Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tot School--Zoo Theme

**Natalie is 18 1/2 months old**

For our second week of Tot School, I chose a Zoo theme.  Not sure why. I guess because Natalie really like animals and I thought this would be a great way to ease into our routine.  I had a great time finding activities and looking for toys we have that relate to zoo animals.  I was surprised at how much zoo stuff we actually have!  

Here is a link to my Zoo Theme lesson plans

Here are some pictures from our week:


Natalie really enjoys matching and pairing things, so the zoo animal Heads and Tails game was a favorite for her.

Then she moved on to her Fisher Price Zoo Talker toy.  While looking for zoo animals, I came across some of my Care Bear Cousins and put them in with her FP animals.  So we had them to practice naming too.  We also practiced putting the Zoo Talker animals with the Zoo Matching printables and also with the stuffed animals we had.  It was a great way for her to see that there were different looking elephants, lions, etc.

Natalie really got into using her easel this week.  Her "drawing" has really changed in the last month or so, as has her grip on the marker/crayon.  It's amazing the changes these kids go through!  She's started more of a "scribble" type of drawing as opposed to just random lines.  

I started taping coloring pages to her easel to color instead of putting them at her table to color.  I think she prefers standing up to color.  It might be easier to position the marker while standing.  She even asks to "ca...ca" (color) during the day as she points to easel.  She'll also move her step stool from under the window to over at the easel so she can reach it.  It's so cute!

Since we were working on identifying and naming circles I drew a few for her and she tried to trace over them while saying "sa..cal"  I was really impressed when I was taking her to bed one day last week and she said "sa...cal" as we walked by a picture with a circle on it.  Since then she's been finding them and naming them.  It's amazing how quickly they pick up on stuff!

It was also fun for her to put the marker caps on her fingers and play with them.  I was happy to see the dry erase marker rubbed off her hands easily, and surprisingly she didn't try to put them in her mouth (knock on wood).

Here she is with the zoo animal matching game.  She was a bit distracted because of the drawings on the paper that covers her table.  She only matched two or three animals before she moved on.  
Because the elephant had to give all the other animals kisses, of course!  This was where I had the Zoo Talker animals and stuff animals to match with the cards.

I wasn't able to get pictures, but I also printed out the Zoo ABCs book from the tot book from the 2 Teaching Mommies website.  I put them into Natalie's ziploc book and we enjoyed looking through it and naming the animals.  I'll try to get some pictures and post them soon.

Overall, we had a really exciting two weeks with our Zoo Theme and (if I can brag a bit about Natalie) we finished the theme with Natalie knowing the following about Zoo animals:

*identifies/points to a hippo, giraffe, lion, seal, monkey
*says the name when shown a hippo, giraffe, lion, seal, monkey
*identifies and names circles
*knows the sounds monkeys, lions, tigers make
*recognizes zoo animals in different situations

If you have used this theme, please leave a comment about how it went and share your stories.  Although not every day went according to plan, we had a great time with all the activities we did.  A huge thanks to the ladies at the Oopsey Daisy and 2 Teaching Mommies websites for their printables.  We just started our St. Patrick's Day theme today, so I'll be posting pics in a few weeks of the fun we've been up to.  Thanks for reading!



  1. With the boys being sick, we didn't get to many of the fun zoo things I had hoped for! However, they LOVED their animal Ziploc book I made and enjoyed kissing the animals on the pages instead of pointing haha. I am very excited to be working on St. Patrick Day activities now! Thanks so much for inspiring me to implement these fun games and learning activities!

    1. Sorry the boys weren't feeling well. :( We can always go back to it. Natalie LOVED this theme, so I wouldn't mind bringing it in again during a lull. From the sound of it they knew most of the animals already anyway. :) I'm so excited to working on these with you! And I know the kids enjoy it too!