Create your very own zoo with this adorable Zoo Animal Counting Activity. Using wooden popsicle sticks and tiny plastic zoo animals your child will practice their number recognition, fine motor skills and build their imagination with this fun zoo activities for preschoolers. The book activity is a fun way to sneak in math as you read the popular book Good Night Gorilla.
Here’s how to play this math game.
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Our featured book for the Weekly Virtual Book Club for Kids with this book activity is called Good Night Gorilla. Its’ a must-have picture book for all toddlers and preschoolers. In the story the zookeeper says goodnight to each of the animals as he heads home for the night. However their’s a mischievous gorilla with the keys who has a different plan. Sneak along behind the zookeeper and see who gets the last goodnight in the adorable zoo themed book. Grab your own copy of Good Night Gorilla here.
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
DIY Zoo Animal Counting Activity
We had so much fun making this zoo animal county activity together. It took a lot of fine motor skills to build with these wooden skills sticks but they were so much fun. It made for an ideal engineering activity for my little one and me to do together. I’ll be adding this to the list of our favorite STEM Activities for Kids. We headed to our local craft store to get these two items to make this activity. Animal Beads and Wooden Skills Sticks. You could easily order them online too from Amazon. I love that we could also use the animals to bead together for a different type of fine motor activity or to create a fun pattern together too.
Materials Needed for Zoo Animal Counting Activity
- Zoo Animal Shaped Beads, 1/4-Pound, Multi Color
- Wooden Skill Sticks
- Post it Notes
- Black Permanent Marker or Crayola Crayons
Directions for Zoo Animal Counting Activity
1. We started by building the signs for our Number Zoo. We used colorful post it notes to label our zoo sign and then to label each of the numbers. Starting with numbers 1 to 5 we created together. Later on my daughter continues on with the numbers to go from 1 to 10.
2. To build the standing zoo number signs take 6 wooden skill sticks. You simple uses the groves in the sticks to connect them together. We used two sticks on each end to attach one on the other end. They you can stand them up to create your signs for the zoo animal county game.
3. Then attach the post it notes with numbers onto the standing signs. Place around the area to design your own zoo.
4. Once all the number signs are placed it’s time to build the areas for all of the animals in your zoo. We simply used the same the design that my daughter came up with using 6 sticks and laid them flat on the ground. You could easily create other designs too to make your zoo. You can see below in the far back of this photo that we made a more containerized structured that she pretend was her reptile house.
The ideas are limitless when you design your own zoo exhibits for animals. It makes for a great conversation about zoo habitats and how to make them a close as you can to their native surroundings and why it’s important.
5. TIME TO COUNT! Now is the fun part where you child can being to count out how many zoo animals go into each designed number area according to the number signs that they’ve created for their number zoo.
You may have a few conversations about how certain animals have to stay with their own kind for their protection but how others can be together. Always fun to sneak in some science into their math activities too.
Here’s a peek below at how my daughter set up her Zoo Animal Counting Activity…
Zoo Themed Books for Preschool
No matter the age young children seem to always love books about the zoo and all the animals that live there. Here are a few of my favorite zoo books.
- Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell
- Put Me In the Zoo (Bright & Early Board Books(TM)) by Robert Lopshire
- 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo: A Counting Book by Eric Carle
- My Heart Is Like a Zoo Board Book by Lois Ehlert
- Zoo by Gail Gibbons
- Color Zoo Board Book by Lois Ehlert
- Z Is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet (Science Alphabet) by Marie and Roland Smith
- The Gingerbread Man Loose at The Zoo by Laura Murray
- If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) by Dr. Seuss
Zoo Theme Math Activities
There so many fun way to use these adorable Zoo Animal Beads for your math activities. You could also create addition and subtraction problems to do in each of the number signs for your older kids.
You could use the animal beads to create math patterns onto pipe cleaners or onto strings.
Here’s a peek below at additional Zoo Themed Activities for your Preschooler to do to go along with the book Good Night Gorilla
Zoo Themed Activities for Preschool
- Feed the Lion Number Game – Rainy Day Mum
- Teaching Toddlers 1 to 1 Correspondance Counting with Goodnight Gorilla by My Storytime Corner
- Zoo Activities for Kids: Hold an Animal Fashion Show by Mama Smiles
- 5 Little Monkey Craft Puppets to Make and Use with your Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Zoo Animal Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers – Toddler Approved
Come share in our Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook Group your own zoo ideas too!
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