5 Animal Activities Kids Will Love
Looking for ways to keep all your young readers engaged and eager to spend time in the library? You can never go wrong with activities based on our furry (or feathery or scaly) friends. Whether it’s making an origami butterfly or learning fun facts about penguins, these activities are sure to make your students happy as clams!
1. Animal Storytime
If you want to get kids interested in a story, just choose one starring a fun-loving animal or two. Here are a few good choices, for pre-K through upper elementary:
- There’s a Giraffe in My Soup by Ross Burach (Pre-K–2)
- If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Joffe Numeroff (and others in series; Pre-K–2)
- Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp (Pre-K–3)
- The Snake Who Said Shhh by Jodie Parachini (Pre-K–2)
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2–5)
- Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester (Pre-K–3)
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (3–6)
Prior to storytime, decorate with one of Upstart’s animal-themed posters, or create a bulletin board titled “Get your paws on a good book!” or “Paws to Read!” complete with animal-themed book covers and paw prints. Upstart also offers fun animal-themed bookmarks and stickers that are perfect to hand out as incentives.
2. Adorable Origami
For some crafty fun, have students try their hand at origami. Upstart’s Origami Animal Bookmarks include a variety of fun folding designs: fox, whale, penguin and rabbit or frog, turtle, bird and butterfly, and instructional videos are available on demco.com for extra help. Many books also teach the art of origami; try Origami Animal Friends by Mari Ono or Origami Zoo by Robert J. Lang and Stephen Weiss. Display students’ creations around the library.
3. Creature Crafts
For more creative, hands-on activities to pair with books that celebrate our friends in the animal kingdom, check out 100+ Animal Craft Ideas for Kids. From alligators to bugs, foxes to peacocks, you’ll find dozens of simple and adorable crafts made out of recyclables you can stock at your makerspace. Or, show students how to make their own animal corner bookmarks. They will love seeing their homemade animal friends every time they open their books!
4. Fun Facts
Play a group game with Upstart’s Fun Facts Bookmarks. Write the names of the animals in your bookmark set on a whiteboard. Divide the class into two teams. Then, read facts from the bookmarks out loud without saying the name of the animal. The team to correctly guess which animal the fact refers to first gets a point.
After the game, hand out the bookmarks and give students time to share the fun facts with each other. As an extension, put students in small groups, and assign each group a new animal. Challenge them to use library resources to discover four fun facts about that animal.
5. My Favorite Animal/Pet Show and Tell
How many students have beloved pets at home? Invite students to bring in pictures of their animal companions and share them, along with stories about their furry (or feathery or scaly) friends. If students do not have pets, encourage them to share their favorite stuffed animal or to bring in pictures of their favorite animals and explain what they love about that animal.
What activities have you done with your students to celebrate the love of animals? Share your ideas on Twitter @demco. For more fun activities, check out “8 Activities to Celebrate National Humor Month.”