Bird Games and Activities

Bluebird, Bluebird
Children join hands & stand in circle. Construct one bluebird necklace out of construction paper. One child is first bluebird & weaves in & out of children's arms while chanting (3 times) Bluebird, bluebird through my window. Who will be the next bluebird? That child then choose someone who has not had a turn to be the next bird & that child wears necklace. Play until everyone has a turn.

Birdseed Biscuits
2 cups biscuit baking mix
1/2 cup cold water
2 Tbsp margarine
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 425F. Form a soft dough with baking mix & water. Roll out the dough to 3/4" thickness & cut it into shapes with cookie cutters. Using a straw, punch a hole in the top of each cookie. Melt the margarine & brush over dough. Sprinkle the seeds & nuts onto the dough and press it in FIRMLY with a fork. Bake for 15-20 min., or until light brown. When cool, thread brightly colored ribbon through the hole & hang in a tree.

File folder game
Cut 10 egg shapes from white construction paper. Decorate eggs then cut them into halves varying the cut pattern (zig zag, wavy, straight,etc.). Glue one half of a set into a folder. Have the children match the halves.

Birdie in the Tree
Make a tree with no leaves. Make it big enough to fit your flannel board. Make birdies, one each of red, yellow, green, purple, orange, blue, black, and brown. You can make two or tree of each color so each child will have one. Give each child a colored birdie. Place the tree on the flannel board>
Sing this song:
Little Red bird in the tree
In the tree, in the tree
Little Red bird in the tree
Sing me a song.
(The child or children who have a red bird places the bird on the tree and sings Tweet Tweet. Repeat with other colors.

Cracking Eggs
All birds are hatched from eggs so give the children a quick lesson in cracking eggs. After you have shown how to crack an egg, let each child try cracking one of their own. Children love cracking eggs & rarely get to do it. You can use the cracked eggs to make scrambled eggs for snack.

Bird Calls
Ask the children if anybody knows how to sound like a bird. Let them try one by one. They should be able to do a chicken, a turkey, a song bird, a baby chick. Let them think of others. Variation: Let the children come up one at a time & make a bird call. Let the rest of the children try to guess what kind of bird they are.

Messy Table
Fill a couple of large tubs with wild bird seed. Provide the children with funnels, measuring cups, measuring spoons, bowls etc. Spend some time at the table talking with the children about measurements. "How many quarter cups will it take to fill up this cup?" "How many teaspoons are there in this quarter cup? Let's count them." Let them count and measure, pour & stir.

Bugs and Butterflies Games and Activities

Show the children a picture of a ladybug. Emphasize that the ladybug helps farmers by eating insects that may hurt our fruits and vegetables.

Ants can teach us how some insects work together as a community. Watch ants scurry in and out of their ant hills or find some spilled food on the sidewalk. Do they eat their food on the spot, or carry it back to their anthill? When an ant finds food, it runs back to the hill to "tell" the others. As it runs, it leaves a trail that other ants in the hill can smell. The ants find the food by smelling their way along the trail.

Cut about 4 shapes of picnic foods 1-4" in size from construction pater. I use a chicken leg, cookie, strawberry, and a watermelon slice. Using plastic ants, see how many ants it takes to cover each food and record answer.

A buggy picnic
An idea for teaching the short "a" sound : Have the children pretend they are having a picnic. As they spread out the food and begin eating, they notice that there are ants crawling on the food, and then up their arms. In surprise, they say "a - a - a!!", while "walking" their fingers up their arms like pretend ants.

Ant Hunt
Go outside with magnifying glasses and hunt for ants.

Dramatic Play
Make a big box into a picnic basket. Make ants' antennae out of pipe cleaners & add them to the play area. Now kids can pretend to be ants around a picnic basket. Add play food for them to carry away.

Dramatic Play
To emphasize that ants (or insects) have 6 legs, make 2 extra legs for the children to wear. You can make long tube shapes, stuffed, then sewed onto a band for tying around child's waist. You can make antennae by using pipe cleaners and head bands. Add tunnels, pretend food (fruit, seeds, and picnics), pretend ant eggs etc.

Ant Information
- Each nest has a handful of males, less queens and lots of workers.
- Three balls (head, thorax, abdomen), six legs.
- They smell with their antennae (very sensitive).
- They cooperate
- It's the queens job to lay the eggs, the males help her.
- Some workers build the nests, some take care of the eggs, some hunt for food, some take care of the queen.
- Worker ants have two stomachs (one holds their food the other is for sharing).

Capture A Spider's Web
Materials: Enamel Spray Paint, Construction Paper or tag board, Scissors, perhaps a ladder
Procedure: Search around outside until you find a good spider web. Spray both sides of the web with enamel paint. BE CAREFUL--IF YOU SPRAY TOO MUCH, THE WEB WILL TEAR FROM THE WEIGHT OF THE PAINT. Hold a piece of paper or tag board against the 'wet' web. It should stick to the wet paint. Carefully cut the 'guy lines'. Lay the paper down until the web is dry.

Carlos the Caterpillar
Have children trace large circles on green paper. (The inside of a roll of masking tape makes an easily traceable shape.) The teacher numbers the circles 1,2,3,4 etc. so that the children can paste them in numerical order. The children then cut out circles and paste them together by overlapping slightly. Small strips of paper can be available for adding 'feet.'

Bunny Games and Activities


MATH Button Bunnies
** Make paper rabbits with numbers on their stomachs and cover with clear
adhesive plastic.
**Pass out rabbits to children and have them put as many buttons on the
stomach as shown by the numeral. Pass rabbits to the left and repeat.


Cotton balls
Provide the sensory table with lots of cotton balls and let the children know
that bunnies have really soft fur

Sneaky Bunny Visit
Whilst the children are playing outdoors I hide small easter eggs around the
room. Then I make bunny prints on the floor and carpet. I use talcum powder
with a bunny print template. Shake enough powder to make the print look
real. the children get excited when they see the prints. Often they place
their foot on top and follow them. It's easy to clean up off the floor (hand
vacuum)and it deodorizes the carpet.

Bunny Hat Match
Cut out different coloured bunnies and matching hats. Attach the bunnies to a manilla folder and let your children match the hats to the corresponding bunny.

Pin the Tail on the Bunny

Bonny Hop Relay
Have a bunny hop relay race. Have your children hop like bunnies and pick up Easter Eggs. They then have to hop back and put the eggs in another basket. Then the next child goes.

Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny, Where's Your Egg?
All the children are sitting in circle. One stands in the corner and counts to ten Easter Eggs. Meanwhile one of the children in the circle is given a paper egg to sit on. . All the children chant: "Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny, Where's Your Egg? Somebody stole it from your home. Guess who?" Then the child has three guesses of which child it is. Then the cycle continues until everyone has had a turn

Cat and Kitten Games and Activities

Cat Puzzles
Cut large cat shapes out of posterboard. Cover the shapes with clear self-stick paper and cut each one into several large interlocking puzzle pieces. This activity is perfect for small fingers. For older children, increase the difficulty by cutting each puzzle into smaller pieces.

Yarn Balls
Set up baskets at varying distances from a masking tape line on the floor. Toss yarn balls into the baskets.

Bean Bag Toss
Make a cat shape on plywood or a big piece of heavy cardboard, with holes of different sizes cut out. The children can try from varying distances to throw bean bags through the holes.

Have one child be the cat and clap a rhythm for the group. The other children listen and then be the copycats. They clap the same rhythm as he cat did. Another child now becomes the cat and creates a rhythm for the copycats to imitate.

Cat and Mouse
Cut and glue together a simple cat shape from black paper. Cover a coffee can- the mouse hole- with another piece of black paper. Make up enough small mice out of felt by cutting them out in teardrop shapes. Add a pompon and length of yarn for the tail. Glue sequins on for eyes or draw them on with markers. Next, turn a coffee can on its side and place it on top of a table. Place a dozen crackers leading up to the mouse hole. Have each child choose a mouse and the teacher picks the cat. Then let each child roll the die and move his or her mouse or cat that number of crackers. Let play continue, encouraging the children to try to move their mice into the mouse hole before the cat gets there. Game ends when the cat reaches the mouse hole or when all mice have safely entered.

File Folder Games
Make about 10 sets of cats and kitten pairs. Each pair should be a different color. For example a cat and kitten that are red and a cat and kitten that are blue, etc. Glue the cats to the file folder and laminate for durability. Have the children match the same color kitten to it's mommy cat.

Cat Stretches
1. Have your children get on their hands and knees.
2. Tell them to slowly "walk" their arms out in front of them, one at time, until arms and upper body are fully extended.
3. Have them stretch like cats by leaning each shoulder one way, then the other.

Cat Rhymes
List rhyming words on a chart or chalkboard: cat, hat, rat, mat, pat, sat, fat, bat.

Cat Rhymes, Pt. 2
Make two-line rhymes:
The big yellow cat is old and _________.(fat)
Hurry, cat, catch that __________.(rat)
Did you see that cat in mother's best ________ ?(hat)
The tiny cat sat on a tiny ___________. (mat)

Cat Sounds
Discuss the different sounds that cats make and what their sounds tell us about them. Imitate the sounds a cat makes when happy, contented, angry, frightened, hungry. Stress the differences in cat's moods and why it is important not to tease an angry or frightened cat. Act out cats as they might behave in these various moods. Point out that lions and tigers are members of the cat family. Ask the children. "How would you like to meet an angry lion? How would you feel if you met a hungry tiger?"

Kitten Kare
Materials needed:
Cat care: cat bed or cat furniture/cubbie, collar and bell, catnip ball, rubber mouse, brush, canned food.
What to do:
Introduce pet care items explaining or demonstrating how each item is used and allow the children to examine the items.
Including the items above, have the children set up a cat care area using stuffed animals brought from home. The children will pretend to care for their kittens.

Helping Special Cats
Plan a field trip to the local SPCA and take bags of kitten food and bags of litter to be donated.

Storytime Kitties
Let children act out the story THREE LITTLE KITTENS. Let all children pretend to be kittens and crawl to the play area.

Animal Hospital
The children can brainstorm ways to make the area look like an animal hospital. Let them make a sign and decorate the area themselves. Items for hospital:
cotton swabs
empty cat food boxes
cloth bandages
band aids
rubber gloves
long white lab coats
baskets with pillows and blankets for overnight guests
cat food dish
water dish
stuffed animals from home
thermometer plastic (toy) for shots

Cat in the Hat
Read the Cat in The Hat and then make the hat so that the children can pretend to be the cat in the hat.

Cat Treasure Hunt
Have a 'treasure hunt' where the children have to search for things to do with cats (e.g. Jingle balls, Catnip mouse, etc). Thread a string through them all and make a Cat mobile.

Cats in the Neighborhood
Go for a walk around the neighborhood looking for cats and cat pawprints.

Flannel Board Story:
(Activity follows poem)
My poor little kitten lost her mitten
And started to cry, Boo-hoo.
So I helped my kitten to look for her mitten.
Her beautiful mitten of BLUE.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my mother's bed.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored RED.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my father's pillow.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored YELLOW.
I found a mitten just right for a ktten
On the hand of my brother's toy clown.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored BROWN.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under the laundry so clean.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored GREEN.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Inside a grocery bag.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored BLACK.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under the kitchen sink.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored PINK.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Inside my favorite show.
And this time the mitten was just the right mitten,
For it was colored BLUE!

Cut a kitten shape out of white felt. Then cut two mitten shapes out of blue felt and one mitten shape each out of the other colors.

ACTIVITY: Place the kitten shape on the flannel board and put a blue mitten shape on one of its paws. As you recite the poem, place the appropriate colored mittens, one at a time, on the kitten's other paw. When the children become familiar with the poem, leave off the last word in each verse and let them supply the rhyming color word.

ACTIVITY: As you recite each verse of the poem, place the appropriate colored cat shape on the flannel board. Encourage the children to try out different kinds of Mee-ows for each color cat.

Creepy Crawlies Games and Activities

Flannel board Activity
Large felt cutout of a ladybug - circle shape with a head shape added, all one piece. Thin black magic marker line down the middle and wiggly eyes. Also 10 black felt spots.

Ladybug facts
Ladybugs can be red or yellow with black, red, white, or yellow spots. There are about 150 species of ladybugs in the U.S. In winter, 50 to 100 ladybugs hibernate together.

Dog and Puppy Games and Activities

Hand print Dogs
Paint each student's palm the color they choose for their dog. Press hands on paper. When dry, allow students to use crayons, markers, paint or paper shapes to add the dog's face, tail, markings, etc. Encourage the students to draw backgrounds on their pictures showing the animal's environments, where they sleep, what they eat, etc.

Dog Parts
Talk with the students about body parts. Explain that dogs have body parts too. Have the student name all the body parts they can of a dog. Use a display to put labels on.

Smart Dogs
Five stuffed dogs sitting in a row
"Tell me please, what do you know?"
The first one said, "I know my name."
The 2nd one said, "I know a game."
The 3rd one said, "I know a song."
The 4th one said, "I know right from wrong"
The 5th one said, "I'll tell you true, What I know is that I love you."
DISCUSSION: Ask children something that they know. Do they know their name, a game, or a song? Dog #4 knew right from wrong, how do we know what is right from wrong?

Kennel Club
Decorate the front door with a discreet Kennel Club sign. Inside, set up a table as the groomer's salon. Hang a sign to that effect and place a mirror on the table. Fill the playroom with doghouses made from large cardboard boxes--one for each kid, with his name over a simple cutout door. (Wait until the kids arrive if you think they'll choose special puppy names.)

Playing with Dogs
Using stuffed animals as props, talk with your children about the proper way to hold, pet, and play with dogs.

Humane Society
Find out where your local Humane Society is located. Call to find out about educational services; some have tours and classes for children that your group might be able to join in; some have reproducible educational materials on caring for pets and animal safety.

Quick & Easy
-Make Clifford the big red dog. Use a triangle shaped piece of red paper. Fold down the ends to become ears. Put a black nose on the pointed end and add some eyes and whisker freckles.
-Have the children discuss the different types of dogs there are: big & small, fluffy and smooth, etc.
-Have the children write an ad for what type of puppy they are and what kind of owner they are looking for.
-Discuss the things needed to take care of puppies.
-Let children glue pieces of yarn on a pre-cut out shape of a dog.
-Let them sponge paint paw prints on a piece of paper.
-Let the children put on a pretend dog show, showing all the kind of tricks they know.
-Discuss the many useful jobs dogs have: police dog, seeing eye dog, sled dog, rescue dog, guard dog, etc.

Obedience School
Based on Simon Says, preface the commands with "the trainer says" Use appropriate dog tricks or behaviors such as: lie down, beg for a treat, roll over, speak (woof), scratch your ear, wag your tail, show your tongue and pant.

Doggie, Doggie, Where's Your Bone?
They sit in a semicircle with one child sitting in a chair facing away from the group. Place a toy bone, or beanbag under the chair. One child is chosen to go "steal the bone". All of the children then sit with their hands behind their backs and say, "Doggie, doggie, where's your bone? Someone stole it from your home!" The "Doggie" then turns around and tries to guess who has the bone.

How do dogs eat?
Put a favorite snack, cupcake, etc. on a paper plate on the floor. Have children get down on their hands and knees and try to eat without using their hands. What about water? Can they drink out of a cereal bowl filled with water?

Buy new dog dishes and have the kids decorate them with stickers. They can use them for cereal bowls at home or just to hold trinkets.

Have someone from the blind association to bring a guide dog in and to talk to the class about the dog and what he does, how he is trained, etc.

Have a mobile dog wash come to wash a dog.

Match the Dog Game
Have dog cut outs with different numbers of dots on them. Have dog house cut outs with corresponding numbers written on them. The children count the dots on each dog and match it to the dog house with the corresponding number.

Dragon Games and Activities

Read the story of The Paper Bag Princess. Have the children make a dragon puppet from a paper bag.

Read the story Puff the Magic Dragon, watch the video, sing the song. This is always a great favorite of children.

Talk about and look at Chinese dragons. Chinese dragons are symbols of luck, prosperity and protection. You could make a Chinese dragon in your childcare by using a paper mache head and a decorated sheet. A really fun project that could get all the children involved.

Duck Games and Activities

One Talented Bird
Talk to your children about how talented a Duck is. A duck can swim better than most animals while still being able to fly well.

Duck Walk
Have your children pretend to be ducks as they walk somewhere

How Many Eggs
Get a picture of a bird and make a nest. Write a different number on each bird. Let the kids place the correct number of eggs (corresponding numbers) into the birds nest.

Match The Eggs
Get an egg carton and color the inside (where the eggs sit) various colors. Have the children match the colors with those of Easter eggs and sort the eggs

Make Your Own Duck Nest
Provide you students with mud, sticks, grass, leaves, twigs, pine needles, and pebbles. Let you kids create their own duck nest.

Duck Feathers
Collect Duck feathers (or other bird) from the local park or petting zoo. Show your children how the feathers repel water by putting them on the table and squirting a small amount of water on them

Hatch a Bird
Use an incubator to hatch a baby chick (not a duck but hatched the same way). You can order an egg from several Internet sites or ask a local hatchery (most will be happy to help out a school) Do this experiment to get a better understanding of how the oil on ducks feathers help them stay afloat.  Take a dry cotton ball and quickly push it under water.  It quickly get saturated with water and will eventually sink.  Next take a dry cotton ball and cover the surface with oil.  Then quickly push it under water.  It stays afloat much better because the oil keeps the water from saturating.  Ducks bodies are a constant source of oil that they rub around their bodies with their beaks and it helps keep them dry and afloat! We have a duck pond near our school and we visit it if we do the duck.

Feather Pics
We ask the children to pick up as many feathers as possible and we stick that on a duck picture. The children also paint with the feathers, sort them according to size and colour.

Sensory Awareness
Playing in colored water/ice cubes with plastic ducks.  

Dramatic Play
Children could make a theatre and pretend to be the mother duck and 5 little ducks.

Duck Watching
Go to a duck pond and see the ducks. Ducklings generally arrive in May.

Find the Egg Game
Teacher hides an egg while one child covers their eyes or goes out of the room. This child is the Parent Duck. The Parent duck tries to find the egg. All the ducklings (other children) quack softly and more and more loudly as Parent gets closer to where the egg is hidden, When the egg is found choose another Parent Duck and repeat.

Duck, Duck, Goose
Children sitting in a circle. One child walks around the circle touching each child on the head saying saying, "Duck, duck..." The child chooses a person and says "Goose." That child gets up and chases the other around the circle back to his/her spot where the first child sits down. The second child begins the game again.

Missing Duck Eggs
Put on grass, one egg per child. The children squat down, tucking hands under armpits, as ducks. Have a home base, a nest for the eggs to be returned to. As a duck they cannot use their hands to pick them up but must find other ways to get the egg back to the nest. Kick it with their foot, without standing up, or butting it with head, First one to get a egg back to the nest, is the winner.

Elephant Games and Activities

What Shape Is An Elephant?
Give a child a sheet of construction paper and tell them they will have to tear 6 shapes from this.
1. The largest shape needs to be a square.
2. Next tear a triangle about half the size of the square.
3. Tear 4 rectangles all the same size.
4. Put the shapes together to make an elephant that looks like he is walking.
5. Add details with felt pen (eyes, wiggly lines for wrinkle skin, a tail)

The Elephants Are Here!
A movement song to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"
The elephants are here! (Look excited)
The elephants are here!
Look at all the elephants! (Shade eyes as if looking)
The elephants are here!

They're exercising now. (March in place, keeping feet on floor, pumping arms)
They're exercising now.
Look at all the elephants!
They're exercising now.

(Have kids name various exercises and do them--tricky while singing!)
They're jumping up and down!
They're jumping up and down!
Look at all the elephants!
They're jumping up and down!

They're doing push ups now
They're touching all their toes
They're spinning 'round and 'round

Keep going until kids are EXHAUSTED
Sing the last verse slowly as sink to floor and lie down on backs
They're all exhausted now...
They're all exhausted now...
Look at all the elephants...
They're all exhausted now...
ZZZZZZZ (Lots of snoring)

Hey Elephant
The poem:
One elephant went out to play
all on spiders web one day
they had such ENORMOUS fun
that they called for another elephant to come
How to play
Have a child walk bent over swing his/her arm for a trunk then after the song the child chooses another child. If old enough have the children hold hands putting their "trunk" between their legs. For little ones you can just have them hold hands, and not bend over. Do this until all the kids are called and walking back and forth holding hands.

Fish Games and Activities

Fish in the Sea
There are so many fish in the deep blue sea. What color of fish does _________________see?
Insert child's name in the blank. Put a different color fish on a finger mitt or flannel board. You could make a big book.

Brown trash bags
Scraps of construction paper
Picture of an octopus
Styrofoam packing half circles
What to do:
As the children are seated for circle time show them a picture of an octopus. Discuss the characteristics of the octopus color; size, how many arms, how it moves. Make an arm by stuffing a trash bag with newspapers filling only half of the bag lengthwise. Tie the bags. Fold the other side of the trash bag over the stuffed side and tape it, making a large narrow arm. Using the Styrofoam packing half circles, have the children glue them to the bottom of each arm representing the octopus' suction cups Make the head by stuffing the entire bag with newspaper and use construction paper scraps to make the facial features of the octopus. When the eight arms are finished, tie them together and then tie them to the stuffed head. Display the octopus on the floor for an ocean scene.

Go Fish
Make 6 inch fish from construction paper & write different numerals on each. Attach a paper clip to the nose of each fish. Tie a magnet to a 3 foot string which is tied to a clip. Spread out fish & fish. Variation: Punch a hole in the front of each fish, pass a twist tie through the hole, and bend it into a loop. Can use table as dock or big box as a boat.

Shark Hearing
Sharks have REALLY good hearing in order to find their food. Listen for a moment for all the sounds around us, then name them. Try to figure out how far away things are by the volume of the sound. Then tell them that we are going to play a listening game. We are going to be sharks looking for our dinner. Have all of the children except one go out of the room where they cannot see inside the your room. The remaining child sets a kitchen timer for 4 minutes, (with adult help),hides it somewhere in the room, then tells the "sharks" that dinner is coming. The kids go into the room VERY quietly, listening for the ticking. It is funny to watch the face of a child who picks up the sound and starts to zero in on it. The other kids notice and zoom over to that area.

Clothesline Fish
Fishing line,Clothespins,Construction paper
Prepare a fishing line with numbered clothespins (one through ten) on it. The clothespins should be in sequential order. Draw and cut out ten fish; write numerals one through ten on them. Have children place numbered fish on the line by matching the correct numerals.

Frog Games and Activities

Lily pad Jumping
Cut out some large lily pad shapes from green poster paper or newspaper. Place them around the room and have children jump from lily pad to lily pad.

Lily Pad Sit-upons
Out of white poster board, cut 1 lily pad (big enough to sit on) for each child. Allow them to paint green (you can sponge paint- gives a nice effect), then after green paint is dry they can add white, pink, or yellow flowers (painted), if desired. Laminate if you wish.

For circle times during this theme, arrange a blue sheet or blanket on the ground in a circular or "uneven" shape (whatever suits your needs and space). This is the "pond." Have all your little "froggies" hop on over with their lily pad sit-upons, and you'll have a croaking good time!

Parachute Play
Blow up a green balloon and draw a frog face on it. During play with the parachute (a sheet or blanket can be used in place of a parachute), place the balloon on top of the parachute and tell the children the parachute (or sheet, etc.) is a lily pad, and the ground is the pond. As the lily pad "waves" around, try to keep the frog on the lily pad and out of the pond!

Musical Lily Pads
(You can use the children's sit-upons -- see above -- if you made them). Cut out at least one lily pad (out of construction paper or poster board) for each child. Arrange in a circle, and turn on some music. Children hop around the outside of the circle until the music stops, then try to get to a lily pad. As with "regular" musical chairs, you can play several different versions: One lily pad per person so no one is eliminated, the "classical" game where there is one less lily pad than child so one person is eliminated each time, or take away one lily pad each time (but not children) so the froggies have to share lily pads, until eventually all the froggies are trying to stand on one lily pad!

Witness Metamorphosis
Purchase a frog hatchery kit of some sort and actually allow the children to witness the metamorphosis from tadpole to frog. These frogs are not suitable for releasing, so you would want to make sure you want the commitment of caring for a frog! One common type lives 3 - 5 years, and another well over 10! (So do some research before you order!)

The Frog Prince
Tell the story "The Frog Prince" to the children, then add props to the dramatic play area for them to act it out: crown and long dress for princess, frog mask and maybe green clothes for frog, crown and maybe bathrobe for prince, other "royal" garb for other members of royal family, ball for Princess.

Jungle Games and Activities

Terrariums are easy to make from plastic soda or water bottles. Have everyone bring a bottle with the label off. Cut bottle in half. Put pebbles and potting soil in the bottom half. Plant some small plants and water it sparingly. Use the top half with the cap on as the lid. Cut 4 1" places on the cut edge of the lid so as to allow it to fit over the bottom planted part. The plants will then water themselves from condensation on the inside of the bottle. They last a long time without care. You add a ceramic rainforest animal.

Tribal customs
Get a book on indigenous people of the rainforest and face paint the children to look like the tribal people. Then string beads for tribal necklaces. Play a tape of rainforest sounds; the rainforest is never quiet.

Rainforest Collage
Make rainforest collages from rainforest products such as coffee
, sugar, tea.

Safari Hunt
Decorated your toilet paper binoculars and went on a Safari. Hide animals all over and pretend to put on your backpacks, hats etc. Then stop in the middle because it's so hot and have a pretend drink
of water and put on your sunscreen.

If you decorate the room to look like a rainforest, you could use some steam vaporizers. This will enable the children to understand more about the type of weather that is found in the rainforest.

Jungle Fun
After talking about what animals live in the jungle, ask the children to draw and cut out three or more animals that live in the jungle. Make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls. When the children are not there, tape the pictures out in the hall and then go out on a safari. The children are to find the pictures that belong to them.

Ocean Games and Activities

Under the Sea
Put 3 colors of cutout fish with magnet attached on pond on floor. Use fishing pole with magnet attached to catch fish in order or by color recognition. Or have different types of fish and fish by that.

Octopus Game
Play pin the legs on the octopus - EVERYONE pretty much WINS!

Beach Party!
Watch The Little Mermaid movie, then have a "beach party." Let kids wear swim suits, bring beach towels, play with beach balls.

Octopus Games and Activities

One person is the "octopus." Everyone lines up on one edge of the boundaries and must run to the opposite side when the octopus yells out "octopus." The people that get tagged by the octopus become frozen taggers. They are allowed to pivot on one foot and tag people as they run by. The last person caught is the new octopus.

Mark a goal line at each end of playing field. Choose a child to be the octopus, the rest of the children are fish. The object is for the octopus to catch the fish by tagging them with a sponge ball. If a child gets hit they must freeze and become an octopus tentacle. The tentacle may help the octopus by using their hands outstretched to tag fish. Only the octopus may move however. To begin playing, all fish line up at one goal line. The octopus calls out,"Fish, fish, swim in my ocean." At this command the fish must try to cross the ocean without getting caught. The last one to be tagged is the next octopus.

How many legs does an octopus have? Count them and explain octo means eight. Collect different items of eight in each group.

Where do octopus' live? What do they eat? Cut out and laminate pictures of real octopus' and discuss their features.

Background Information
An octopus has 8 arms called tentacles. These arms are webbed together by a layer of skin called a mantle. Under this layer of skin are color cells that make the octopus look white, grey, orange, red, or brown. Being able to change colors can help the octopus catch its dinner. It's bright colors attract and confuse other sea animals. When they swim closer to look at the octopus, he catches the animal for his dinner. There are rows of suction cups along the edges of the arms that stick to objects and help the octopus pull itself along and move. When the octopus is in danger, it can squirt a cloud of black ink so the animal can't see it. Then it swims away fast. If one of the tentacles gets caught or bitten off by an animal, like a shark, it will grow back in a few weeks. Octopus eggs are very tiny (microscopic), about the size of a grain of rice. Mother octopi lay about 1000 eggs at a time. She cares for them in a nest she builds under rocks. Once the eggs hatch, the mother dies. Her work is done.

Apple Games and Activities

Count the seeds. Cut out 10 red and 10 white poster board apples. On each of the white draw one to ten seeds. In the center number the red apples from one to ten. Identify the number on the red apples and place on the white apples. You could laminate them for flannel board usage.

Assorted Sizes
Cut out different sizes of apples from colored construction paper or color them on white ones. Arrange them from small to large or make them a flannel board exercise if you have small children.

Apple Collage
Use a small paper plate and a piece of red paper. Have children tear the paper into small pieces then glue the pieces all over the plate, add green paper stems and hang up.

Finger paint Apple
Use red, green or yellow to finger paint an apple that has been cut out.

Discover the difference between raw and cooked apples. Bake a whole apple, and slice and simmer another. Have a raw one cut up as well so children will be able to see the changes in color, texture and taste.

Apple Book
Cut out a red construction paper apple, and have each child dictate a story. They can illustrate it, then staple and put cover around pages to make a book.

Apple Seeds
Before cutting open an apple, ask the children to predict how many seeds there will be inside. Cut the apple in half horizontally and let the children observe the "star" that holds the seeds. Count the seeds with the children and have them compare the number with their predictions. Try the experiment with another apple. Does it have the same number of seeds as the first? Try the same experiment using a different colored apple --As you cut open the different color apples make note that the insides are the same even though the outside is different. You can make the same comparison with people - different on the outside but all the same on the inside.)

Apple Mural
Cut out a large apple shape from a large paper roll. Let the children do apple printing on the shape during art time. Use a variety of sizes and shapes and colors - red, green, yellow. Tack apple print to wall and play a variety of games with the mural.
1 - count the apple prints
2 - find the print that is the largest/smallest
3 - find the print that is the darkest/lightest
4 - do any of the shapes look the same/different?

Chocolate Games and Activities

Hershey's Kiss Hunt
You can play this game during Valentine's Day parties and even Christmas parties. Just hide Hershey Kisses around your room and have the children search for them.
P.S. Make sure you count the number that you hide and if they are not in easier places (or in plain sight), write down were they are placed, just in case some are not found.

Finger Painting in Chocolate Pudding
Mix up a batch of instant chocolate pudding. Dish onto one plate for each child (white Styrofoam plates work best). Let the children "finger paint" on the plate. Let them lick their fingers (and the plate) when they are done painting. Keep the camera close, this creates some chocolaty faces.

Science - Melted Chocolate
See how quickly the melted chocolate sets in small molds. Use a stop watch to time it. And then of course eat them after the experiment!

Use empty chocolate wrappers to create a collage. You could use Easter eggs wrappers as well as everyday chocolate bars. Makes a very shiny picture.

Egg Games and Activities

Egg Toss
Plastic Easter eggs
prize box
The children line up facing each other and then toss the eggs back and forth. The one to still have their egg when the music stops is the winner. (all children get an Easter sticker just for playing the game. The winners also get to pick out of the prize box.)

Good Egg Number Game
Egg shapes from construction paper
plastic eggs
Arrange chairs in a circle with seats facing outward. Cut eggs from paper and number each consecutively. Tape 1 egg to each chair. Players walk around chairs to music. When music stops, players sit on chairs, and adult turns away so she cannot see who is sitting on what number. She then calls out a number. Player sitting on the chair with that number is called "a good egg". Player must find a plastic egg (filled with candy or prizes)with that particular number on it. Continue until all children have received an egg. You can also play music along with this game!

Roll the Egg
If you have more than one child it can be a race, or for one child you can time them. Place masking tape on the floor for the start and finish lines. Place one plastic egg on the starting line for each child. Explain that the object of the game is to roll the egg to the finish line with YOUR NOSE. If they get too good, add a few obstacles, such as a chair to go around, or tape a line for them to try to follow, be creative.

Easter Egg Match-Up
Collect different colored plastic eggs. Take the eggs apart and have your child find two egg halves of the same color and put them together.

Egg Hop
Cut out large egg shapes from colored paper. Laminate them and cut them out. Place them on the floor and ask the children to hop from one egg to another. These may also be used at seat markers for group time. Or make bunny or duck foot prints for the children to follow.

Where is Your Egg?
Played like "Doggie Doggie where's your bone?" Have one child sit in the middle of the circle, and hide their eyes. Give another child an egg to hide behind their back. Have all the other children put their hands behind their back. Chant the following song:
Bunny, Bunny,
Your egg you can't find
Somebody has it,
check behind,
The child in the middle gets three guesses. Then the child who had the egg goes into the middle.

Egg Maze
Create a maze on the floor using classroom blocks. Older children may be able to help. Then, encourage children to roll and push a hard-boiled or plastic eggs through the maze as quickly as possible. Tools such as brushes, small brooms, or spoons could be used to roll the eggs.

Egg Sort
Create and cut various egg shapes out of construction paper or tag board. Decorate pieces as desired. Laminate pieces for durability. Sort the eggs by various attributes such as size, color, and patterns.

Egg Carton Math
Using a permanent marker, randomly number the egg cups in a egg carton from 1 to 12 (or use fewer numerals or sets of dot, if appropriate, Put a button or bread tag in the carton and close the lid. Children shake the carton, open the lid, and identify the number the piece landed on.

Eggshell Garden
Save and clean eggshell halves, Provide potting soil and seeds such as radish, marigold. Have children fill each shell with soil and a few seeds. Add a spoonful of water to each shell. Place eggshell halves in the cups of an empty egg carton. Once the plants have grown, they can be transplanted into the ground or a larger container, after crushing the eggshells.

Vinegar and Eggs
Gently place a raw egg in a clear glass or jar filled with vinegar. Observe what happens to the egg over a period of three to four days. (after two days, the shell will soften and disappear. After three days, most of the calcium will have dissolved leaving only a bladder)

Egg Counting Fun
egg carton & plastic eggs
Write numbers on the side of each egg (1 - 12). Also write numbers on the bottom of each egg slot in carton. Then ask your children to match the egg to its correct slot! You can also put the corresponding number of jelly beans in each egg for an added counting surprise!

Fruit Games and Activities

Strawberry Toss
Make three strawberry shaped bean bags out of red felt.   You can dot them with fine-tipped sharpie or if you have more time, you can embroider speckles on it before sewing them together. I used yellow thread. You can find a bushel basket,for the children to toss the bags into,   at a craft store like Michael's.

The Berry Best Class
Bulletin board display idea -Make a basket filled with strawberries. On each strawberry, write a child's name or glue a student's face cut from a photo.

Apple Taste Test
In the Fall there is usually a large variety of apples to choose from.  
Do a taste test.  Notice the different colors, shapes and smells of apples.  
Make a chart showing favorites.

Lemon Exploration
Ask your students (in advance) to bring in 2 or 3 lemons each. During meeting time, cut a lemon into slices, one into wedges, and leave one whole.  Let the children check out the lemons and verbalize what they see, smell and feel.  List the words offered onto a large lemon shaped cardboard cutout.  Offer some untouched wedges for brave tasters.

Is This Lemonade?
Have each child juice one lemon half.  Collect the juice in a pitcher. Let each child dip a clean plastic spoon into the juice for a tiny taste. Ask them if this is really lemonade.  Then, add sugar, water and ice to the pitcher and try taste testing again.

Counting/sorting Strawberries
For the magnetic or flannel boards, make a variety of strawberry shapes, some small, middle sized and big. Leave the basket of strawberry shapes out for the children to explore, count and sort on their own.

Ice Cream Games and Activities

Sensory Table:
Get inexpensive tub of ice cream and scoop into the sensory table. Let the children play in it! Yucky but fun.

Give each child a scoop of ice cream or 2 in a bowl. Have them sit at a table that they fit comfortably at. Make them keep their hands behind their backs and eat the ice cream with only their mouths! Video tape or take pictures.

Go out on the sidewalk (on a hot sunny day) bring a plastic bowl, metal pie tin and a glass dish. Put one spoonful of ice cream on each and on directly on the sidewalk (or black top). What will melt first, second, third? Why do you think we got the results that we did? If the ice cream is different colors will it make a difference?

Scream Relay
Teach the kids: "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" Divide the class in half and have a competition. Which team can say it the loudest. Then have them all say it together. Have a third party judge and they will be able to see that working together, they make the most noise.

Graph everyone's favorite ice cream.

Favorite Flavor Voting
On paper plates glue construction paper ice cream cones. Have 3 or 4 flavors such as vanilla. chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, for example. Give each child a pinch type clothes pin (we call them voting sticks) and invite them to clip their "voting stick" on their favorite flavor of ice cream.

Vegetable Games and Activities

Vegetable Sorting
Buy an assortment of fresh vegetables and let the children sort them by color, size, texture, Etc..

Vegetable Tasting Party
Cut up a variety of vegetables, including some unusual ones the children have probably not tasted before. Allow them to taste which ever ones they want. I provide tooth picks for the older children to pick up their veggies.

Circle Time:
Discuss which vegetables grow underground and which ones grow above ground.

Play Carrot, carrot, corn instead of Duck Duck Goose.

Social Studies:
Discuss what vegetables come to us from other countries. Discuss how veggies are transported to the grocery store.

Veggie Hunt
Hide toy vegetables in sand or in the sensory table and have the children dig them up.

Vegetable Graph Make a graph of what vegetables the kids like and dislike.

Vegetable Book
Use construction paper folded in half for a book. Have the children glue pictures of vegetables in it.

Felt Board Fun
Make fruit and vegetable shapes for the kids to identify.

Food Group Memory Game
Make your own fruit and vegetable flash cards that can also be used as a memory game. Veggie Seed Sort
Have the children sort vegetable seeds out. They can also sort beans or peas.

Field Trip
Take a field trip to the grocery store or farmers market.

Color Science for Kinders!


Inks and markers are often combinations of several colored dyes. The colors of inks and dyes are molecules of coloring substances that are dissolved in a liquid base. When the liquid creeps up the coffee filter, it dissolves the coloring molecules and splits it into different colored chemicals. Different colors get carried along faster and farther than others because some color molecules are bigger and heavier than others. Help your child explore chromatography (the process of separating colors or pigments) while creating a neat art project! Here's how to get started:
What You Need:
  • Coffee filters
  • Clear plastic cup
  • Water
  • Tablespoon
  • Water soluble colored markers
  • Paper towels
  • Clothespins and adhesive magnet strips
  • Chenille stems (pipe cleaners)

What You Do:

  1. Use a pencil to make a mark on a coffee filter about two inches from the bottom.
  2. Give your child the coffee filter and ask him to fold it in half. 
  3. Use water soluble markers to decorate the bottom of the coffee filter above the 2-inch mark. 
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the cup.
  5. Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again and place it in the cup. 
  6. Watch the colors move up the filter. Talk about the different colors that appear on the filter as the filter absorbs the water.
  7. Unfold the filter and place it on paper towels to dry. Once the filter is completely dry, your child can use his science project to make a pretty craft project! Allow your child to showcase the results of the chromatography experiment by making a butterfly magnet or a flower.

    To make a butterfly magnet: gather the filter into a clothespin to resemble a butterfly; place a piece of the magnet strip on the back of the clothespin and display on your refrigerator.

    To make a flower: fold the filter into fourths and twist the chenille stem around the bottom, then fluff the filter so that it looks like a flower.


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