Raise your hand if you do a pet theme during the year! 🙋 Need pet lesson plan ideas?
Using the theme of pets in your preschool lesson plans is so relatable to kids. Many families have pets at home or children know of someone in their family or neighborhood with a pet. So many pets now-a-days are part of the family, so children already have prior knowledge on the subject.
Many fun activities can be done during a Pet theme. Centers are especially engaging – I love to create a Vet Clinic in dramatic play center, add aquarium rocks and toy fish in the sensory tub and add both fiction and non-fiction books to the library.
Small Group & Large Group Pet Lesson Plan Ideas:
After my centers are on theme, then I like to make sure I have inviting and engaging activities for small group and whole group. Here are 5 activities that my students loved during our pet theme and that you may want to try:
- Hiding Game (whole group)- can work on letter, number, shape or color recognition. All you need is a picture of a pet (I used a bird) and number/letter/shape/color cards. Hang 3-4 cards on the board (only tape the top). Have children hide their eyes. While children are hiding their eyes place the bird under one the cards. Choose one child to pick a card and say the number/letter/shape or color on the card. Lift the card – was the pet hiding there? If yes, play again. If no, choose another child to pick a card.
- Who is Missing? (whole group)- can the class figure out which pet of which color is missing? To prepare, print or draw 4 different types of pets onto 4 different colors of paper (1/4 page will do). I used a dog, fish, cat and turtle and the colors red, green, blue and yellow. Arrange the cards in a pocket chart or on the floor. Line up all the pets vertically and all the color horizontally (see picture below). To play, have children hide their eyes. While hiding their eyes, take one card away. Can children figure out which colored pet is missing based on the rest of the information in grid? Play again!
- Move like the animal! (whole group)- Explain to students that you are going to call out a pet name and an action and they act it out! I like to make sure I also have a visual of the pet, so I use movement cards (see below). The actions we do include: Hop like a rabbit, slither like a snake, run like a dog, pounce like a cat, fly like a bird, skitter like a mouse, swim like a fish and go slow like a turtle. I love this activity because not only are children listening with purpose, they are also getting out some wiggles!
- Cut and Feed (small group)- to prepare, add a paper dog face (clipart or made from construction paper) to a cardboard container. Cut a hole where the mouth should be in the cardboard. Now, you have a ‘feed me’ box. Next, cut paper into strips (draw on dog bones if you’d like). Have students roll a die, cut that many pieces of the paper and feed that many ‘bones’ to the dog.
- Race to the Top (small group)-this fun game gets children counting, comparing and predicting! Draw a table with 4 to 6 columns and 6 or 7 rows. At the bottom of each column place a pet animal sticker (or draw the pet). I used 6 pets: fish, hamster, bird, dog, cat and turtle. Number the pets from left to right. To play, students work as a group. They take turns rolling a dot die, counting how many and finding the corresponding number on the gameboard. Which pet matches the number? Color in one space above that pet (start at the bottom of the graph). Continue play, which pet will make it to the top first?
Looking for the printables seen in the photos of this post? I put together a pet themed lesson for preschoolers with everything you need. All the printables seen above are included and so much more!