Zoo Theme and Activities

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Children love to learn about animals at the zoo. This is a great theme to incorporate with a field trip to the zoo.

Zoo Songs and Fingerplays

We're going to the Zoo (Tune:The Farmer in the Dell)
We're going to the zoo.
We'll see a kangeroo
And a cockatoo.
So how 'bout you? We're going to the zoo.

Lions roar and play,
With tigers so they say.
Elephants spray
And zebras neigh
At the zoo all day.

An elephant goes like this and that (stomp feet)
He's terribly big (raise arms over head)
And he’s terribly fat (stretch arms to side)
He has no fingers (wiggle fingers)
And he has no toes (wiggle feet)
But, goodness gracious WHAT A NOSE!!!! (pull on pretend trunk in front of nose)

Animals are so charming (Tune:Skip to My Lou)
Verse 1:
I went to the city zoo,
Saw a camel and a gnu,
Saw an anaconda, too!
Animals are so charming.

Zoo, zoo, trip to the zoo,
Zoo, zoo, trip to the zoo,
Zoo, zoo, trip to the zoo,
Animals are so charming.

Verse 2:
I looked at the tall giraffe;
Watched a hippo take a bath;
And the monkeys made me laugh.
Animal are so charming.

(Repeat chorus)

Verse 3:
The gorilla had some swings;
Penguins flapped their funny wings;
And the seals swam through some rings.
Animals are so charming.

(Repeat chorus)

Verse 4:
Polar bears gave me a fright!
Zebras' coats were black and white.
Elephants stood at great height.
Animals are so charming.

(Repeat chorus again)

Zoo Art Activities

Coffee Ground Bear
Mix coffee grounds in brown paint, and have children paint a brown bear with texture.

Zebra Marble Painting
Place a white zebra cutout in a box or cookie sheet. Have children dip marble in black paint and roll painted marble over zebra to create a unique painting.

Zebra Tape Painting
Give children strips of masking tape to place as stripes on a zebra construction paper cut-out. Have them paint the zebra over the tape. When the paint is dry, tear the tape off to see the stripes.

Giraffe Spots Sponge Painting
Use a cotton ball or sponge to dip into paint and dab spots onto a giraffe cut-out.

Zoo Math and Science

Zoo Animal Addition
Cut an egg carton in half and label number 1-6 on the bottom of each section. Let children put two Zoo Animal Erasers in the egg carton and shake it up. Have them create an addition problem, based on what numbers the erasers end up in. Example: Animals land in section 2 and section 4, so child figures out what 2 + 4 equals.

Zoo Animal Patterns
Using the same animal erasers, let children create patterns on their own.

Animal Habitats
On the science table, place a bowl of water, a tray of dirt, and a box with hay or grass. Also, include many small toy zoo animals. The children can place the animals in their correct habitat.

Zoo Motor Skills and Movement

Zookeeper, May I?
Choose one child to be a zookeeper. Ask the "zookeeper" stand across the room or 10 feet in front of the remaining children. The zookeeper gives the instruction for other children to move like zoo animals. Examples: take five kangaroos hops, Walk four elephants steps, etc. Once the children reach the zookeeper, the zookeeper chooses a child to be the next zookeeper.

Animal Charades
Place a picture of different animals in a bag. One at a time, let children pick out an animal and act it out for others to guess.

Zoo Snacks

Elephant Snack
Eat peanuts for a snack, just like elephants do.

3-D Animal Snack
Give children a graham cracker and have them spread either peanut butter or green-tinted cream cheese on the top. Stand animal crackers on the top of the iced graham cracker.

Other Zoo Resources

A-Z Zoo Animals Preschool Unit

Free Zoo Preschool Printables!

Zoo Coloring Pages

Zoo Animals Preschool Science Lesson