Dear Zoo Activities for Preschoolers

Are you looking for some fun, book-based activities to do with your little ones? If so, you’ll love these Dear Zoo activities for preschoolers!

These activities are perfect for helping your preschoolers learn about animals, colors, and descriptive words. Plus, they’re just plain fun!

Check out the activities below geared toward kids ages 3-7!

As preschool moms and teachers, we’re always looking for new and engaging activities to keep our little ones engaged in our educational activities.

That’s why I’m sharing some fun zoo-themed activities based on Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

Dear Zoo Activities

When you pair these activities with Dear Zoo, you’ll extend the fun (and the learning) in a way that will engage and entertain your little ones.

Zoo Scavenger Hunt

In this set of Dear Zoo printable activities, there is a coloring page showing all of the animals in the story. Kids can color the animals as you read the story aloud.

Or, you can visit the zoo for real. Print out one or more of these zoo scavenger hunt printables for your child to complete as you tour your local zoo.

You could even let your preschooler take pictures of the animals with your phone. Print them out, and create a zoo scrapbook with them.

Practice Color Recognition

Purchase some animal figurines from your local dollar store or on Amazon. Be sure you have all of the animals from the story – an elephant, giraffe, monkey, snake, dog, lion, camel, frog, and dog.

Then, gather some boxes large enough for the animals to fit in. Try to find boxes the same color as the ones featured in this book – yellow, green, red, blue, orange, and pink. If you don’t have boxes in each of these colors, paint them yourself.

As you read the story, have your child put each animal in the correct box just like they were delivered in the story.

Beginning Sounds

Gather the same animals you used in the color recognition activity above along with a set of letters (beads, magnets, or resin letters).

As you read the story and uncover each animal, have your child pull the animal from the pile. Then, have them say its name focusing on its beginning sound. Finally, have your child match the animal to the letter that names its beginning sound.

Descriptive Words

Dear Zoo shares a descriptive word or two for each animal in the story. This is a great time to teach little ones about the concept of descriptive words.

Have them choose an animal from the pile and ask them to describe it. For example, the elephant is gray. The monkey is brown. The frog is bumpy.

If you take your kids to the zoo, have them describe the “in real life” animal. The elephant is big or loud. The monkey is fast or funny.

The Perfect Pet

The premise of this story is one child’s journey to finding the perfect pet. Have your child describe their perfect pet. Why is that the animal they want?


Below, I’ve featured just a handful of preschool books about zoo animals that will help your preschoolers learn more about the animals that live in a zoo.

You should be able to find them at your local library or bookstore. If you can’t find them locally, you can click each image cover to purchase them on Amazon.

Giraffes Can't DanceHow the Zebra Got Its Stripes (Little Golden Book)Zoo Animals


Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.

How the Zebra Got Its Stripes – As a group of African animals hang out at the local watering hole, they share funny stories about how the zebra got its stripes. At the end of the book, fun facts explain why zebras really have stripes.

Zoo Animals – As children page through this beautiful book, they will learn the names of many animals they meet at the zoo! Each page offers a short description of the featured animal and its habitat.

Zoo Activities for Preschoolers

Zoo Animals Ideas for Kids

Add some plastic zoo animal figures to your pretend play area for kids to explore. They’ll have so much fun using them to act out zoo books or other imaginative play scenarios.

Read Do You Know Hank the Hippo, and let your preschoolers act out the story with an adorable crocheted hippo toy.

Set up a zoo animals sensory bin with this kit! Filled with a mixture of textures, bright and vibrant colors, this kit will let your little one explore for hours.

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