Our classroom has been an adventure the past few weeks as we’ve been studying all types of animals, including animals that live in the zoo and on the farm. We have done all sorts of fun activities from sensory bins to crafts. Check out some of the fun below.
Sensory bins are a great way to bring the week’s theme into new experiences for the students. We have created two different animal themed sensory bins, one about the farm and one about the zoo.
You may remember seeing a variation of this sensory bin last year in our post Farm Sensory Fun. This year we decided to change it up a little bit.
To create this sensory bin we used shredded green paper and deer corn for the base. We then added a fence made from chenille sticks and clothespins and trees made from toilet paper rolls and green felt. The barn was created by taking a mini cereal box and covering it with construction paper. A pond was cut from blue construction paper and the mud for the pigs is brown play-doh. The last step was just to add the small plastic animals.
All of the supplies for this sensory bin are things we already had in our classroom. If you’ve been reading our blog for awhile you know we like to do things on the cheap. The fact that we didn’t have to buy a single thing to create this sensory bin is a major win for us!
The kids really enjoyed this sensory experience while integrating their learning about the farm.
The zoo sensory bin is another one you may have seen us post about last year. This sensory bin is lots of fun and super easy to create. We recycled many of the materials from the farm sensory bin including the shredded paper, fence, trees, and pond. The deer corn was swapped for oats to create dirt for the zoo. The farm animals were also traded out for zoo animals.
This is another example of a sensory bin that was completely free to create. Everything we used were things we already had in our classroom and the kids had a blast exploring it!
While studying the farm our kiddos got to create their very own sheep. The inspiration for this sheep craft came from a blog called Crafty Morning.
To create the sheep we first started by cutting out a few shapes ahead of time for the kids. The body of the sheep is just a semi-circle cut from black paper and the legs are small rectangles. The head was a little bit tricky but I just free-handed a shape and it ended up working.
After all the shapes were cut the kids got to paint the sheep’s wool by dipping their finger in white paint and stamping it onto the sheep’s body.
After the sheep had enough fingerprints we then used a little bit of wet paint to add the legs and face to the body. When the wet paint dries it will work as glue and hold the sheep together.
The final step is to add eyes onto the sheep. We had the kids first draw white circles and then placed sticker eyes inside the circles.
When all was said and done we really were not in love with this craft. This craft is probably one that will go into our archives and won’t be visited again. It was worth a shot but we most likely will be looking for a new art activity next time we teach about the farm.
Zoo Animal Masks
When it came time to find an art activity to do with zoo animals we brainstormed lots of ideas before one just fell in our laps. My cousin gifted us with the cutest zoo animal masks she found at Hobby Lobby. The set of masks included 6 different zoo animals, zebra, tiger, lion, panda, monkey and frog. Each child began by choosing the animal they wanted for their mask.
Once the children had chosen their animal they then got to use watercolors to paint their mask.
The kids really enjoyed using watercolors to create their own animal mask! A little trick when using watercolors is to use a spray bottle with water and spritz the watercolors instead of using a cup of water when painting.
We have loved these masks! This is definitely a craft we will do again. We highly recommend heading out to your local Hobby Lobby and picking up a set of these for your kiddos!
A few years ago we stumbled upon some cute little parody videos all about life on the farm. Ever since then we have been hooked! The farm videos are all made by 3 brothers from Kansas, known as the Peterson Farm Bros, who live and work on a family farm.
All of their videos are on YouTube and share messages of what it’s like living and working on a farm. Our kiddos absolutely LOVE all Peterson Farm Bros videos. Once we introduce them during our farm theme it never fails that the kids request them for the rest of the year. We highly recommend checking out their videos and sharing them with your kiddos. Trust us, your kiddos will thank you!
That wraps up our animal activities. We hope you have enjoyed reading about what we’ve done and feel inspired to try some new ideas in your classroom! Make sure to come back soon for more fun!