Zoo Animal Activities for Preschool

by | Jun 14, 2024

Whether your preschooler is fascinated by roaring lions, curious monkeys, or graceful giraffes, we have a variety of activities to spark their imagination and foster a love for wildlife.

From coloring pages and puzzles to hands-on crafts, these resources are designed to make learning about zoo animals exciting and interactive.

Join us as we explore creative ways to bring the zoo into your home, providing endless opportunities for your little ones to learn, play, and discover!

How Can Zoo Animal Worksheets Enhance Learning for Preschoolers?

Zoo animal worksheets are a fantastic way to combine fun with education.

These worksheets often include activities like coloring, matching, and simple puzzles that help young children develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and early literacy and numeracy skills.

By engaging with these worksheets, preschoolers can learn about different animals, their habitats, and characteristics in an interactive and enjoyable manner.

What Types of Crafts Can Preschoolers Make to Learn About Zoo Animals?

Crafting is an excellent hands-on activity that allows preschoolers to express their creativity while learning about zoo animals.

Simple projects like making paper plate animal masks, creating handprint animal art, or assembling animal-themed puppets can teach kids about different species and their unique features.

These crafts also encourage imaginative play and help develop important skills like following instructions and problem-solving.

How Do Worksheets and Crafts Foster a Love for Wildlife?

Worksheets and crafts centered around zoo animals can instill a sense of curiosity and appreciation for wildlife in preschoolers.

By engaging in these activities, children can develop a deeper understanding of the importance of animals and their habitats.

Additionally, creating art related to their favorite animals can build a personal connection, fostering empathy and a desire to protect wildlife as they grow older.

What Are Some Easy-to-Implement Zoo Animal Activities at Home?

Bringing the zoo to your home can be simple with the right activities.

Printable worksheets, coloring pages, and cut-out animal shapes are easy to find online and can provide hours of educational fun.

Combine these with craft supplies like glue, scissors, and colored paper to create a mini zoo exhibition at home.

Reading animal-themed books and watching educational videos about zoo animals can also complement these activities, creating a well-rounded learning experience.

Did you know?

All the printables included in this plan are free of charge with the Teaching Littles Membership OR from other generous bloggers.

I have tried to include as many activities in various categories for your preschool lesson plans. Of course, most activities may overlap into multiple categories.

I’ve included information about each activity, but you may need to click the link for more information. All activities that require instructions, have an active link that you can click directly from the PDF if you have internet connection.

There are resources for varying levels of students from ages 2-5. You’ll have to use your discretion on age and level to decide which activities will be appropriate.

Zoo Animal Art & Creativity Activities for Preschool

Zoo animal art and creativity activities are a wonderful way to ignite the imagination of preschoolers.

Through artistic expression, children can explore the vibrant world of animals, experimenting with colors, shapes, and textures.

These activities provide a creative outlet for young minds, encouraging them to think creatively and develop their unique artistic style.

Engaging with animal-themed art projects helps preschoolers enhance their fine motor skills, boosts their confidence, and fosters a deep appreciation for wildlife.

By immersing themselves in the artistic process, children not only learn about different animals but also cultivate a lifelong love for creativity and self-expression.

Zoo Animals Handprint Craft

Handprint Craft (Printable) – Have students use paint and their handprints to create this memorable keepsake.

Paper Plate Monkey

Paint the paper plate in a medium shade of brown. Let Dry. Glue monkeys face in the middle. Glue each eye in the space above the nose. Cut the monkeys ears out from paper. and secure!

Z is for Zebra

Print out this letter Z outline and have your little one glue on black stripes. Add a googly eye and you have the perfect zebra craft!

Footprint Monkey Craft

Paint the foot with brown paint. Make a footprint on a sheet of construction paper. Make a thumbprint ear on each side of the heel. Paint on tail. Let Dry. After its dry use tan paint to make monekys face and belly. Make eyes. Create palm tree with fingerprints.

Fork Lion

Trace a circle with a marker. Have kids dip a fork into orange paint and go around the outside of the circle. Add on the lion’s face!

Paper Giraffe

Take yellow paper and roll it into a cone. Glue it. Cut the cone so it will stay upright. Draw the giraffe’s head on the remaining piece. Take a piece of brown paper and tear it into small pieces. Glue onto the cone.

Monkey Headband Craft

Hippo Heart Craft

Giraffe Craft

Wrap the paper towel roll with a piece of yellow construction paper. Print out the template and cut out. Cut out orange spots and glue to the roll. You will have the cutest giraffe on the block!

Paper Elephant Craft

Use a bowl to trace a large circle. Cut out two rectangles. Cut out a semi circle. Glue to the trunk. Use a black marker to draw lines on elephant trunk. Draw on eyes.

Zoo Animal Sensory Activities For Preschool

Zoo animal sensory activities for preschool offer a multi-sensory experience that engages their senses and stimulates their curiosity about the natural world.

These activities allow children to explore textures, sounds, and scents associated with different animals, enhancing their sensory development and cognitive skills.

Easy Zebra Slime

Use glue and liquid starch, plus water to make the white slime. Use clear glue, water, starch, and black coloring to make the black slime. Add the zebra figures. Black and white will not stay separated indefinitely but kids will have a blast either way!

Muddy Zoo Sensory Bin

Add some zoo animal figures to a large sensory bin with shaving cream, mud, water, bowls, spoons

Mini Zoo Sensory Bin

Pour clear dishsoap in bottle until half full, drop in tiny animals, add in sequins and glitter. Fill with tap water. Replace lid (you can glue on).

Wash the Zoo Animals

Add a dash of bubble bath to your water table and fill it up. Add zoo animals and you are all set!

Zoo Animal Play-Doh Mats

Use Play-Doh (or another manipulative) to create the numbers on the mat. For extra practice you can have your littles count the animals on the mat.

Zoo Animal Textures

Ice Skating Zoo Animals

If you have an ice cube tray and some zoo animal figurines you are set for this easy sensory play activity. Place zoo animals in the ice cube tray, fill with water, put in the freezer. Once frozen set out some colored paper and let your littles paint with the icecubes and zoo animals.

Muddy Oobleck Sensory Table

Mix the oobleck recipe (cocoa, cornstarch, and water), add to a tub. Provide small zoo animals to play in the mixture.

Tiger Sensory Bag

Grab a gallon sized ziplock bag. Draw a large crcle using a black sharpie. Add a nose, mouth, whiskers, and ears. Fill the bag with a couple squirts of hair gel and a drop of orange food colouring. Cut 9 stripes from black foam sheets and two circles and put them inside the bag. Close the bag and let them play!

Zoo Animal Sensory Play

Mix water, food colouring, and gelatine to create a sensory tub. Add pom pom balls and animal toy figures to it. Allow to sit in fridge to set before playing.

Zoo Animal Fun and Games

Zoo animal fun and games activities are a fantastic way to combine playtime with educational experiences for preschoolers.

These engaging games capture the excitement of the animal kingdom, allowing children to learn about different species, their behaviors, and their habitats in a playful manner.

Zoo Animal Bingo

Learn about zoo animals nd concepts during this fun game. Talk about each item first and explain what it is before calling them out.

Scavenger Hunt

A zoo trip is the perfect time to do a scavenger hunt! There are several options to choose from in this activity, your kiddo can have fun doing them all!

Zoo Themed Pathway Game

This is a fun game and your preschooler will not even know they are learning math concepts. Simply provide with this printable, some counters, and a set of dice to have an afternoon of learning important math concepts.

I Spy Zoo Animals

This I Spy Game printable includes fourteen different animals your little one might see at the zoo. Seek and find all fourteen zoo animals. This I spy game is a perfect way to learn about animals from all over the world. It can also can be used as a fun brain buster.

Engaging Minds with Zoo Animal Discussions and Graphing Activities

Zoo animal discussions and graphing activities offer a structured yet exciting way for preschoolers to explore the animal kingdom.

By engaging in discussions, children develop their language skills, learn to articulate their thoughts and build a deeper understanding of different animals and their environments.

Discuss Animal Types and Habitats

  • “What animals do you think live in the zoo?”
  • “Where do you think these animals would live if they were not in the zoo?”
  • “Can you think of any animals that might live in the same place?”

Graph Your Favorite Zoo Animals – Kid can choose from 5 different zoo animals. Display a graph for the choices and have students come up to check off or initial next to their favorite zoo animal.

Discuss Animal Sizes

  • “Which animal is the smallest in the zoo?”
  • “Which animal is the biggest?”
  • “How big do you think a giraffe’s neck is compared to you?”

Graph Animal Diets -Discuss different animals diets graph how many zoo animals are herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores.

Enhancing Storytime with Zoo Animal Books to Read Aloud

Reading zoo animal books aloud is a delightful way to introduce preschoolers to the wonders of wildlife. These books captivate young minds with engaging stories, colorful illustrations, and fascinating facts about animals.

Zoo Time

Go on an exciting adventure through the zoo with a father and daughter in Zoo Time, a charming picture book that introduces young readers to the animal kingdom’s magic.

Discover each animal’s unique and beautiful qualities and learn to appreciate the diversity of nature through engaging storytelling and stunning illustrations. Perfect for first-time zoo-goers, this book will inspire a love of wildlife.

Going to the Zoo

The school bus is going to the zoo. On the way, it will pass many places. What places can you see? Which one is your favorite?

A Visit to the Zoo

Text and photographs take readers on a visit to the zoo including descriptions of the things, people, and animals found there. This book includes a video, which launches via a 4D app.

1,2,3, To the Zoo

This board book combines simple counting with Carle’s unusual illustrations of animals. Early learners will find the whimsical pictures appealing as they learn the beginning rudiments of numbers and counting.

Zoo Day

A young boy and his family visit the zoo for the very first time. From gorillas to lions, polar bears to parrots, Anne Rockwell and her daughter, artist Lizzy Rockwell, celebrate a day he will never forget.

If I Lived at The Zoo

A daydream comes to life – this story takes readers on a journey of what it would be like for a youngster to live at the zoo among animal friends.

This story uses rhymes and consistent meter to make reading it a fun, fantastical experience.

Dear Zoo

Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent—a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But will they ever find the perfect pet?

With bright, bold artwork, a catchy refrain, and a whole host of favorite animals, Dear Zoo is a must for every child’s bookshelf.

The View at the Zoo

As morning dawns, the zookeeper makes his rounds, exhorting animals to wake up, comb their hair, and stand up straight. When human visitors arrive, the observations begin to flow: “My, what silly things they do, all these creatures at the zoo.

Lou’s Zoo and Winston Too

If you’re looking for captivating children’s books that celebrate kindness, compassion, self-esteem, diversity, and the journey of understanding anxiety, “Lou’s Zoo and Winston Too” is the perfect addition to your library.

Curious George Goes to the Zoo

George is going to visit a new kind of zoo where the animals all roam free. Some of those animals look like a lot of fun—so much fun that a curious monkey can’t resist joining them.

Giraffes and flamingos are close enough to touch, but George befriends a baby rhino who seems a little sad. Who better to lure her from her hiding place than George? And just in time for her special birthday party!

Related Post: 35 Must Have Books for Preschoolers

Physical Development with Zoo Animal Activities

Zoo animal activities are a fantastic way to support the physical development of preschoolers.

By engaging in activities that mimic animal movements and behaviors, children can improve their gross motor skills, balance, and coordination.

Whether they’re hopping like a kangaroo, crawling like a bear, or stretching like a giraffe, these playful exercises help build strength and flexibility.

123 Animal

This simple no prep game is perfect to get the wiggles out! It’s a mix between 20 questions and charades and works with a wide variety of age levels.

One player picks an animal and gives 3 clues. Once the animal is guessed the person who is “it” counts to a predetermined number and everyone has to act like that animal and then freeze.

Zoo Animal Movement Cards

Print out and laminate the movement cards. Draw one at a time and have kids act out the movement on the card.

Animal Dance Party

Have fun moving and dancing like each animal as you listen. Add simple props to inspire creative movement.

Move like an Animal

Gross Motor Skills Game similar to the gross motor movement cards but more hands on for littles. Provide them with several zoo animal toys. As they choose one have them move like the animal! You can join in too!

Singing and Learning: Zoo Animal Songs for Preschoolers

Zoo animal songs are a fun and engaging way to introduce preschoolers to the animal kingdom.

Through catchy melodies and playful lyrics, these songs capture children’s attention and make learning about animals an enjoyable experience.

Singing about zoo animals helps children improve their memory, language skills, and rhythm, while also fostering a love for music.

Let’s Go to the Zoo

Dance like the animals do with this active kids song “Let’s Go To The Zoo”. Stomp like elephants, jump like kangaroos, swing like monkeys, waddle like penguins, slither like snakes, and swim like polar bears!

Peek a Zoo

Today, we’re going to go to “Peek-a-zoo”, meeting all the animals!

Blippi – Zoo Song

Zoo is such an amazing place! There are so many animals there you wouldn’t normally see. Watch this Blippi educational music video with all kinds of animals like lions, tigers, bears, and more!

Who’s in the Zoo?

Sing along and learn with The Kiboomers Preschool Songs & Nursery Rhymes! Zoo, Zoo, Who is in the Zoo? Zoo animals! We’ll see and hear animal sounds from lions, elephants, snakes, monkeys and parrots. Enjoy!

Old McDonald had a Zoo

Turning a fun nursery rhyme into an exciting zoo adventure!

The Animal Dance

IN THIS VIDEO: Join Danny Go and his friends as they travel around the world to dance like different animals! From giraffes and cheetahs in the African savannah to polar bears and walruses in the Arctic Circle, it’s time to let out your creature craziness!

Related Post: The Best Movement Songs for Preschoolers

Boosting Literacy Skills with Zoo Animal Activities

Zoo animal activities provide an exciting avenue for preschoolers to develop their literacy skills. Shout out to @Pre K Printable Fun for several of these activities!

Zoo Animal Sight Word Book

Have students color and cut out the pages of this book. They will start to recognize the sight words with repetition.

Beginning Sound Zoo Animal Match

Match each picture with the beginning letter. Cut to size yourself or have students do some of the cutting on the line.

Zoo Animal Alphabet Game Board

All you need is dice and game pieces. Designed for students that are starting to learn letter names and sounds.

Zoo Letter Activity

Download and print the zoo animals. Tape or glue the zoo on a paper bag, and cut the white spot out. Kids will pick. an animal card and say the letter name as they put it in the zoo.

Zoo Letter Cards

Download and print cards, students pick a card and identify the letter on it. Next they will say the name of the animal. And you can let them know its the beginning sound. Finally, students can use markers or other manipulatives to fill in the letter.

Zoo Animal Color By Letter Worksheets

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love these free color by letter printables.

These free zoo themed pages come in black and white only, and can be laminated after your child have decorated the picture and made into a fun book to look back on

Zoo Animal Letter Mazes

Kids LOVE doing these! All they need to do is begin at start and follow the designated letter through the maze to get to the finish box!

Zoo Animal Flash Cards

These cute zoo flashcards can be used in a variety of ways! We suggest laminating them before first use so they can be used over and over again. Print two sets out and use as a simple matching game for your child.

Letter Recognition Worksheets

There are seven worksheets that cover the letters E, L, M, O, P, T and Z.

On the left side of the page, kids need to find the designated letter in the boxes.

Zoo Animal Handwriting Worksheets

Kids will read a sentence featuring the beginning letter and animal name. Then, they’ll color the picture of the animal. Finally, they’ll trace and write a short sentence featuring a fun fact about the animal.

Zoo Word Wall Cards

These zoo word wall cards have so many uses! This week try hanging them around your space and use them to sort small zoo animals.

Zoo First Sound Cards

Preschoolers are learning that each letter makes a sound. Invite your preschooler to work on this skill by identifying the beginning sound of zoo animals.

Parts of an Elephant

Let your littles cut out and label the different parts of an elephant for a fun literacy activity.

Feed the Elephant Letter Match

Use the game as a table activity or transform into a file folder game to use anywhere. Flip a peanut and then match the lowercase letter to the elephant that has the matching uppercase letter.

Zebra Stripes Color Word Matching

This activity has two levels of learning to individualize the activity for children. Invite children to use the colored color words to match up to the same color zebra. For more of a challenge match-up the plain black color words to the zebras.

Math Skills with Zoo Animal Activities

Zoo animal activities offer a creative and engaging way for preschoolers to develop their mathematical skills. By incorporating animal themes into math exercises, children can learn basic concepts such as counting, sorting, and pattern recognition in a fun and interactive manner.

Shout out to @Pre K Printable Fun for these activities!

At the Zoo Counting Mat

This larger counting mat can be used with play dough, pom poms, mini zoo animals or the included printable tiger counters.

Zoo Patterns

these patterning strips are fun to use as a cut and paste activity, or laminate for durability to use repeatedly.

Practice AB, AAB, and ABC patterns with zoo animals.

Tiger Counting Mats

Invite your preschooler to practice numeral identification and subitizing. Read the number, count the tigers, and place the same number of matching tigers in the ten frame.

Mini Counting Mats

Invite your preschooler to practice numeral identification and subitizing. Read the number, count the tigers, and place the same number of matching tigers in the ten frame.

Zoo Animal Puzzles

Put together a puzzle to reveal a zoo animal!

In addition to fine motor fun, these puzzles promote numeracy development and ordering skills.

Zoo Count and Clip Cards

Preschoolers will love counting up the animals in the zoo in this activity. Practice counting with one-to-one correspondence, then identify the matching numeral on the bottom and clip it with a clothespin.

Sorting and Matching

It’s feeding time at the zoo!

Use this activity to encourage preschoolers to refine their sorting and classifiication skills.

Dice Roll and Animal Count

Use a large foam die with numbers on each side. Draw or cut out animal shapes (or use mini animal figures) in different sizes. Have children roll the die and count the number shown. Then, they can place the corresponding number of animals on a designated area

Giraffe Spot Shape Clip Cards

Did you know giraffes each have their own unique pattern? The giraffes on these clip cards each have their own unique pattern too! Invite your preschooler to identify and clip the matching shape on each card.

Exploring Science with Zoo Animal Activities

Zoo animal activities provide a captivating way to introduce preschoolers to basic scientific concepts. Through hands-on experiments and interactive learning, children can explore the wonders of biology, ecology, and zoology.

Stem Challenge

Gather supplies, print cards, and allow the kids to have open-ended time to create the stem challenges

Frozen Animal Science

Freeze animals in tupperware, give kids warm water, cold water and rock salt and invite them to explore how to get the animals out of the ice.

Giraffe Spot Science Experiment

For this giraffe science experiment, you will need a paper towel, paintbrush, and watercolor paints. Optionally, you could also use liquid watercolors instead of paint.

Animal Habitat Slide and Find

Use this printable game to learn a little about where animals live! Pull the strip to change the animal for each habitat. What lives in the Savannah? A polar bear? Toucan? These little puzzles include numbers for self-correcting.

Developing Fine Motor Skills with Zoo Animal Activities

Zoo animal activities are an excellent way to help preschoolers develop fine motor skills.

Engaging in tasks such as coloring animal pictures, cutting out animal shapes, and assembling animal-themed crafts allows children to practice precision and control with their hands and fingers.

These activities enhance dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and muscle strength in a fun and creative way.

Zoo Animals Fine Motor & Counting

In this activity, children are given a zoo animal card with a number and circle spaces on it. The child pretends to “feed” the zoo animal in its cage by placing gems on the circles. You could also use beans, pasta, or pieces of play dough.

Cutting Strips Scissor Practice

Practice cutting and tracing skills with these cutting strips.

Rescue the Zoo Animals

The set up for this activity is super simple. Grab all your zoo animals and bunch of ziplock bags that they will fit into. Place one animal into each of the bags and seal it tight. Line them all up and let your toddler discover them after nap time.

Paper Zoo

Using your zoo brochure have your little cut out and glue animals on a sheet of paper and then draw them in the zoo.

Zebra Sticky Wall

Draw a Zebra on a whiteboard and cover with contact paper – invite your little to add their stripes!

Zoo Animal Pattern Blocks

Provide children with some pattern blocks and these printable zoo animals for an afternoon of fun.

Zoo Animal Tracing

Let your littles practice their tracing skills on this fun and informative worksheet.

Zoo Animal Tape Rescue

So basically all you have to do to set this up, is tape a bunch of the little animals down to a cookie sheet, and set up a secret mission for your kiddos (or students). Tell them their mission is to rescue all of the animals and let them go to town!

Zoo Animal Maze

Your little zoologist will enjoy navigating their way from start to finish.

Zoo Animal Do a Dot Papers

This set of dot marker pages includes eight pages with tons of fun animals for your child to dot. It is also super easy to download and print.

Zoo animal activities offer a rich and diverse way to support preschoolers’ development across various domains. From enhancing fine motor skills and literacy to sparking curiosity in science and math, these activities provide endless opportunities for young learners to grow and discover.

By incorporating worksheets, crafts, sensory experiences, songs, and more, educators and parents can create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that fosters a lifelong love for animals and education.

As you explore these activities with your preschoolers, remember that the journey of learning is as important as the destination.

Embrace the adventure, encourage curiosity, and enjoy the countless moments of discovery and joy that come with exploring the fascinating world of zoo animals.

With each activity, you’re not only nurturing essential developmental skills but also inspiring a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world that will last a lifetime.

Want all of these awesome activities in one easy-to-access location? Try our Zoo Animal Lesson Plans!

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