Zoo Activities for Preschool They’ll Be Wild About in Math Centers

I’m a total nerd when it comes to learning facts. It’s just something I love. I guess that’s why they’re called fun facts. This nerdy trait was useful when my sister and I went to the zoo a few weeks ago. She said I was her own personal tour guide. That’s one of the reasons I love teaching with themes. As we do more and more activities and read more and more books about a topic, we actually come up with more questions. Hence why I know so many fun facts. My kiddos keep asking questions! So as you explore these math zoo activities for preschool, encourage them to ask questions and help them seek out the answers. 

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Zoo Lesson plans

Zoo weekly lesson plans with literacy activities, math activities, science, fine motor, and dramatic play.

Zoo Feeding

Counting Sensory Bin

Something wonderful happens when learning meets play. Feelings of joy and accomplishment melt through your body as you watch your little ones laugh and enjoy feeding the animals at the zoo. There will be happy tears, for sure (at least for emotionally sensitive individuals like me).


First, you will need to dye some rice if you don’t already have some on hand. Just put rice, some green food coloring, and a little bit of vinegar in a plastic zippered bag. Move it around until it’s all green and then open the bag up to let it dry. 


Add your green rice to a sensory bin to use as grass/leaves for all of these very hungry safari animals. Use packing tape to secure the animal heads onto tin cans or circular containers, add some scoops, and you are ready to have some fun pretending to feed the animals!


The kiddos just draw a card and scoop the corresponding amount into the matching animal’s mouth. The scooping, the counting, the laughing, the joy.  This counting sensory bin is totally worth the prep!


Giraffe Neck Stack

Fine Motor Counting

Okay, so you’ve got kids who like to scoop covered with the Zoo Animal Feeding sensory bin. What about kids who love to build? 


This giraffe neck-stacking activity is perfect for little ones who love to build, or let’s be honest, any kid who loves a little challenge.


First, tape the giraffe body onto a tin can. Then, use clear packing tape to secure a snap cube on the back of the giraffe heads. Now, get to counting and snapping those cubes together! The challenge comes into play when they try to balance the neck on the tin can. My little one made it to 12 cubes! Proud mommy moment. 


Monkey Measure

Comparing Lengths

There’s plenty of monkeying around with this next zoo math activity! We counted and compared lengths of two different objects: monkeys from a Barrel of Monkeys and green linking chains used as vines.


We just used magnetic hooks on our metal shelf to hook these onto, but your could also use knobs or push pins or Command hooks to set this up.


There are so many skills wrapped up this activity:


Snake Patterns

Fine Motor Math Craft

There is something so relaxing about stringing beads onto a pipe cleaner. Even my little one was way quieter than her usual talkative self during this activity. Using the pattern cards, we tried to make different snakes using the colored beads. It really helps if you chant the colors aloud. Plus, it just adds to the fun!


These pattern cards were free to my subscribers and are included as a bonus if you purchase the zoo bundle.


"The 1-2 Zoo"

Counting Cards & Booklet

We saw 1 tiger swimming, 2 bears almost fighting, and 3 lions napping at our last trip to the zoo. It was truly one of the best zoo trips I have ever taken. Plus, there were plenty of opportunities for counting as we observed the animals, just like in this next math activity!


We first counted the animals on the cards, practicing one-to-one correspondence. Then, we colored our own zoo counting booklet! I don’t know about you, but sometimes just sitting down and coloring with your kids is exactly what you need to recharge. 


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Zoo Activities for Preschool They'll Be Wild About in Math Centers
Zoo Dramatic Play
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I hope these math zoo activities for preschool inspire your little ones to ask questions and learn more about zoo animals! Have fun with this, and make learning ridiculously awesome! Did you know if you buy the whole zoo activities bundle, you save 20%? Click below to check it out, and let me know if there’s anything you need to make these activities work for your preschoolers!

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