Friday, October 5, 2012

Pets Week for Preschoolers

While we aren't lucky enough to own a pet, we are graced almost daily by the visit of Miss Nabburg, the neighbor's cat, who happens to be very friendly (aka comes in the house for "routine inspections" and petting sessions). Both Adrian and Zahavah love animals and I thought "Pet Week" would allow Adrian to learn a bit more about the most common pets and yet feel comfortable within the topic. Here are some of the activities we've accomplished this week.

Outdoor Play - "Digging" for bones in the yard

While we didn't really dig like a dog would to find these bones, I sure thought about planning it that way. "What if I put the homemade felt bones in a small Ziploc bag and hid them in the sand? " But no, I stayed low key...As it turns out, the brown bones were not that easy to find in the grass. Leaves have started falling here and as such, they blended in! So I just asked Adrian to look for the 8 bones in the yard. He loves this type of outdoor activity. I made my bones following the Booda Bones size of bones and made two of each so they could be used for matching and sizing from largest to smallest afterwards.

Math - Matching & Sizing Up

Pictured are the felt bones after Adrian matched them up and then "sized them up" from largest to smallest.

Fine Motor - Cutting fish strips

Using scissors can be challenging for a child. Adrian is working real hard at this lately and loves his improvements in making larger cuts, more precise cuts and faster cuts (I'm loving it too!). These scissors are from Melissa & Doug and are great. I love that they do not cut clothes or fingers because honestly, this week, we'd be missing some some skin I'm afraid. I printed these strips (featuring real fish from Utah lakes) thinking we'd work on one daily and that is what we've been doing. Each day brings us improvements in the scissor holding department. Want your own fish strips? Visit Fish in Utah for your copy.

Cat Breed Matching & Memory Game

A very nice (I think!) cat breed game. Printed from VisualDictionaryOnline on cardstock (print 2 copies), then cut to be in the same size. First Adrian matched the cat breeds together and then we played a memory game with these. Adrian loved finding a pair.

Math - Counting Goldfish

This was one of the quickest activities for Adrian. He loves math AND goldfish so he filled the sheet as quick as possible and then proceeded to eat ALL the counters! :)

Fishing Game

This little fishing game took a while to make and I am glad to say it was worth it. Adrian loved fishing with the magnetic wand.  He counted the fish as he went. If you wish to make your own felt fishes, here is what I used: brightly colored felt, sequins for the scales, thread, goggly eyes, a metal washer and polyester stuffing. To complete the game, use a magnetic wand from a magnetic puzzle if you have one. I cannot remember where I found the pattern but drawing a fish is pretty basic anyway. The idea for the game came from Counting Coconuts by the way.

Math - Counting whiskers

A quick activity (a filler, really) involving cats and math. Found at Kidssoup in their free pages to use.

Art & Fine Motor - Adding scales to a fish

I spent an evening cutting little round construction paper circles for this craft. I really wanted to use hole  punched paper (lazy, you say?) but it would have been too small for Adrian to pick up one by one. At the size of a dime or so, these were just right for a pick up challenge yet not frustrating. We used liquid glue and a paintbrush too as glue sticks are a bit too sticky yet not enough sometimes for Adrian. It worked wonderfully and he loved this craft. Get your own fish at Free Coloring Sheets.

Math - Pattern Sequence of pets with stampers

What child doesn't love stamps? Using Melissa & Doug's Pet Stampers, I proceeded to start a sequence of pattern which Adrian had to complete with the right pet AND ink color. He would have done a lot more than 4 sequences for sure. I wish the grid had more spaces as I felt it may be tough to really determine what came next for Adrian but a smaller grid would have meant no room for the stamps...

As pet week goes on, expect at least another post on this wonderful subject.

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Today, I'm happily linking up to


  1. I thought your little dots were stickers! I do lots of cutting at work (children's librarian), so I take short-cuts at home.

    1. Ha! :) Well, it would have worked for fish scales for sure but it would have taken the fun out of the craft for my preschooler. It might have worked well for my toddler though since she is still struggling to peel stickers off their sheet! Something I'll keep in mind... Nothing wrong with short cuts after all! :)

  2. What fun ideas! Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday! I pinned your post and featured it at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

    1. Thank you Deb! I love linking up with Montessori Monday! I always find so many great posts linked up there and yours is always a great read too! Thanks for the feature! Greatly appreciated as usual!

  3. Wow, these ideas are awesome. I especially love that stamp one. Maybe you could have a two page grid with the pages glued in the middle so you have one long grid and still enough room to stamp. :)

    1. I'll definitely figure something out when I do it with my toddler. I didn't remember the stamps being so big! ") I think a big sheet of card stock would do the trick or like you said taping together two sheets would work well too. I was just surprised when we began stamping. Live and learn I guess! ;)

  4. My Family-Focused Monday hop is live now and I would love to see one of your awesome posts linked up @

    Have a terrific week.

    1. Thank you for the invite Jennifer. I've never actually taken part into a blog hop. I'll take a look though. Thanks for stopping by!