love some healthy competition. On your calendar of activities should be this pet theme matching game! Allow kids to practice their deductive reasoning skills with this free printable.
Learn more: Tot Schooling
2. Ocean Animals Suncatchers
While ocean animals aren't strictly pets, you can have so much fun reading a book about animals in the ocean and then completing this activity. This excellent activity requires very little preparation! It would help with coffee filters, watercolor paints, glue, scissors, and colored construction paper.
Learn more: A Little Pinch of Perfect
3. Bird-themed Alphabet Practice
This bird-themed alphabet recognition practice requires a Tupperware container, salt, some colorful feathers, and bird letter cards. You can make these letter cards yourself or purchase them on Teachers Pay Teachers for a little over a dollar! If you are an oral language - teacher, you need to add this activity while planning lessons.
Learn more: Turner Tots (TPT)
4. Feed-the-Dog Letter Recognition Game
This feed-the-dog game is a fantastic letter recognition activity. These bone alphabet cards are such a cute way for kids to practice recognizing letters while pretending to feed their dog a bowl of food. While kids do this activity, allow your students to eat out of their bowl of goldfish crackers.
Learn more: Early Learning Ideas
5. Pet-themed Yoga
Yoga has been proven to show students how to relax by using breathing techniques. This pet-themed yoga pack is an excellent addition to your classroom and a week of pet-themed activities.
Learn more: Pink Oatmeal
6. Pets Brain Break Dice
Brain breaks are an excellent opportunity in class to recharge for the next learning segment. Slip these brain break cards into the giant dice and let kids have fun being an animal. This activity is perfect for preschool-aged children (3-5 years old).
Learn more: Life Over CS
7. DIY Pet Collars
Have students make their very own pet collars. This is an excellent activity for practicing focus skills. Then, please have your student put their pet collars on the classroom stuffed animals for fun.
Learn more: Turner Tots
8. Read a Fun Book about Pets
Adding themed literacy activities to class celebrations increases reading readiness for future grades. This excellent book is the perfect addition to this list of activity ideas! While many books about pets are a great addition to your pet-themed activities, you cannot go wrong with a Dr. Seuss book.
9. Pretend to be a Vet!
Add a dramatic play center to your classroom for your pet theme activities. Complete the set with various kinds of pets (stuffed animals), a center for pet care, and pictures associated with animal movement phrases.
Learn more: Mess for Less
10. Desk Pets
Desk pets are a fantastic tool for classroom management and learning to care for other things. With this activity, your children can earn animal home building supplies through positive behavior, serve as a classification activity, and be a learning tool for animal habitats. I would recommend purchasing plastic containers to use as the home for these pets.
Learn more: Chaylor and Mads
11. Paper Roll Puppies
For this fun activity, you can use either toilet paper rolls or paper towel tubes that have been cut into thirds.
Lern more: Artsy Craftsy Mom
12. Pet Puppets
Without adding this center activity to your to-do list, you cannot have a pet-themed day. The possibilities are endless with some paper bags, card stock, and glue.
Learn more: Crayons and Collars
13. Make a Bird Feeder!
Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten children love wildlife. They love it, even more, when the wildlife is close to them. Making bird feeders is a great way for children to interact with wildlife and see it up close.
Learn more: The Staten Island Family
14. Make Pet Rocks!
Whether your children choose to paint pet birds, mice, or fish, these pet animals (rocks) will be something they can keep and remember. With beautiful, bright paint colors, your kids will not only get to create a work of art but learn about animals and color mixing. This activity practices fine motor skills while allowing students to exercise their social skills.
Learn more: A Blossoming Life
15. Paper Plate Art Activity
You need some bright colored paint, googly eyes, and a paper plate to make some incredible animals. Pair this activity with reading some non-fiction pet books, and you have a wonderful learning experience.
Learn more: The Keeper of the Cheerios
16. Make a Paper Plate Rainbow Fish
One of my favorite books to read during circle time is The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. With this book, I like to make giant fishbowls on my bulletin boards and add these awesome paper plate rainbowfishes. That way kids can look at their beautiful art.
Learn more: Arty Crafty Kids
17. Make Animal Habitats
I love this activity because it comprises a series of sensory activities. Different habitats can include sand, pieces of turf, water, and ice maker. These different elements are an excellent opportunity to have children learn about different animals and their habitats and provide a sensory experience.
Learn more: Primary Homeschooler
18. Pet Fish Color Sorting Sensory Activity
Visual discrimination skills are a critical component of toddler development. This color identification game allows your child to practice the mentioned critical and focus skills.
Learn more: Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
19. Fun Graphing Activity
Among many different math center activities, this graphing activity allows your child to practice using their deductive reasoning and fine motor skills. Plus, who doesn't love a FREE printable?
Learn more: Education.com
20. Have a REAL Classroom pet
While pets take a lot of work, kids love to help with this particular thing. Allowing small children the opportunity to care for a living thing allows them to grow empathy for animals and human beings. Plus, there is a ton of science out regarding the positive effects of having animals in the classroom. So if you choose to add class pet items during planning lessons, make sure that you give each child a chance to care for the class pet.
Learn more: Pets in the Classroom