Zoo Activities & Ideas for Kids

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You have come to the right place if you are looking for fun, engaging and exciting Zoo themed activities to do with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Our activities are used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers and more!

All our activities are available at no cost and are free to print and share. Select below to get started.

Zoo Arts and Crafts

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Penguin Finger puppets
Use film canisters and cut the lid in half. Hot glue them to the sides for wings. Finish up by adding a white foam belly and an orange beak and two googly eyes.

Thumb print Monkeys
Give each child a piece of construction paper with the outline of a tree drawn on it. Set out ink pads and felt tip markers. Let the children make thumb print monkeys all over their tree pictures. To create each monkey, have them press a thumb on an ink pad and make two thumb prints, one above the other, on their papers. Then let them complete their monkeys by adding faces, arms, legs, and tails with the markers.

Animal Painting
Cut out different animal shapes for easel art or sponge painting.

 

Zoo Games and Activities

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Penguin Facts
Penguins:
…do not fly, they hop, walk, or toboggan
…are expert divers and swimmers
…have a thick layer of fat called blubber under skin
…do not build nests. The female lays egg, males hold egg on the top of their feet, hunches down so skin covers and warms the egg.
…raise their chicks in colonies called rookeries
…there may be thousands of penguins in one rookery

Blubber Experiment
Take two small plastic bags-turn one of them inside out and place it inside the other bag. Spoon crisco shortening in between the two bags and seal them together. This makes a blubber mitten and the kids can insert their hands into the mitten and put their hand into icy water and see the difference that the blubber makes in keeping warm.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear
Read Brown Bear Brown Bear. Make the different animals in flannel graph, and then the kids can do the story themselves after they have seen you do it.

Room Zoo
Have the children bring in their favorite stuffed zoo animal and set up a zoo in the class room.

The Zoo
A zoo is a place where people can see wild animals safely. At a zoo, animals are kept in houses, cages, or fenced areas that are similar to their natural homes.
Animals usually found in a zoo include elephants, lions, tigers, giraffes, monkeys, zebras, bears, hippopotamuses, snakes, and many kinds of birds.
Zoo keepers keep the animals healthy and take care of roads, walks, and flowers.
Some kinds of wild animals are in danger of dying out. People are trying to save them.

Cookie Cutter Matching
Collect a variety of animal cookie cutters. Trace each onto a piece of square tag board and Laminate. Set the tag boards and cookie cutters out to match.

Counting Cages
Collect 10 plastic strawberry baskets for cages. Cut index cards in half, and write a number from 1-10 on each half. Put the corresponding number of dots for young children. Turn the baskets over and attach the cards to the top of each basket on the bottom. Set the cages out along with 55 small plastic zoo animals. Direct children to count out the right number of animals for each cage.

Animal Block Area
At many toy stores you can buy those small plastic animals for cheap to put in your block area.

Animal Guess Game
Cut pictures of animals (2 of each animal) out of magazines or coloring books. Pin one picture on each child’s back. All the children should move around the room behaving like the picture of the animal on their back. The object is for the children to locate their matching animal.

Sort Animal Crackers
Animal crackers can provide excellent sorting and matching experiences for children. And the best part is once you have finished the task, everyone gets to eat the assignment.

Animal Hospital
The children can brainstorm ways to make the area look like an animal hospital. Let them make a sign and decorate the area themselves. Items to have:
cotton swabs
empty milk bone boxes
cloth bandages
band aids
rubber gloves
long white lab coats
stethoscope
scale
clipboards
paper
pencils
baskets with pillows and blankets for overnight guests
dog food dish
water dish
stuffed animals from home
telephone
thermometer
plastic (toy) shots

 

Zoo Recipes and Snacks

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Animal Soup
Make chicken noddle soup with and add some animal crackers in it and you have your very own animal zoo soup.

Banana Pretzel Caterpillar
Take a banana and add pieces of pretzel into it to make it look like a caterpillar.

Zoo Songs, Poems and Finger Plays


I’m A Little Penguin
(Tune: I’m a Little Teapot)
I’m a little penguin
On the ice.
I think cold is very nice.
I can hop around first once, then twice,
I think ice is very nice.

100 Animals
I went to the zoo
And what did I see?
100 animals
Looking at me.
There were,
10 tall giraffes, eating from the trees.
10 silly monkeys, scratching on their knees.
10 sleeping snakes, lying in the sun.
10 munching elephants, eating peanuts one by one.
10 leaping tigers, performing in the shows,
10 pink flamingos, standing on their toes.
10 grouchy bears, trying to get some sleep.
10 happy hippos, in the water deep.
10 roaring lions, walking two by two.
10 galloping zebras, all living in the zoo.

Swing, Swing
Have the children stand in a circle and hold hands. While you recite the following poem, have them swing their arms up and down.
Little monkeys swinging in the tree,
All hold hands and swing with me.
Swing up high and swing down low,
Swing in the tree, now don’t let go!
Swing, swing, like I do.
Swing like monkeys in the zoo.

Penguin Thoughts
Have you ever seen penguins in picture books?
I always smile when I see their looks.
They look like men in their fancy suits,
all black and white from head to boots.
I often wonder when it snows,
Do they freeze their little penguin toes?
Do they shiver and shake in their land of ice?
Sitting on icebergs CAN’T BE NICE!

Three Little Penguins
Three little penguins dressed in white and black.
Waddle, waddle forward and waddle right back!

Three little penguins, in a funny pose,
They are wearing their evening clothes.

Their suits are black and their vests are white,
They waddle to the left and they waddle to the right.

They stand on the ice and they look very neat,
As they waddle along on their little flat feet.

 

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Dear Reader:  You can help us make this theme even better!

All of our theme ideas have come from our imagination and from reader submissions.  Please use this form to contact us if you have crafts, activities, games, recipes, songs or poems that you would like us to add to this theme.

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