Forest animal activities for preschool are so much fun. They are not the most talked about animals, so some of the animal names can be new to preschoolers. We had a blast learning to say “hedgehog” today! Shiloh, my preschooler, is really into matching right now. I was happy to make her this set of 3 Free Printable Forest Animal Matching Activities and also happy to share them with you! The three animal games for kids includes: Spin & Cover, Spin & Graph, and Memory Match. These math activities offer much more than learning forest animal names!
Learning With Forest Animal Games in Preschool
PRESCHOOL MATCHING GAMES
PRESCHOOL LESSON PLANS OFTEN INCLUDE HANDS-ON GAMES TO TEACH GRAPHING SKILLS AND MATCHING SKILLS BECAUSE THEY TRANSFER TO OTHER TOPICS, LIKE READING AND MATH.
Graphing and matching skills are important because they transfer to other important areas, like reading.
Matching activities teach kids to use their eyes to discern if something looks the same. That is essentially what they do when they begin to recognize letters/words.
I love this forest animal theme because it gives them a ton of practice with matching without feeling like anything more than a fun game.
In addition to learning about animals like hedgehogs and moose, you can pose additional questions to young learners to encourage language development:
- What is your favorite forest animal? Why?
- What forest animals live near/far from you?
- What do forest animals need to survive?
- What is the biggest/smallest forest animal you can think of?
What Can Kids Learn From a Forest Animals Theme Graphing Activity for Preschool?
GRAPHING FOR PRESCHOOLERS
GAMES THAT TEACH KIDS HOW TO COLLECT AND SHOW DATA ON BAR GRAPHS, PIE CHARTS OR OTHER TYPES OF GRAPHS ARE IDEAL.
Kids not only learn about interesting forest animals with the spin and graph game, they learn to collect data, organize data and possibly answer questions about the data.
Here is a bit of graphing vocabulary kids begin to hear and apply:
- How many more/less
Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn About Forest Animals?
Children are naturally curious about everything around them. Learning about forest animals helps them understand the world a little bit better.
Tools you’ll need
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How to Make the Forest Animal Matching Activities
Spin & Cover
To prep: Print and laminate the Spin & Cover Game. Use scissors to gently poke a hole at the center of the spinner. Place the paper clip on the brad and slip the brad into the hole that you created. Open the backing of the brad and tape the “legs” of the brad to the back of the game board to secure it.
To play: Spin the spinner. Cover a picture that matches the animal that the paper clip landed on. You can play with two players using two colors of game markers or you can just play with one player.
Spin & Graph:
To prep: Print and laminate the Spin & Cover Game. Use the scissors to gently poke a hole at the center of the spinner. Place the paper clip on the brad and slip the brad into the hole that you created. Open the backing of the brad and tape the “legs” of the brad to the back of the game board to secure it.
To play: Spin the spinner. Color one box on the graph to show which picture the paper clip landed on. Continue spinning until one of the graph lines reaches the top. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct number to show how many times each animal was spun.
To Prep: Print on the white side of scrapbook paper and laminate. The scrapbook paper makes it so that the kids can’t see through the cards to cheat. Cut out the cards.
To Play: Place the cards face-down on the table. The first player turns over two cards to find a match. If a match is found they try again, if a match is not found it’s the next player’s turn. Winner has the most matches at the end of the game.
Our Favorite Animal Books:
We can’t live without these!
Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun activity, take it a step further with these engaging resources:
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I Spy Everything Woodland for Kids Ages 2-4: Fun Alphabet & Woodland Forest Animals Search & Find Activity book for Toddlers & Preschoolers (Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas for Boys & Girls)National Geographic Readers: In the ForestThe Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts! (Fascinating Facts)National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals (Little Kids First Big Books)ZoobooksNational Geographic Little KidsCutest Animals on the Planet (National Geographic)National Geographic Kids 125 True Stories of Amazing Animals: Inspiring Tales of Animal Friendship & Four-Legged Heroes, Plus Crazy Animal Antics
Add animal stuffed animals or figurines to your dramatic play center. Kids can dress up as explorers with binoculars and pretend to hike through the woods in search of forest animals.
Children that are ready to learn different types of graphs (circle graph/line graph) can use the Spin & Graph data to work with an adult to show how to map the information in a different way.
For children working on naming animals, they can zoom a toy car around the Spin & Cover mat naming forest animals as they go. Or zoom and call, “Stop!” to name the animal they landed on.
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Check out these other great Forest Animal activities from the #TeachECE Team!
Forest Animal Play Dough Small World by Fun-A-Day