Zoo animals are fun. Kids love them, we as parents (and educators) love to see the kids react to them, and there is so much to learn about the world as we study zoo animals. This, of course, means everyone has a zoo animals unit, and this is our zoo animals preschool unit. Our zoo animals preschool unit went on for about 3 weeks while homeschooling preschool.
Oh, and this is Future Ticia 2019 updating the pictures and clarifying information from this original post.
(there are affiliate links in this post)
Skills learned in our zoo animals preschool unit
Princess and I continued on talking about zoo animals. How they move, where they live what makes them different, oh and counting them.
Fiction Books for our zoo animals preschool unit
There are a plethora of amazing zoo animal books you can find, and when I looked up books at my library, there were hundreds I could choose from. In compiling this list I went for generic zoo, not particular animals, because if I did that this list would be forever and a day long.
- The zoo is closed today!: until further notice– cute, fun, and charming illustrations
- The Escape of Marvin the Ape– a fun “duck out of water” tale, which always amuses me
- Peek-a-boo zoo!– A cute book perfect for younger preschoolers who will have fun guessing who is peeking through the holes in the pages
- First Day at Zoo School– A fun take on the first day of school nerves
- Color zoo– Great for early preschoolers, but also great for reviewing colors and shapes
- When Lulu went to the zoo– Lulu is positive the zoo animals are unhappy at the zoo, so she sneaks them all home (I can just imagine that mess), and chaos ensues
- Zoo girl– If you have adopted or have foster kids, preview this book first, that being said it’s a super cute story of a girl in a children’s home who gets left behind at the zoo and then adopted by the zookeepers
- Through with the zoo– Story of a goat from the petting zoo who is SO DONE with the zoo
- I just realized I’ve described half of these as cute, I apparently need to find a new describing word
- A Children’s Zoo– Tana Hoban creates delightful books with great pictures, I always know I’ll get a great book when she’s the author
- What do you do if your house is a zoo?– Oscar finally has permission to get a pet, but doesn’t know what to get, and puts out an ad that turns his home into a zoo
- The baby beebee bird– Oh my goodness, I’d forgotten this book, we checked it out so much when the kids were in preschool
- The Opposite Zoo– The illustrations are not my favorite, but the topic is PERFECT for preschoolers learning about opposites
- My Dad at the Zoo– A fun role-reversal the Dad is the one super excited to visit the zoo and impatient to see everything
- Animal Strike at the Zoo, It’s True!– Oh no! The animals are not prowling and growling (having just listened to the Prydain Chronicles, I’m so happy to see that phrase) and the visitors are sad, I quite love this concept
Nonfiction Books for our zoo animals preschool unit
As I said, I went for generic zoo books for this, which is why I don’t have quite as many nonfiction books on my zoo animals list, every library will have lots of books on specific animals.
- Sleeptyime for zoo animals– This pairs well with any book about nighttime at the zoo
- The zoo– A nice generic book about what to expect when visiting the zoo, if your library doesn’t have this book, then find a similar one
- What’s new? The Zoo!: a zippy history of zoos– This came out after my kids were in preschool, but it looks like a great way to age up this unit to include older kids
- What’s new at the zoo?: an animal adding adventure– I love math picture books like this
- Z is for Zookeeper: a zoo alphabet– I love this alphabet book series that goes beyond just naming the item starting with the letter
- Who works at the zoo?– A great way to give a behind-the-scenes view of the zoo
- A trip to the zoo– if you have older preschoolers starting to read, this is for you
- ZooBorns!: zoo babies from around the world– if your kids are anything like mine, baby animals are popular, this is an entire series, and there are some really great topics in this series (patterns and colors)
- My legs are long and strong– I love riddle books like this, they’re fun to try and figure out what the animal is
- Zany Zoo– A whole slew of zoo poetry, which I have to admit I’m bad at seeking out because I’m not a general fan of poetry
Activities for our Zoo Animals Preschool Unit
We read a book from ReadingA-Z Animals Can Move and did the worksheets with it. She did not like this one, even though she knows how different animals moved she didn’t like having to glue them in certain columns.
She sorted seeds again, which is still popular, and also played with the zoo animals. I think these have so much appeal because she can only play with these animals when she’s doing school. Otherwise, I keep it put away.
She found animals in the rice. I put animal stickers on cardstock and laminated them. I put the same stickers on an index card, so she would know when she’d found them all. This is very messy because the rice gets out and everywhere. I haven’t figured out how to solve that problem. Other than that it was very popular.Here she is matching the stickers to the index card stickers. Everyone loved this activity.
We counted monkeys. This is from Carisa’s 5 Little Monkeys Tot Book. I’m actually using a couple of different parts from lots of her lap books these next few weeks.
And we made elephants as part of our homemade zoo animals book, for more details check out how to make a homemade zoo animals book.