Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lions, Tigers, Bears, OH MY!

We spent the last two weeks on this theme and I am so glad we did! Olivia loves animals and there are so many great things that can be taught with animals. Plus, spring has arrived! What better time to learn about the zoo then during the springtime?

We started with a fun sensory bin! I just added popcorn kernels ($0.98 a bag at Wal-Mart, and I did four bags...three would have been plenty though!) and some fun toy animals I bought from Amazon!

Then I downloaded this great Alphabet Zoo ABC Chart from Live, Love, Laugh Classroom's TpT Shop! It is free, and you will want to print two of these for the ideas planned this week! 

Olivia dug for all of the animals, and even buried some of them again! Then she matched them (the best she could) with the chart! 

Next we decided to have a yummy zoo themed snack! (and by "we" I mean...I decided...and she looked at me like I was crazy!) :) In the end, she loved it though. Celery, cream cheese, raisins, and animal crackers. Note: she hated the celery. lol.

 One of my favorite activities we did was "Build a Zoo!" If you already bought the animals from the above activity, you do not have to get anything except some blocks and the animals. I am sure every parent has blocks of some sort. I will leave the link to the blocks we have, but ANY blocks will do. We just had these around from Christmas one year with Rex! Our Wooden Blocks are Melissa and Doug and I do swear by them, they are amazing! But again, Legos, or any other blocks are just fine! :)

Olivia loved building the zoo. I thought it was adorable and interesting that she wanted to put the animals on top of the "cages." Every time I would move one IN the "cages" she would say "awww."

I left these blocks out like this for about three days and the kids loved playing with them every night!

Z is for Zoo right? We had to put a paint and motor skill practice in there some where. So we did Z is for Zoo Dot Art. 

The paint dabbers are of course, from Amazon! We have had them a long time though, so even though they are more than a few bucks, they last forever! 

I am so pleasantly surprised at how well Olivia is doing with her motor skills on these activities! You better believe we will keep at it, she is doing great and loves them!

In addition to our Z is for Zoo activity, I wanted to do some matching and letter sound practice. It was time for another sensory bin!

I took another one of those charts from our first activity (you can use the same one but Olivia had messed our first one up) and cut apart the letters. Throw some Easter grass in the bin, and those letters...done! She found the letters, lined a few of them up, and we talked about letter sounds!

It took her a few minutes to warm up to the texture of the grass, but then she loved it!

Next we did a simple animal cracker counting activity that I completely took from Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten Blog! I made my own Animal Cracker Counting Mat but the idea was all hers!

And of course, we had to throw in this awesome Melissa and Doug Zoo Puzzle! 

When we do things like this, I just let her have quiet time and I do not ask questions. I love to see what she does with the animals and I love seeing her sense of humor. She thinks it is so funny to put them in the wrong spot, she laughs, then switches them to the right spot! 

On a pretty day, we decided to take our zoo activities outside and enjoy some water play. I bought some larger animals on Amazon! Olivia loves water play, so this was simple. Add some water, tear-free shampoo, and animals! Oh and a sponge or scrub brush! We just used an old bottle brush!

Giving the zoo animals a bath was by far Olivia's favorite thing all week! She LOVED it! I even did a brief Facebook Live Video on it! Feel free to go check it out! :)

We played with this for around 30 minutes, yes she was soaking wet, but that is okay!

Finally, we finished up our zoo activities with a nice, quiet, coloring sheet! :)

I have included this in my Zoo Dot Art file from above! :) If you want it, feel free to download the file and print! 

I hope you have enjoyed our week (1.5 weeks) of zoo activities! I have also created a "The Teacher Mommy" Facebook Page! Please feel free to check it out! :)

Until next week,

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