While you were sleeping, other creatures were stirring and busily preparing for their night of work and play. Your preschooler will enjoy learning about nocturnal animals with these fun activities. We've put together a unique list of activities for every type of learner in your family. Whether your little one likes to read quietly or never stops moving, there is something for everyone!
For the Reader
1. Night Animals by Gianna Marino
This sweet friendship story will introduce your little one to all of the adorable animals that like to play during nighttime. This giggle-inducing gem will delight both children and adults with adorable illustrations and a surprising twist at the end. This treasure should be at the top of any nocturnal animal book list.
Learn More: Amazon
2. How Wonderfully Odd by Rory Haltmaier
Nocturnal buddies Obie Owl and Bitsy Bat go on a daytime adventure and meet animals that are so very different. They learn that it is a wonderful thing to be unique and learn some valuable lessons about kindness and inclusion.
Learn More: Amazon
3. Fireflies by Mary R. Dunn
4. Frankie Works the Night Shift by Lisa Westberg Peters
This fun and imaginative story follow Frankie, the cat, as he works through the night catching mice. The storyline is simple and humorous and as a bonus, includes a counting game too! The bright illustrations and simple rhymes will keep your toddler asking for this bedtime story again and again.
Learn More: Amazon
5. Baby Badger's Wonderful Night by Karen Saunders
Papa Badger takes Baby Badger on a walk to explore the beauty that surrounds them at night. This helps Baby Badger understand that he does not need to be afraid of the dark. A delightful and gentle story to use to talk to your toddler about nocturnal animals.
Learn More: Amazon
For the Listener
6. Nocturnal Animals and Their Sounds
Introduce your preschooler to nocturnal animals and the sounds they make with this video. This one shows uncommon night animals like the wombat, fox, and hyena while giving some other interesting facts about each animal. It's a great way to help your young one understand the sounds they hear in the dark.
Learn more: Coach Kev and his Fitness Friends
7. What Animal is it?
Guess which nocturnal animal is making which sound. When your preschooler can identify these sounds, they might not seem too spooky. This is a fantastic precursor to any family camping trip! Lying in your sleeping bag at night, try to identify the fascinating sounds you hear.
Learn more: Mister Teach
Your little one will be moving and grooving to the bouncy beat of this nocturnal animal song. They will learn some fun facts about the owl, raccoon, and wolf with bright graphics and giggle-inducing lyrics, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Learn more: Pinkfong Baby Shark - Kids' Songs & Stories
For the Thinker
9. Nocturnal, Diurnal, and Crepuscular Sorting
Learn about the circadian rhythms of animals and other interesting facts with these fabulous animal classification cards from Montessori. Nocturnal animals are awake at night, Diurnal animals are awake during the day and Crepuscular animals are active at dawn and again at dusk. After learning about the animals, use the cards to sort the animals with the provided charts and instructions.
Learn More: Montessori For Everyone
10. Nocturnal Animals Lapbook
Get this free printable at homeschoolshare.com. The young learner can cut out the informational cards, color the pictures, sort them out and then glue them to construction paper to create their very own lap book about nocturnal animals. Get the step-by-step instructions here.
Learn More: Homeschool Share
11. Don't Feed the Raccoon!
Extend your lessons on nocturnal animals with this creative and engaging math activity for preschoolers learning to identify numbers. Use a pasta box to paint your raccoon or if you're not feeling crafty, just use this free raccoon printable. Then play this fast-paced counting game with your preschooler for a meaningful way to learn numbers.
Learn More: Stay At Home Educator
12. Creative Writing
Download this creative writing activity about nocturnal animals. It has three activities, including the informative text for older students, but adaptations can easily be done for young learners. There is even a page for students to invent, create and draw their own original nocturnal animal.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
13. Sensory Bin
For the Crafter
14. Paper Plate Bats
Create this adorable little bat for Halloween out of paper plates, paint, ribbons, and googly eyes. It's really useful as a candy holder for trick-or-treating or a fun get-together. Your little ones will have a fantastic time making this super easy, but adorable craft.
Learn More: I Heart Crafty Things
15. Craft and Snack
This nocturnal animal craft uses items you have around the home to make a sweet little owl. Tear up a paper sack into pieces to use as feathers, cupcake liners are the eyes, and orange paper is used for the beak and the feet. Take a break when your finished and have a healthy snack with this owl-inspired cheese snack.
Learn More: JDaniel4's Mom
16. Puppet Show
Make these delightful owl puppets with flapping wings. Then make up a fun and original story with your toddler with a nocturnal animals theme. Throw up a sheet to act as your stage and put on a puppet show for the family or the neighborhood with your owl puppet story!
Learn More: Craftulate
17. Upcycled Owls
Use bottle caps, wine corks, bubble wrap, and other found materials to create this unique owl craft. Each one will be one-of-a-kind for individual creative expression. So don't throw away those plastic beverage holders! Gather these items in a basket for crafting day and attach them to a piece of paper to make your owls.
Learn More: The Art Garden Blog
18. Handprint Foxes
Use your preschoolers' own handprint to make this adorable fox. Trace the outline of their hand on construction paper and cut it out to use as the body. Simple shapes and colorful paints finish it off. Keep this craft for years and when they are older, they will be amazed at how little their hands were in preschool.
Learn More: Easy Peasy and Fun
For the Mover
19. Five Little Bats
Learn this sweet song and follow along with the choreographed movement. It's a great activity for practicing numbers up to five with an engaging rhythmic song. Miss Susan's gentle energy and approachable smile will keep your preschooler absorbed.
20. Nighttime Musical
Identify the different sounds that nighttime animals create and then study their body language to choreograph original dance moves with your preschooler. Learning is so much fun when we get up and move! This creative play activity will surely please your kinesthetic learner.
Learn More: No Stress Homeschooling
21. Relay Race
This activity is great for large groups of kids, but can easily be modified for just two children. After identifying nocturnal (nighttime) and diurnal (daytime) animals, create a pile of toy animals at one end of the room. Children run from one end of the room to the other to grab the nocturnal animals one at a time until the team with the most nocturnal animals wins.
Learn More: Study
22. Animal Yoga
Follow these guidelines for unique yoga poses for kids using nocturnal animals for inspiration. A great tool for practicing mindfulness and breathing. Couple the stress-relieving yoga with reading books about nocturnal animals to alleviate any fears about what lurks in the dark.
Learn More: Kids Yoga Stories