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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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Safari

Workshops, activities for babies, outdoor fun, a new rhyme, and simple science activities are all part of this animal-packed theme.

In the Educatall Club
Posters, models, activity sheets, crafts, word flashcards, games, puppets, and many more documents that will take your group on a safari adventure.

AREA SETUP

(Open thematic poster-Safari) Print, laminate, and display all kinds of posters.

 

Educa-theme-Safari
(Open educa-theme-Safari) Print and laminate the items that represent the theme. Use them to present your theme to your group (and parents) while decorating a corner of your daycare.

 

Garland-Safari
(Open models-Safari) Print and let children decorate the garland. Cut it out and hang it within your daycare or near your daycare entrance.

 

Educa-decorate-Safari

(Open educa-decorate-Safari) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the illustrations to decorate your walls and set the mood for the theme. For the duration of the theme, transform the area where you serve meals. Set a green tablecloth on a table (Open zoo animal models) Print and trace the shapes on construction paper. Cut them out and fold where indicated. Use markers to draw any missing details (eyes, mouth, etc.) directly on the paper. Use pipe cleaners to represent the animals' ears and tail, if necessary. Use the animals to create a centrepiece or use clear thread or string to hang them above your table.

 

SPECIAL TOOLEduca-theme-Safari

The following tools were created in response to special requests received. (Open group identification-Zebras) (Open group identification-Pandas) Print and laminate the different items and use them to identify children's spots and belongings throughout your daycare and in your cloakroom.

 

CIRCLE TIME

Encourage each child to bring a book, a stuffed animal, a movie, or any other object they have at home that represents a zoo animal to daycare. Arrange the various items in the centre of your circle time area. Pick one item at a time and invite children to share everything they know about the animal.

 

PICTURE GAME

The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with your group. Use them to decorate your daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Safari) Print, laminate, and store the pictures in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.

 

Memory gamePicture game-Safari
(Open picture game-Safari) Print the pictures twice and use them to play a memory game with your group.

 

ACTIVITY SHEETS

(Open activity sheets-Monkeys) Activity sheets are suggested for each theme. Print and follow instructions.


WRITING ACTIVITIES

(Open writing activities-S like safari) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.

 

Educa-nuudles-Safari

(Open educa-nuudles-Safari) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet and use Magic Nuudles to give it a three-dimensional look. Variation: You don't have Magic Nuudles? Have children fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers. To order Magic Nuudles

 

 

Stationery-MonkeysStationery Monkeys
(Open stationery-Monkeys) Print. You may use the stationery to communicate with parents, in your writing area, or to identify your thematic bins.

 

VARIOUS WORKSHOPS-Safari

Have fun with these wonderful workshop ideas created by Caroline Allard.

 

Construction/building blocks:

  • Decorate your area with pictures of animals that can be seen during a safari.
  • Offer different kinds of animals: wild animals, aquatic animals, polar animals, farm animals, reptiles, etc.
  • Figurines that can represent people that are visiting a zoo.
  • Blocks (Lego, etc.) that children can use to build shelters for animals.
  • A play mat that represents animals or a zoo.

Arts & crafts:Educa-decorate-Safari

  • Several Popsicle sticks and white glue. Children can use them to build cages for the animals.
  • Orange, yellow, brown, and black construction paper that can be used to create animal collages or 3D animals with empty toilet paper rolls.
  • Paint an empty toilet paper roll to represent a lion. Let dry. Use a hole-punch to make four holes in the toilet paper roll (two in the front and two in the back). Insert a pipe cleaner in each pair of holes to represent the lion's legs. Bend the ends of the pipe cleaners to represent paws. Cut a small paper coffee cup horizontally halfway up. Next, cut it vertically to represent a lion's mane. Fold and paint the paper cup. Draw the lion's face on the bottom of the cup. Let dry. Glue the toilet paper roll in the bottom of the cup to complete your lion.
  • Old National Geographic magazines that children can use to cut pictures of animals and make a giant collage.
  • Strips of orange, black, and white paper that can be used to create animals.
  • Feathers that can be used as paintbrushes to paint pretty birds.

Drawing:

  • Coloring pages that represent various animals that can be seen during a safari.
  • Stencils representing different wild animals.
  • Yellow and orange paper that children can draw on using black markers.
  • Tracing paper and pictures of different types of animals.Group identification-Pandas
  • A piece of paper divided into two sections with, for example, a zebra drawn in the top section. Children must reproduce the drawing in the bottom section.

Role play:

  • Set up a ticket booth where children can pretend to buy a ticket for the zoo. To represent a zoo, display pictures of animals on the walls of your daycare or set stuffed zoo animals here and there.
  • The zookeeper will be very popular throughout this theme: shirt, pants, hat, flashlight, set of keys, cell phone, etc.
  • There is always a veterinarian at the zoo: white shirt, stethoscope, flashlight, magnifying glass, syringes, bandages, etc.
  • A cook is responsible for feeding the animals. Transform your kitchen area so children can prepare food for the monkeys, lions, snakes, etc.
  • Who cleans the animals' cages? An animal technician! Provide work clothes, a broom, a bucket, brushes of all kinds, etc.
  • Use a large box to represent a cave.

Manipulation:

  • Memory game using the educatall.com picture game or an animal-themed store-bought memory game. They are easy to find!
  • Modeling dough with animal-shaped cookie cutters. If you wish, use salt dough and leave the animals out to dry. Children can paint them and take them home.
  • Several different types of fake fur and fabric children can explore.Group identification-Zebras
  • Lotto game or other board games involving animals.
  • Association game where children must match animals with the correct paw prints or tracks.
  • Puppets representing safari animals and a small tabletop puppet theatre.

Pre-reading:

  • Books about animals.
  • Fairytales or stories that involve animals that can be seen on a safari.
  • A poster representing various animal families.
  • A game where children must associate animals sounds with the correct animal pictures.
  • A map and animal pictures children can associate with the correct continent.

Pre-writing:

  • Animal-themed connect-the-dot activities.
  • Mazes.
  • Activity sheets related to the theme.

Motor skills:

  • An obstacle course that children must complete while moving like a monkey, a lion, a seal, etc.
  • Children can jump through hula hoops like lions at the circus.
  • A balance beam that children can walk on like a tiger or panther.Word flashcards-The zoo
  • An imitation game (Monkey see, Monkey do).
  • Feed the animal game. Draw an animal face on a large piece of construction paper and cut a hole where its mouth is. Encourage children to try to toss bean bags inside the animal's mouth.
  • Play "The lion says..." instead of "Simon says...".
  • Invite children to slither under chairs or along an obstacle course.

Sensory bins:

  • Water table with plastic animals that children can wash and bathe.
  • Fill your water table with ice cubes and let children play with polar animals.
  • A cereal bin (to represent food for the animals) and a variety of small objects that can be hidden in the bin.

Early science:

  • Magnifying glasses children can use to observe animals up close.
  • Fill a bowl of water for each child and let them drink like animals.

Kitchen:

  • Giant word flashcards-SafariInsert a Popsicle stick in a few bananas. Dip them in chocolate and set them in the freezer to prepare the perfect snack for your little monkeys.
  • Have children eat their lunch like animals...without utensils and without their hands.

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES

Word flashcards

Use the cards to spark a conversation with your group or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-The zoo) (Open giant word flashcards-The zoo) (Open word flashcards-Safari) (Open giant word flashcards-Safari) Print. zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe, monkey, kangaroo, cheetah, crocodile, tiger, cage, gorilla, zoo, giraffe, lion, zebra, elephant, monkey, hyena, gorilla, picture, Jeep, guide, explorer, binoculars

 

Let's chat
(Open word flashcards-Safari) Print and laminate the word flashcards. Display them on a wall, close to your circle time area or glue them on a large piece of cardboard that can easily be moved around. Name a word and ask children to identify the corresponding word flashcard.

 

On a safari, you can see...Zoo scene
Have children sit in a circle. Give each child an animal name (lion, zebra, elephant, giraffe, gorilla, etc.). Stand in the centre of the circle and toss a scarf up in the air as you say, "On a safari, you can see..." (name an animal). The child you had given this name to must catch the scarf before it touches the ground and call out the name of another animal as he/she tosses the scarf back up into the air.

 

Zoo scene
(Open zoo scene) Print, laminate, and cut out the pieces. Children can use them to decorate the scene.

 

Associating words and pictures
(Open giant word flashcards-Safari) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on a wall next to your circle time area or on a large piece of cardboard that can be moved around. Name a word and encourage children to take turns identifying the correct word flashcard.

 

Felt board game-The zooFelt board game-The zoo
(Open felt board game-The zoo) Print. Cut out the items and trace them on colourful felt. Cut out the felt shapes. Stick four pieces of dark blue felt on a large piece of cardboard and hang your felt board on a wall. The shapes will easily stick to your felt board. Children will enjoy creating different scenes.

 

SAFARI DAY

(Open perpetual calendar-Safari Day) Print and display.

 

Greeting: Give each child a necklace representing a different animal. Encourage them to wear it throughout the day. 

Circle time: Have children listen to different animal sounds and identify the corresponding animal. Discuss the habitat of each animal, identify the foods the animals eat and the country where they live.Perpetual calendar-Safari Day

Lunch and snacks: At snack time, serve small animal crackers in cute animal-shaped plates. At lunch time, use the plates to serve animal-shaped chicken nuggets.

Special activities: Organize a special treasure hunt within your daycare. Have children search for animals that are hidden here and there. Encourage children to use magnifying glasses and pretend they are great explorers. Take pictures of your group while they are on this unique safari. Collect all the toys you have that are related to animals. Let children draw a huge jungle scene on a white banner and display it on a wall. Consult our numerous animal themes, they are packed with game and activity suggestions.

 

ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS

My safari path
(Open transition games-Safari) Print, laminate, and secure the illustrations on the floor to create a path which leads to areas frequently visited by children such as the bathroom or cloakroom. If you prefer, the illustrations may also be used to delimit your various workshops.

 

Transition games-SafariGame-This is my spot-Safari
(Open transition games-Safari) Print two copies. Laminate and cut out the cards. Glue one copy of each card on the table using adhesive paper. Drop the other copies in a bag. Children take turns picking a card to determine their spot at the table for the day. You may also use the cards to determine naptime spots or for your task train.

 

Animal moves
Invite children to move about the daycare while acting like different animals and making the corresponding animal sounds. Repeat this activity often during the theme, changing animals each time.

 

ACTIVITIES FOR BABIES

Soft animals
Collect several stuffed animals and let young children manipulate them from time to time during your theme.

 

Illustrated safariMiniature lions
Collect several pictures and illustrations that represent different animals and display them within your daycare. Use your daycare walls, cupboards, and floor to present the pictures and illustrations to your group. Young children will enjoy discovering the animals as they move around the daycare.

 

I am a...
Practice making different animal sounds with your group.

 

Makeup and masks
As you discover different animals with your group, paint each child's face to represent them. If you prefer, use animal masks.

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS

Lion huntWord flashcards-Safari
(Open miniature lions) Print and laminate. Hide the lions within your daycare and invite children to hunt for them. The child who finds the most lions can help you hide them for the next round.

 

The kangaroo family
This activity can be presented outside. Set several hula hoops on the ground and encourage children to hop in them with their feet stuck together to represent a kangaroo.

 

Musical animals
(Open picture game-Zoo animals) Play African music and invite children to dance around the daycare. When you stop the music, have a child pick a card. As a group, they must move about like the animal shown on the card and make the corresponding animal sound for a few minutes. When you start the music again, children resume dancing and so on.

 

Follow the zookeeper
You are the zookeeper. Ask children to form a line and stand one behind the other. At first, perform simple moves (three steps forward, two steps sideways, a small kangaroo hop, etc.). Children must repeat your every move. As the game progresses, introduce actions that are more and more difficult. You can, for example, have children move backwards, on their tiptoes like a giraffe, heavily like an elephant, etc.

 

Magnetic animalsGiant word flashcards-The zoo
Draw small animal silhouettes on construction paper and laminate them. Stick the animal shapes on magnetic paper. Provide cookie sheets. Children will have fun sticking the animals on the cookie sheets to create a variety of scenes.

 

The monkeys follow the gorilla
Have children (monkeys) stand in a line behind the leader (the gorilla). The gorilla performs a variety of actions and the monkeys must repeat his every move. The gorilla can jump, raise his arms, crawl, clap, spin around, etc.

 

Silly monkey
Select a child who will play the role of the monkey. The other children are gorillas. The gorillas must lie down on the floor, on their side, with their eyes open and a serious look on their face. The monkey must walk among the gorillas, making silly faces. If a child laughs, he/she is eliminated. The last remaining gorilla becomes the silly monkey for the next round.

 

Monkey gameColor by number-Monkeys
Monkeys jump from one branch to the next. Have children perform several different types of jumps: on one foot, with their two feet stuck together, long jumps, short jumps, etc. Repeat the activity with them standing inside a jute bag or while holding jumping ropes.

 

Monkey see, Monkey do
Encourage children to pretend they are monkeys. They must imitate everything you do (make a silly face, scratch your head, laugh, fall down, etc.). Variation: This game can be presented at lunch time. Use it to encourage children to eat broccoli or another vegetable they don't really enjoy. It just might work!

 

Monkey face
Set several mirrors on a table. Invite children to make silly faces. Organize a contest!

 

Follow the elephantFinger puppets-Safari
Children hold hands. They must follow the rhythm of the child who is first in line. They must walk very slowly or very fast, walk very lightly or very heavily, walk on their tiptoes, or roll around in the mud to protect themselves from insects. Explain how elephants can be used to transport people. Ask an older child to crawl around the floor with a smaller child on his/her back.

 

The lion's roar
Ask children to roar like a lion. They can roar very loudly or very softly. Record the sounds they make. If you wish, you may also explore other animal sounds with your group.

 

Little lions
Tease children's hair to represent a lion's mane. Paint their faces too.

 

Models-SafariGiant giraffe
Collect several yellow and brown blocks. With your group, stack the blocks to represent a long giraffe neck. Keep going until the tower/neck falls down.

 

I am a panther
Set a balance beam in the centre of your daycare. Encourage children to walk on the balance beam like a panther, a lion, a tiger, etc.


OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Animal families
Divide your group into three animal families. You can have an elephant family, a monkey family, and a lion family. Whisper the name of one of these animals in each child's ear. When you give the signal, children must act like the animal they were given. Children must observe the others to find their family members.

 

The zooModels monkey
Transform your sandbox to make it look like a zoo. Add the contents of your animal bin and encourage children to draw roads, build shelters and enclosures using coffee sticks, and plant weeds in the sand to represent trees. Let them use their imagination.

 

Take your indoors outdoors!
Bring your dolls and blankets outside and let children use sleds to transport them around your yard. Blocks can be used to build huge castles or forts outside. Use paintbrushes and water to paint items in your yard.

 

COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES

Where do animals live?
(Open Game-Where do animals live?) Print and laminate the game. Using Velcro, children must associate the animals to the correct habitat.

 

Color by number-MonkeysMy bouncing monkey
(Open color by number-Monkeys) Print for each child. Children must color the picture according to the color code.

 

As tall as a giraffe
Provide measuring tapes and rulers children can use to measure different items within your daycare. Measure each child. Which object is the longest? Which one is the smallest? Sort a series of items from shortest to longest.

 

The giraffe's neck
Explain how giraffes can see things that are very far away thanks to their very long neck. Invite children to look at something that is very far away. Set items here and there throughout your daycare. Have them determine which ones are far away and which ones are very close.

 

EARLY SCIENCE

Heavy like an elephant, light as a feather
Children must identify heavy and light items. Weigh each child. Provide small scales children can use to weigh items present within your daycare.

 

The elephant's trunkMonkey costume
Set a few buckets of water on the ground or floor. Give each child a drinking straw and encourage them to blow water through it just like an elephant blows water through its trunk.

 

I am a monkey
(Open monkey costume) Print, stick the mask on heavy cardboard, and cut it out. If you wish, you may also laminate the mask before cutting it out. Attach a string or an elastic to either side of the mask to hold it in place.

 

CULINARY ACTIVITIES

Monkeys and bananas
Prepare a variety of banana-based recipes (cakes, muffins, milkshake, bread, etc.).

 

Animal foodMy miniature-kangaroo
Purchase animal-shaped crackers or cookies at the grocery store. At snack time, encourage children to name the animals as they eat them.

 

ARTS & CRAFTS

Finger puppets-Safari
(Open finger puppets-Safari) Print the various puppet models on heavy cardboard. Ask children to cut them out and decorate the puppets with different arts & crafts materials. Children insert their fingers in the holes to move the puppets.

 

Models-Safari
(Open models-Safari) Print the models and use them for crafts and activities throughout the theme.

 

My safari scrapbook
Cut pictures out of old magazines and books. Glue them on 10 cm x 13 cm paper. Slide two pictures inside small Ziploc bags, back to back. Staple the bags together at the closed end. Using this method will make it possible to open the bags to remove the pictures if you need to. Use colourful adhesive tape to cover the staples. Enjoy your safari scrapbook.

 

Lion maskMy miniature-koala bear
Paint a paper plate and set it aside to dry. Remove the centre of the plate. Glue pieces of yellow and brown yarn all the way around the remaining contour to represent a lion's mane.

 

Elephant trunk
Use gray paint to coat a small paper plate. Add two gray ears and two wiggly eyes. Cut a hole in the centre of the plate and show children how they can insert their finger to represent an elephant's trunk.

 

Elephant feet
With your group, experiment mixing white and black paint to create gray paint. Let children press their hands in the gray paint and then on a large paper banner.

 

Giant giraffeActivity-sheets-Monkeys
Stick several brown paper bags on a wall to represent a long giraffe neck. Provide yellow and black paint and ask children to dip their fingers in the paint to add spots.

 

Masks
(Open zoo animal masks) Print and trace the models on heavy cardboard. Let children choose and decorate the mask they like best.

 

Zebras
Trace the outline of a zebra body on black construction paper for each child. Let children stick pieces of white yarn on their zebra to represent stripes.

 

Striped zebra drawing
Provide black paper and white chalk and let children create unique zebra designs.

 

Zebra paintingEduca-nuudles-Safari
You will need a sheet of white waxed paper. Stick strips of masking tape on the paper. Cover the entire paper with black paint. Once the paint is dry, remove the masking tape.

 

Puppets-Monkeys
(Open puppets-Monkeys) Print the models on heavy cardboard. Ask children to cut them out and decorate them with various arts & crafts materials. Glue a Popsicle stick behind each model to complete your puppets.

 

Models-Monkeys
(Open models-Monkeys) Print the models and use them for crafts and activities throughout the theme.

 

Bouncing monkey
(Open my bouncing monkey) Print the different pieces. You will need two paper plates (a small one and a big one). Have children paint them with beige or brown paint. They will represent the monkey's body and the monkey's head. Assemble the monkey, adding the face, tail, arms and legs, ears...and banana to the plates. Hang the monkeys from the ceiling.

 

Monkey printsColoring pages theme-Safari
Use brown poster paint to color the bottom of each child's foot and press it on a piece of paper with the toes pointing downwards. The child's heel will represent the monkey's head whereas the toes will represent its feet. Using a paintbrush, children can add a tail and with a black marker, they can draw details on the monkey's face. Remind them to add ears too. Brown fingerprints next to the monkey can represent the trunk of a palm tree and green fingerprints can be added to create the palm tree's leaves.

 

Monkey face
(Open monkey costume) Print for each child. Have children paint a paper plate with brown poster paint. While the paint is drying, ask children to cut out the various parts of the monkey face and have them color the pieces as they wish. Once the paint is completely dry, have children stick the face parts in the correct spots.

 

My miniature kangaroo
(Open my miniature kangaroo) Print the various kangaroo parts and ask children to cut them out. Glue them on an empty toilet paper roll.

 

My miniature koala bear
(Open my miniature koala bear) Print the various koala parts and ask children to cut them out. Glue them on an empty toilet paper roll.

 

Puppets-Kangaroo
(Open puppets-Kangaroo) Print the model and have children color the parts. Cut them out and assemble the kangaroo on a brown paper bag as shown.

 

COLORING PAGES

(Open coloring pages theme-Safari) Print.

 

SONGS & RHYMES

(Open songs & rhymes-Safari)

By: Patricia Morrison Sung to: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

 

SafariSongs and rhymes-Safari

Here we go on a safari
A safari, a safari
Here we go on a safari
We're off to Africa

This is the way we drive a Jeep
drive a Jeep, drive a Jeep
This is the way we drive a Jeep
On a safari

This is the way we take pictures
Take pictures, take pictures
This is the way we take pictures
Of the animals we see

Here we go on a safari
A safari, a safari
Here we go on a safari
We're off to Africa

 

Have fun

The Educatall team

 

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