For the past year and a half, my son and I worked through 26 toddler school units. It was so much fun to watch Conner engage in toddler activities while we learned about all 26 letters of the alphabet. We loved every moment! To finish out the alphabet, I created this Zoo Themed Toddler School Unit. Our final 5 lesson plans were so much fun and I hope you find some great ideas in this post to do with your little ones.
Each of the 5 lessons in this unit include the following activities:
We kicked off our Zoo unit by coloring the cover page for our unit notebook. We talked about the animals that live in the zoo and made animal sounds.
After we colored, we dove right into our first sensory bin. This sensory bin was strictly for play and to review letters. Conner LOVED playing with the animals and helping them drink from the water dish. As he moved his fingers through the barley, he picked up the letter erasers I found in the Target dollar spot. He would say the name of the letter and the sound it makes. It was the perfect way to review the alphabet since we were finishing up our final unit.
Since this unit is all about the letter Z, I threw these zebra letter cards into some barley. Conner sorted by “big Z” and “little z” into the two dishes. As always, the best part of the sensory bin was playing with the barley at the end!
Conner’s favorite sensory bin was this zoo feeding bin! Best of all, it is so easy to throw together. Add some plastic tweezers to a bin and a pile of pom pom balls. Then, all you have to do is attach animal faces to empty water bottles. You can find these animal face printables in my Zoo Animal Toddler School unit. Not only was this bin fun, but it provided excellent fine motor practice.
Since this is a zoo themed unit, our art activities incorporated several different animals that can be found in a zoo.
Z is for zoo. So, naturally, we had to do a craft showcasing the letter Z. We built this zebra by pasting the zebra head and tail onto a cut out letter Z. Then, Conner drew the zebra stripes onto the letter z.
Handprints… Anything with handprints is an instant favorite of mine. These elephant handprints went straight into the keepsake box when they dried. I know these will be so special as my little guy grows up.
These animal puppets were so much fun! We had the best time decorating with paints, markers, and dot markers. Then, we held in front of our faces and made the animal sounds.
Another fun favorite this week was making a lion. Anything with liquid paint and liquid glue is a favorite in our house! Conner dipped a plastic fork in paint to create the mane on the lion. He glued on the googly eyes, and I added the nose and mouth per his request.
As a teacher, I see the importance of fine motor skills every day. Fine motor skills begin through play. Holding tweezers, squeezing glue, pinching objects, rolling play dough, and other similar activities all contribute to fine motor development. Each toddler unit in my Toddler School Curriculum Bundle incorporates 5 different fine motor activities. Here are a few of our favorites from this zoo themed unit…
Snakes live at the zoo, so we grabbed some pasta and strung onto a piece of yarn. Then, we glued a googly eye onto the snake. Conner had the best time playing with the snake and letting it slither around the table.
This pom pom letter Z mat was a huge hit! I loved watching Conner use the plastic tweezers to carefully place each pom pom inside the circle. Plus, we got to practice the letter name and sound some more.
We also used liquid glue to paste cereal onto our giraffe printable. This incorporated coloring, squeezing glue, and pinching cereal to place in the correct spots.
In this unit, we worked on the numbers 1 to 9.
We played memory together by turning over two cards at a time. Each card had a number and an animal to match. If the two cards didn’t match, then we turned them over and took turns finding matches.
We also worked on counting and identifying numbers using clip cards and clothespins. This is a great way to throw in some extra fine motor practice while learning numbers.
We practiced counting and number identification through this tabbed number book. Each page had a zoo animal to color and count and a number written at the bottom of the page to identify.
Another way we practiced counting and identifying numbers was through number puzzles. Conner counted the animals on each piece and had to find the matching number on another piece.
I hope you enjoyed following our Toddler School journey this week! Click here if you want to download this Zoo Themed Toddler School Unit from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. It comes with 5 lesson plans and all the printable materials you will need to make teaching your toddler as easy as possible. I hope you enjoy playing and learning with your little ones this week!
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my affiliate links, which helps to support The Primary Brain blog. As always, I only recommend products that I love and all ideas shared are my own.Written on March 8th, 2020 by Laurin Brainard