Zoo Vocabulary Words for Preschoolers

Help your little ones learn new words so that they can improve their overall language skills. These activities focus on zoo vocabulary words for preschoolers.

As you begin planning out your preschool zoo theme activities, your preschoolers can use this activity to learn and review important zoo animal themed vocabulary words while having fun!

Inside this free printable pack, you’ll find vocabulary flashcards and a fun learning activity you can do with them.

Preschool Zoo Printables

I love that these free preschool printables require very little preparation. This makes them perfect for busy busy homeschool moms, preschool teachers, and even children’s librarians.

You can use the two activities separately, or you can use them together. I’ll describe a couple different ways you can share these printables with your kiddos.

Teaching Vocabulary Words

One of the most important things you can do when teaching vocabulary to preschoolers is to make sure the words are concrete and easy to understand.

This means, we need to choose words that are concrete and easily visualized. We also need to use a variety of teaching methods to help reinforce those words.

For example, you might use flashcards or picture books to introduce new words. Then, provide opportunities for your children to use the words in different contexts.

When you do these things, you can ensure your children have a strong foundation in vocabulary that will serve them well as they move on to kindergarten and beyond.

Preparing the Activities

This activity pack includes three pages of zoo flashcards. I suggest printing those on cardstock and laminating them for durability. Then, cut part the flashcards. You can store them in a ziplock baggie or a small plastic box.

Next, you’ll print out the six recording pages on regular printer paper. If you want to make these pages reusable, you can laminate them, too, or slip them in a dry erase pocket.

Zoo Animal Flashcards

Prepare the zoo animal flashcards as described above. Then, there are many ways you can use them with your preschoolers and kindergarteners.

• The most obvious way to use them is to use them as traditional flashcards. Hold them up one at a time, and have your child name the animal featured. Separate the cards into two piles – one pile for animals your child knows and one for animals your child doesn’t know.

• Gather as many zoo figurines/toys as you can and put them in a small basket. Pull out the flashcards that correspond with each figure in your stash. Have your child match a toy to its flashcard.

• Choose a new animal each week throughout the school year to learn about. You don’t have to make it a big, in depth lesson. Just check out a short nonfiction book about the animal and read it with your child.

• Print two sets of flashcards and use them to make a memory matching game.

Zoo Activity Pages

The Read, Find, and Color worksheets are print-and-go. And, there are so many ways you can use them with your children.

• Choose one sheet for your child to work on. Pull out the corresponding flashcards. Have your child identify the animal on the flashcard. Find the name of that animal on the worksheet and put a checkmark beside it. Then, color the animal at the bottom of the page.

• Call out an animal on the page and have your child try to find its name at the top of the page. This is a great activity for kids who know beginning sounds as they can search for the first letter and make an educated guess. Then, color that animal at the bottom of the page.

• Turn the page into a zoo scavenger hunt. Choose one or more pages to take on your next trip to the zoo. Have your child mark off the animals as you see them on your visit.


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 Animal 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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