Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Animal Theme!

June 3, 2009 15:24 by Barbara Shelby

What Child Doesn't Love Animals!

This category is great fun!!! It contains wonderful ideas for an 'Animal  Theme'  Week, Month, Party or CLUB!

When thinking 'Animal Themed Activities' ...you can be specific to one category of animal--- such as Farm Animals, Cats, Dogs, Endangered Species, etc.-- this thread, however, is for the "I Really Like Animals" Theme! It includes a variety....

GAMES

1. CHARADES based on animals or animal movies and books.

2. Animal MATCHING CARD games.

3.
ANIMAL RELAY

  • The players form two lines with equal numbers on each team.
  • The first player on each team is one animal, the second a different animal. (Have youth draw from a container for which animal they will be.
    #1’s are the same animal
    #2’s are the same animal
    #3 the same, etc.
  • On the word” go", the first team members act like the animal they represent; they run, hop or crawl to a given place and back.
  • The following players then acts like their animals and so on… until one team is finished and all sitting down. Use animals such as kangaroos, bunnies, dogs, cats, etc.

4.  RUN RABBIT RUN
Half of the group are called foxes and the other half are named rabbits. Rabbits are standing behind a line at one end of the play area. (home) Foxes are scattered all over the gym.
Captain Rabbit leads his/her brood for a walk.
The leader of the foxes says: "Run Rabbit Run!"
All rabbits run trying to return to their home.
All TAGGED rabbits become foxes. Continue until there are no "rabbits" left.

5. A WHAT? (Only using things to do with animals)

  • Form a circle.
  • First player passes any object to the next person and says, “This is a dog bone.” The second says, “A what?”
  • The first repeats, “A dog bone.” The second says, “Oh”, and passes it to the third person saying, “This is a dog bone,”
  • Third says, “A what?” The second person then turns back to the first person and asks again, “A what?” Second tells third “a dog bone.”
  • It continues in this manner.
  • After the object reaches the fourth person, the first starts over again with a new animal related object. And chaos begins!

6. WHO AM I?
.....Version#1: When the children come through the door, tape an animal or animal item/object to their backs. They may ask each other "yes and no questions" about what they are. Explain that the first question they may want to ask is "Am I an animal or an object?" At the end, each child takes a turn saying what they think they are. Suggestions: cow, pig, sheep, dog, horseshoe, hay, dog bone, etc...

.....WHO AM I? Version #2:
Before the game, cut pictures of animals out of old nature magazines. Try to use the pictures on the covers, because they are sturdier. Then pin a picture with a safety pin to the back of each child’s T-shirt. They all  ask each other "yes or no questions", such as "Do I swim in the ocean?" "Do I have feathers?" or "Do I live in the jungle?” It’s also a good ice-breaker - if some of the kids don't know each other very well.

7. ANIMAL BUDDIES
Is similar to Who Am I? This time, whisper in each child’s ear a name of an animal. Tell them that other person that is the same animathere is at least one l as they are. Throughout the event they may ask each other yes and no questions to try to figure out who their "Animal Buddy" is. At the end of the time tell everyone to go sit by who they think their partner is. Go over the clues with the kids until they figure it out and everyone is sitting next to the correct buddy.

8. MONKEY TAG

  • Scatter with three or four persons who are "It".
  • All players run around. When they are tagged, they must lie on their backs, feet up in the air.
  • They are free if another person can touch both feet with their elbow before being caught.
  • Time the game so many get a turn at being "it".

 9. Play the "FARMER, ZOO KEEPER, or VETENARIAN SAYS”… Instead of "Simon Says"

10.
Play PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY OR other versions such as: Pin the Tail on the Cow, Pin the Comb on the Rooster, Put the Hat on the Farmer, Put the Tire on the Tractor or Pin the Tail on the Piggy, etc.

11. Play "Duck, Duck, Goose"or other versions such as---CAT, CAT, KITTY, Chick, Chick, Rooster, or Pig, Pig, Piglet, etc.

 12. ANIMAL SOUNDS
Randomly assign animal types to children (They pick them out of a container)
As youth walk about the room, they make their assigned animal sound; they have to find others that are making the same sound. Two of each animal works well because the process of elimination will help those with an unusual interpretation of the animal noise.

13. FIND THE ANIMALS!

  • BEFORE your event--- hide several farm animal (or zoo or pet store) toys or cards
    around the event area, yard, etc.
  • Paint or decorate a box to look like a barn or cage---or use a BASKET....
  • Before you start, explain to the children that old McDonald's (or the pet shop or Zoo Keeper’s) animals got out.
  • The children are to search and collect the toys/cards and RETURN THEM TO THEIR HOME.
  • Give each child an appropriated treat or prize for hunting..

14. DOGGIE, DOGGIE, WHERE'S YOUR BONE?

  • A child is picked to play the part of the dog. He or she sits on a chair with an object under it (to represent the bone) with their back to the group.
  • While the dog is turned around with his or her eyes closed, someone steals the bone and hide it somewhere on his person.
  • Then everyone sings: Doggy, Doggy, where's your bone? Somebody's stole it from your home. Guess who it might be.
  • The dog has three chances to guess who took it.
    if the dog guesses right, he gets to do it again. If he guesses wrong, then the child who has the bone gets a turn as the dog.

15. A DRAWING GAME: ANIMAL JUMBLE

  • Using construction or white paper, ask each child to drawn a different body part of an animal, but to have their animal be a secret. For example, have one child draw the head, another draw the tail, another the legs and so on.
  • Have the children pick the animal they want to draw.
  • When they are done have then put the animal together with tape or glue.
  • Have fun coming up with a name for the animal (monk-dog-lion-potamus

16. If you're having a party, this is a fun way to distribute goody bags!

  • Have the kids "fish" for their treats!
  • Before the party, decorate a white sheet with colorful fish and other sea creatures and make a fishing pole by tying string to a stick and putting a clothespin on the other end.
  • Attach the sheet over the door to a room or large closet. Put the bags behind this.
  • At the end of the party, get behind the "pond" and tell the kids they're going fishing.
  • One at a time, have the kids cast their line OVER the sheet.
  • Attach a goody bag to the clothespin and give the line a tug to let the child know when they've caught something.

17.  BARN YARD SEARCH .....A good outside or gym area game.

  • Hide small pieces of wrapped candy in an area where kids can run around.
  • Divide the group into three or four teams---depending of size of group.
  • Assign each team an animal noise: bark, meow, moo, or oink.
  • Give one person on each team — the animal trainer — a plastic cup or bowl.
    To play:
  • Tell all the animals to sniff out the candy.
  • Everyone is allowed to look for the candy, but only the designated animal trainer for each team can scoop it up and put it in the team cup.
  • When someone finds a piece of candy, they have to stand next to it and make their animal noise until their team's trainer comes over to grab it.
  • To be fair consider everyone pooling their candy at the end and then distribute it evenly.

18.  Version #1: GIVE YOUR FRIEND THE CHICKEN (Gym Game)

  • Person with the ball (or rubber chicken that can be purchased in novelty stores) is “IT”.
  • When “IT” tags someone, the tagged person becomes frozen.
  • When someone gives the frozen person the “chicken”. They are brought back to life.
  • Use poly spot carpet squares as safety zones; these are the “hen houses.”
    Version #2: CHICKEN CACCIATORE
  • You have two (or another #) taggers, and two youth with rubber chickens.
  • The taggers run around and tag children to freeze them.
  • The students with the rubber chickens can run and unfreeze the "frozen."
  • After a few minutes - switch the taggers and the chickens.

19. FRISBEE OR BEAN BAG THROW
Throw a small Frisbee or bean bag at a large picture of a Dog (or other animal) on the ground, the closest is the winner.

20. ANIMAL PARADE (For young children)

  • Children form a circle. One person is chosen to be the leader.
  • The leader calls the name of a child and names an animal.
  • The child does an imitation on the movements of the animal named.
  • After everyone has had a chance to imitate an animal, all players form a line for an “Animal Parade" led by the leader.
  • The group moves around the room, each imitating the animal he/she represents... Variations: Play a round with sound imitations only---or a combination of sounds and movements...

21. CHARADES USING ANIMAL CRACKERS
Child takes an animal cracker out of a bag/container and  doesn't show it to the rest of the group. They then act out the animal while the other children try to guess what it is. When the group comes up with the correct answer, the child acting out the charade can eat the animal cracker! the game continues.

Return to top of page

____________

ARTS AND CRAFTS

 1. Make a mural, poster, or bumper stickers--decorate a wall...
Ideas:

  • Design and put up a general animal information wall.
  • Research and make informational posters on endangered species and the protection of animals on the brink of extinction.
  • Design and post an attractive mural with the above information.
  • Make posters or bumper stickers that promote humane behavior towards animals.

 2. HELP THE BIRDS--BUILD THEIR NESTS
#1 VERSION: Lend a helping hand to the birds in your area by supplying them with simple nesting materials. All you need to do-- is fill a MESH BAG bag ( like the kind onions are packaged in ) OR A BERRY BASKET.

  • Fill with dried grass, short lengths of yarn and string, stuffing from old furniture or feather pillow--- dryer lint, also hair from your brush. (Have the yarns/threads poke out of the mesh or basket so birds can easily access materials)
  • Hang the bag in a location that the birds can safely access; watch the birds collect--hunt to see if you can find one of "your" nests!

PROVIDE NEST SUPPLY BOX FOR BIRDS: Version #2
You need: A Milk carton, String, Scissors, Dryer lint, Pet and people hair, bits of yarn and string

  • Have adults cut a flap (about halfway down) in both sides of the milk carton.
  • Wash the inside of the milk carton and allow it dry.
  • Fold the flaps of the milk carton down to create a perch for the birds to land on.
  • To make the hanger: thread a long piece of string through the opening of the milk carton. Tie the two pieces of string together. Make sure you use strong knots or ask a grownup to help you.
  • Fill the box with the items you have collected (dryer lint, pet and people hair, bits of string and yarn).
  • Hang your nesting supply box outside in a tree and keep checking to see if it needs replenishing.

3. BUILD BIRD HOUSES!

4. MAKE AN ANIMAL COLLAGE OR PICTURE BOOK:
Supplies: Magazine pictures of animals, (also stickers, drawings, etc.) paste/glue, and construction paper or folded sheets of paper to make a book.
.....Compile the pictures; paste them on construction paper to make a collage or on the sheets of paper to make a booklet. 

5. Animal MASKS made from card stock or paper plates.

6. Animal NOTE CARDS:
Use card stock folded in half and decorate it with stickers, stencils, or stamp pads with animal designs.
_______________
7. SEW animal-shaped toys for yourself or a pet.

8. Mix up a batch of baker's clay and make animal shapes with cookie cutters. The children can form the animals--and paint and decorate them once they've baked and cooled.

Also...Make a batch of play dough--and have the children see how many animals they can make with the dough. Many recipes in this site's Play Dough"category...

9. ANIMAL CRACKER MAGNETS
Use plain regular animal crackers. Have children color them with regular markers or paint. You can use clear nail polish and paint over what they have colored after it is dry. Then use a magnet small enough and glue it on the back with a hot gun or other strong glue.… instant magnets you can put on your fridge.

10. ANIMAL CRACKER PIN
To make this craft project you will need animal crackers, a flat backed pin, clear nail polish or varnish, and some craft glue. To begin coat your animal cracker with the polish or varnish in a well ventilated area and let it dry. Next glue it to a pin.

11. ANIMAL CRACKER SCENE
Materials:
Animal crackers
Craft glue
Crayons or other materials 
Colorful paper.

Draw, color, or paint a farm yard, a landscape or ______ scene on paper using crayons (Or other materials). Glue on the animal crackers to complete your  scene

12.  T-SHIRT PAINTING
Deliver a message about animals; design a plain, light-colored t-shirt with messages themed to: Keeping wild animals wild; caring for animals; any issue about which you feel strongly. 
Tips:

  • In designing the shirt, consider the colors, characters, humor, rhymes etc.
  • Use permanent ink textures or fabric paint.
  • When the t-shirts are finished, display them or wear them as a group-- on club meeting  or special days.
  • One of the best ways to help animals is to educate other people.
  • Or… Just design and paint a plain T-shirt with favorite animals.

Return to top of page

____________

COMMUNITY SERVICE

• Raise money for homeless pets or sick, injured and orphaned wildlife by collecting coins.


Collect and donate items on animal organizations' wish lists: Examples -- Paper towels, dried dog food, milk substitute, portable cages, blankets and towels, cleansers, and food bowls.

Sponsor a walk-athon, bowl-athon, read-athon, etc. backed by pledges. Donate to local shelters or animal organizations

________________

 KID-FUN LITERACY  

 
Assign different animals to small groups or individuals to research. Present information to the group.
You can also compile the above information into a booklet.

Have groups PERFORM A SKIT of a favorite animal story for each other, families, or the program.

WRITE TO LOCAL NEWSPAPER. Choose an animal protection issue that you are concerned about or which has recently appeared in the news. You may send the letter to the editor from your Animal Club as a group or ask all the club members to write something individually. Watch and see if it gets published. Newspapers are a great way to raise awareness of issues in your local community.

READ books on animals.

DRAMA: NAME THAT ANIMAL- Great for kids just learning about animals. You'll need---Animal Stickers & Stuffed Animals
.....To Play: Pass out animal stickers or small stuffed animals; have children imitate the animal they receive.

______________

A GOOD VARIETY of JOKES ABOUT ANIMALS in the "Jokes thread"...

___________________

MUSIC AND MOVEMENT

1. Sing ‘OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM, complete with very loud sound effects. Each child or section can be given a different animal to act out.
2. Play and sing... 

  • A CD of animal sounds and... 
   The Lion Sleeps Tonight / The Tokens 
   How Much is that Doggie in the Window? 
   B-i-n-g-o
(I had a dog and Bingo was his Name-o)

3. CHICKEN DANCE -- to the chicken dance music!

To the beat of the music:
Hold up your hands and make them do a TAKING MOTION-four times...
Flap arms like WINGS four times
WIGGLE BOTTOMS four times
CLAP four times
_____________________
4. DO THE CHICKEN POKEY DANCE!
Sung to: "Hokey Pokey"
This idea can be adapted to any animal, Dogs, Cats, etc. Be creative :-)

You put your RIGHT WING IN (put right fist under right arm-pit)
You take your right wing out…
You put your right wing in….
And you shake it all about.
You do the Chicken Pokey
And STRUT yourself around,
That's what it's all about!

Choice of additional verses:
"You put your left wing in…
You put your chicken leg in…
You put your chicken beak in
You put your tail feathers in…”

______

VISITORS AND FIELD TRIPS


1. Check with your local veterinarians, animal shelter, Leader Dogs for the Blind, wild life rescue group or animal welfare organization about inviting a guest speaker to talk to your club or program about an animal issue in which you are interested. Some topics could be:

   • What is the work they do and how can people help?

   • How to interpret animal communication.

   • How to be safe around cats and dogs. 

   • How to care for and protect cats and dogs.

   • What happens to lost and abandoned animals?

   • How can we make life better for animals?

2. Ask parents to bring their pets at an appointed time. Have a pet show day. Give ribbons for the prettiest, smallest, biggest, oldest, most unique, loudest, most quiet, and so on. It should be organized so every child’s pet receives a ribbon.

3. Plan A trip to a zoo, aquarium, Animal or Horse Farm, or Veterinarian clinic.

4. Ask someone with unusual pets to visit.

__________________ 

COOKING AND SNACKS! (Adult Supervised)

1. COOKIE DECORATING! Pre-bake batches of animal-shaped cookies and have children decorate them with colored icing, chocolate chips, M&M's, cinnamon hearts, sprinkles, etc.

2. MONKEY BREAD

(I've made it with kids; they love it!)
Need:
Bunt Pan
4 cans of 10 each refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
Small bowls
1 and 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
Small pan
3 cups brown sugar
4 T brown sugar
Directions:
   •  Combine sugar and cinnamon. Divide mixture in half and put into 2 separate bowls.
   •  Adult melts 1 stick of butter in a small pan over low heat - or melt in microwave.
   •  Tear each biscuit into 3 pieces and roll into balls. Dip the balls in the melted butter and then into one bowl of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Roll then to coat evenly.
   •  Put into the un-greased bunt pan.
   •  Adult melt over low heat the second ½ stick of butter with the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture. Pour evenly over the coated balls in the pan.
   • Bake for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven.
   • Turn oven off. Let pan sit for 5 minutes and then remove from the oven and turn the pan over onto a serving platter.
   • Let it sit a few minutes inverted on the plate, before removing it from the pan.
Cool before serving.
___________
3. FROZEN MONKEY TREATS
A healthy snack that kids will like!
Peel a banana and cut it in half. Insert Popsicle sticks into the cut ends. Dip the bananas into yogurt or melted chocolate, and then roll the bananas in chopped nuts, crushed cereal, or coconut shavings. Place the bananas on a small waxed paper-lined baking sheet and set the sheet into the freezer for an hour or so. Fun to make and even more fun to eat!
____________
4. PURPLE COW
Need:
¼ cup unsweetened grape juice
1 cup milk
1 sliced banana
Mix all ingredients together in a blender.
Makes 4-6 small servings
________________
5. BLACK COW (recipe makes 1)
Ingredients:
Root Beer, vanilla ice-cream, chocolate syrup
Directions:
   •  Place 2 tablespoons of syrup in bottom of large glass. Add root beer, stirring until liquid is within 2 inches of top of glass. Add a huge scoop of ice cream. 

6. ANIMAL FOOD
Ingredients:
2 cups animal shaped graham crackers
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup M&M’s
1/2 cup raisins
   • Mix together. Store in sandwich bags or covered container.

7. FISH BOWLS
Swedish fish suspended in blue Jello
---Drop Swedish fish into Jello after it starts to set.

8. ANIMAL ART WITH FOOD (CREATE AND EAT!)
With a variety of shaped foods ---have children make animals!
Along with cookie cutters... Choose from ingredients of:
Bread Slices, cheese slices, crackers, pretzel sticks and knots, cubed cheese, raisins, grapes, celery, grated cheese, cream cheese and peanut butter to naturally stick ingredients together.

9. SNACKS: Don’t forget animal crackers, teddy grahams, gummy bears, gold fish, etc.

10. DOGS OR PIGS IN A BLANKET
Igredients:
Package of hot dogs or little smokies cut in pieces; 1 can refrigerated biscuits (not the flaky type)
Directions:
• Flatten the biscuit, cut in half. Place half the hot dog on the biscuit and bring the two sides of the biscuit together. Place on a cookie sheet and bake them the same temperature as it indicated for the biscuits. They are done when the biscuit is done. Dip in ketchup or mustard.

VERSION #2: PIG IN BLANKET
Ingredients:
8 hot dogs
4 slices American cheese, each cut into 6 strips
1 can 8 0z.) Refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Directions:
   • Heat over to 375. Slit hot dogs to within ½ inch of ends; insert strips of cheese into each slit.
Separate dough into triangles. Wrap dough triangle around each hot dog and place on
Ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

11. PUPPY CHOW (Really good!) 
Ingredients
1 cup peanut butter
12 oz. package chocolate chips
1 stick butter
1 12 oz. box Crispix cereal
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
   • Melt the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter together. Pour over the cereal in a large kettle or bowl and stir well. Pour the powdered sugar into a large brown paper bag and add the cereal. Fold the bag to seal and shake well to coat evenly.

12. KITTY LITTER CAKE

(This really does look like used kitty litter!)

  •  1 spice or German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 large pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 pkg vanilla sandwich cookies
  • Green food coloring
  • 12 small Tootsie Rolls
  • 1 new (and definitely unused) kitty litter pan
  • 1 new plastic kitty litter pan liner
  • 1 new Pooper Scooper

1.  Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans).

2.  Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble. Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup.

3.  To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix. When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. (Mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it soggy. Combine gently).

4.  Line new, clean kitty litter box. Put mixture into litter box. Put three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls and bury in mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top.

5.  Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly over the top. (This is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.) Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs.

6.  Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around.
Source: Familycorner.com

For Kid Activities Chicken and Pig themes-Click Here!

Return to top of page

Compiled by Barbara Shelby

_______________