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!

forest animal matching games

Recommended Grade Level:

Forest Animal Matching Games Supplies:

  • Printer/Ink
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Paper Cutter
  • Foil Leaves
  • Paperclip/Fastener (spinner)

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

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?
3 free printable forest animal matching activities for your preschoolers! Memory, spin & cover, and graphing activities for your forest animal theme.

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:

  • Most/Greatest
  • Least/Fewest
  • How many more/less
3 free printable forest animal matching activities for your preschoolers! Memory, spin & cover, and graphing activities for your forest animal theme.

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.

Background Knowledge

Learning about different types of animals is the first step toward more complex science concepts, like animal groups, habitats, and the scientific process.

Connect with Nature

The more children know and understand about the natural world, the more they will connect and understand to natural surroundings. And the best learning happens when you get out there and start looking/seeing for yourself.

Compare/Contrast

The more kids know about different types and categories of animals, the easier it is for them to compare and contrast different concepts. Learning about forest animals gives them knowledge to say how they are different from pets.

Make Connections

Learning different types of animals, from house pets to farm animals and forest animals, helps kids make deeper connections among them and relate it to themselves.

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.

3 free printable forest animal matching activities for your preschoolers! Memory, spin & cover, and graphing activities for your forest animal theme.

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.

3 free printable forest animal matching activities for your preschoolers! Memory, spin & cover, and graphing activities for your forest animal theme.

Memory Match:

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.

3 free printable forest animal matching activities for your preschoolers! Memory, spin & cover, and graphing activities for your forest animal theme.

Dramatic Play

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.

More Graphs

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.

Animal ID

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.

forest animal matching games
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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10 Comments

  1. These are great! I know my kids are going to love them. I’m adding brads to our list of materials. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for these awesome games! I know some kids who are going to love them. 🙂

  3. I just bought brads yesterday! Perfect timing. We are going to try this adorable game this week. Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome! Enjoy! And if you ever run out of brads, you can always use the tip of a pencil held to the center of the circle to hold the paper clip in place.

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