CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK, MONTH, YEAR
We have prepared a Good habit chart (Open Good Habit Chart). Print and laminate a chart for each child. Using adhesive putty, children can add a motivational symbol which illustrates the goal you have set for them.
Ask children to bring items to the daycare which relate to pets. They may bring toys, books, stuffed animals, or pictures. Gather all the objects in the center of the circle. Choose an object and have children say what they know about the animal in question. You may also have them speak about their favourite type of pet and explain why they like this animal most. Ask children if they have pets of their own. What do pets eat? Invite a child to bring his cat to the daycare for a day. Remember to verify that there are no allergic children prior to doing so.
Other Discussion Suggestions:
Ask children to name characteristics pertaining to different types of pets. Are there different names for males, females, and babies? Why do pets have moustaches, claws, tails, paws, and fur? With the help of books, have children observe different breeds of dogs, fish, birds, and rodents. Discuss the types of food different pets eat. Ask children how pets play. Ask them where pets nap and bathe. Discuss the veterinarian's role. Talk about pet shops and the fact that we can purchase much more than pets in pet shops (litter, collars, toys, etc.).
Organize a veterinarian clinic in one corner of the daycare. Add stuffed animals, various sizes of boxes (to lay animals in), small cages if you have them, surgical instruments, latex gloves, a stethoscope, towels, a scale, a veterinarian's kit, tongue depressors, bandages, blankets, rubber gloves, cotton balls, surgical masks, uniforms, a white shirt, a thermometer, a mirror, a small light, an eyedropper, empty medicine bottles, pillows, a notepad, pencils, glasses, cotton swabs, a flashlight, syringes (without needles), and animal posters.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game - Pets) Print, laminate, and store in a "Ziploc" bag or in your thematic bins.
Activity sheets are suggested for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheet - Pets)
Have fun with these great workshop ideas provided by Caroline Allard.
Construction or building blocks:
- Dog biscuits or rawhide bones for dogs can replace blocks
- Giant bricks to build a kennel
- Snakes and reptiles, they are pets too!
- Any pet figurines (cats, dogs, birds, mice...)
Arts & Crafts:
- Different pet coloring pages
- Dry cat or dog food to make collages
- Bird seed for collages
- Empty toilet paper rolls can be used to create cardboard pets. Use models or your imagination
- Feathers can be used for painting
At the veterinarian's:
- Stuffed animals to represent different kinds of pets
- Doctor's kit and/or veterinarian's kit
- Collars and leashes
- Cat/dog beds
- Posters of pets
- White smock or shirt and gloves
- Crayons and papers
- Empty medicine bottles
- Pet memory game using educatall pictures
- Association game where children associate baby pets to their mothers or fathers to learn the correct names
- Puzzles related to the theme
- Fur, feathers...for observing and manipulating
- Association game using animal sounds and animal pictures
- Association game using animals with fur and animals with feathers
Reading and Relaxation:
- Books about pets
- Photo albums of children with their pets...just ask for parents' collaboration.
- A few stuffed animals
- Turn your water table into a pet grooming salon complete with stuffed animals which can get wet, soap, sponges, and towels.
- Bin filled with wood shavings. Hide small mice or other animals in the bin. Children will enjoy finding them and then hiding them once again.
- Container filled with water, aquarium pebbles, and plastic fish
- Container filled with feathers...perfect for tickling each other
Science and cooking:
- A small container filled with agglomerating cat litter and an eyedropper to show children what happens
- Dog biscuit recipe (see educatall's creative recipe section)
- A sense of smell experiment to explain how dogs have a highly developed sense of smell
The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards - Pets) Dog, cat, mouse, veterinarian, budgie, litter box, kennel, pet shop, fish, aquarium, bone, cage
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Play music and encourage children to dance. When the music stops, show children a picture of a pet. They must imitate the illustrated pet. When the music starts again, children resume dancing. When it stops again, present them with another animal to imitate. Use the pet picture game provided in the educatall club for this activity.
Pretend you're veterinarians
Provide children with toilet paper rolls and stuffed animals. They can wrap the paper around the toys' heads, arms, or legs to represent bandages.
My silly cat
Select a child to be the cat. Sit in a circle around the cat with the rest of the group. The cat goes to each child and meows. The children pet the cat and look him in the eye. The cat tries to make them laugh. When he succeeds, the two children change places.
My imaginary pet
Invite children to invent an imaginary pet. They can create their pet out of modeling dough and decorate it as they wish. When they are done, they can present their pets to their friends during circle time. Some things they could mention are the name they gave their pet, what their pet eats, where their pet sleeps, etc...
Imitating a cat
Set up an obstacle course using balls of yarn. Children sit side by side. One at a time, children find a way to get to the end of the obstacle course while crawling like cats. At the end, they can drink milk you left in small bowls under a table, just like kittens.
Place newspaper on the floor. Children play with the paper. They can crumple it into balls and throw it at each other.
Cats chase mice
(Open mice) Print, cut out, and hide the mice throughout the daycare. Children must search for them.
Cat or dog?
Lay cat paw prints on the floor. Children jump or walk on them to the sound of music.
Give each child a ball of yarn. Tie the ends at different locations in the daycare (on chairs, on furniture, etc.). Children become kittens and push their ball of yarn in every direction!
Place aquarium pebbles in a container. Add figurines and small plastic fish. Allow children to play in the container using small nets.
Children make somersaults on a mat followed by an original position.
Hang several large pieces of white cardboard on the wall at children's level. Throughout the week, invite them to draw, paint, and glue fish in their giant aquarium.
Cut out the various animal tracks (Open pet tracks). Place them on the floor to create a path. Children follow identical tracks to discover who they belong to. Leave the pets corresponding to the tracks at the end of each path.
One child plays the role of the pet keeper and the other children are all kittens. The pet keeper tries to catch a kitten. When he succeeds, he tickles the kitten who then becomes the pet keeper.
Children dig in the sand or snow to hide an object. Children then attempt to find their friends' objects.
Take a walk with children and search for cats and dogs. If possible, visit your local pet shop, kennel, or veterinarian's clinic.
(Open Association game - Pets) Print and laminate. Display the pictures on the table. The object of the game is to associate the missing parts to the pets.
(Open sequential story - pets) Print the story. Laminate and cut out the pictures. Have children place them in the correct order.
(Open dominoes - pets) Print, glue onto cardboard, and laminate. This game is for 2 to 4 players. Each child picks five cards. Place the remaining cards in a pile on the table. Place the first card. The first player tries to associate an identical pet to the first card. The second player tries to do the same and so on. If a player cannot associate one of his cards to the cards on the table, he must pick an additional card from the pile. If this card cannot be played either, it's the next player's turn. The game ends when a player has played all his cards.
Hunt and seek
(Open hunt and seek - pets) Print and laminate. Children pick cards and search for the elements in the scene.
Who lives where?
Provide children with a variety of animals. Sort them by habitat. Children form one pile for polar animals, one for zoo animals, one for farm animals, and one for pets. Explain that animals do not all live in the same environment. (Open game - habitats)
Provide children with a small radio and an animal sounds game. You can purchase a game or make one yourself simply by recording animal sounds (a cat purring, a dog barking, etc.). This is perfect for your music corner.
SOCIAL AND MORAL ACTIVITIES
Have children cut out pictures of their favourite pet and hang them on a bulletin board.
Soft like kittens
Fill a box with soft and rough objects. Have children manipulate them. They can name the ones which are soft like kittens.
Cats see in the dark
Experiment in the dark with the group. Have them tell you what they can and cannot see.
Place two different sizes of crackers in the center of the table along with cream cheese, raisins, and shredded carrots. Children make cats.
Discuss how dogs have a highly developed sense of smell. Prepare odorant fruit such as oranges, bananas, pears, etc. for the group's snack. Blindfold them and have them guess which fruit they are eating.
ARTS & CRAFTS
(Open masks - Cat) Print and place in the center of the arts & crafts table. Give each child a paper plate in which you have cut out two holes for the eyes. Using glue and scissors, children add the nose, the eyes, the mouth, and the moustache. Add a string to tie it behind children's head.
Cat and Dog medal
(Open medals - animals) Print and cut out. Children colour and decorate their medal. Add a ribbon. Children can place it around their stuffed animal's neck.
My tiny mouse
(Open model - mouse) Trace the outline of the mouse onto cardboard. Cut it out, it will be the model used by the children. Children must trace two outlines each, color them, and cut them out. Have them glue them onto a clothespin (the pinching part must be near the nose). Glue a piece of yarn onto the mouse to represent the tail.
My little cat
(Open craft - cat) Print one for each child. Color the pieces and glue them onto an empty toilet paper roll.
My little dog
(Open craft - dog) Print one for each child. Color the pieces and glue them onto an empty toilet paper roll.
Each child invents a pet with the material provided: modeling dough, feathers, buttons, pipe cleaners, sparkles, cardboard scraps, tissue paper...
SONGS & RHYMES
Where, Oh where has my little dog gone?
Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone
Oh where, oh where can he be?
With his ears cut short and his tail cut long
Oh where, oh where can he be?
From the pet shop
By: Patricia Morrison
Sung to: This little piggy
This little cat said meow, meow
This little dog said woof, woof
This little budgie sang a song
This little hamster ran around
This little goldfish made bubbles
They were so cute, I took them all home!
The Educatall team