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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Turning Playroom Into A Zoo..Need Ideas :)
kendallina 11:22 AM 01-29-2011
I want to turn my preschool room into a zoo for the next week or so...and I need help.

I'm going to have large cut-outs of different zoo animals on the wall that the children can help decorate (sheep that they can glue cotton balls to, giraffe that they can add the spots to, and a lion that they can glue hair onto).

I have some animal masks that I can put out and they can pretend to be the animals and we're going to be making tails that they can use as well.

I need more ideas, though. My pretend area can be a zookeeper station maybe, but what would I do with that?

I will have out the animals in the block area, along with the blocks. I would like to have something that the children can use to make cages with, but what?? I was thinking those strawberry baskets, but I don't have any...any other thoughts?

Maybe we'll act out Goodnight gorilla...

What games do you play regarding animals??

I don't know, what do you do when you do an animal theme...
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melskids 12:00 PM 01-29-2011
do you have one of those metal dog crates?

no....not for the kids lol

but for them to put stuffed animals in, like a cage.

maybe a small wading pool for "ducks" or "penguins"

make "maps" of the zoo

we always eat ice cream when we go to the zoo

our $ store had little baskets with holes that looked like berry baskets, you could use those for animal cages in the block area.

i saw a pic somewhere on the web once, (i'd never find it now) of a classroom set up for a "rainforest", but she strung green leaf garland from the ceiling and hung fake parrots from it. it looked really cool.

http://www.preschoolrainbow.org/animal.htm here's some cute ideas....
http://www.123child.com/UBB/showthre...l-lesson-plans ...some more
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kendallina 12:35 PM 01-29-2011
Oooo...you're awesome!! Thank you so much for the ideas.

I don't have a dog crate, but I love the wading pool idea...I'll definitely do that!

Dollar store for the baskets is a good idea...

I have very high ceilings, so don't know if I can hang anything from them (I don't even have a ladder big enough), but I do have a ceiling fan that I might be able to hang stuff from.

Thank you thank you thank you!!

Keep 'em coming!
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SilverSabre25 03:46 PM 01-29-2011
Gosh my playroom rarely needs any help turning into a zoo...

oh wait, you meant decorating it like a zoo! Gotcha

How about this as a sensory activity? Iceberg activity

Sing "Daddy's takin' me to the zoo tomorrow" or I'm sure there are other zoo-ish songs out there.
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Abigail 05:23 PM 01-29-2011
Silversabre, I LOVE that website for the iceberg activity, they have posted pictures and LOTS of activities to do.

To the original question, do you have a local zoo? You should stop in and ask for a zoo map or any booklets so the kids will have access to look at them. If you want it to actually look like a zoo, you could have ticket sales at the zoo-keeper area or right by the door to the room. You could create a little "Gift Shoppe" or something by the door too because the entrance to our zoo has a gift shop and I think most zoo's I've been to actually do.

If your ceilings are too tall to hang things from, I would put up a string/fishing line/clothes line about 6-8 feet off the ground and hang light-weight things from that with clothes pins. I like the idea of using baskets are separate "cages".
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kendallina 05:41 PM 01-29-2011
Abigail and Silversabre--thank you!!! Love the blog with the iceberg activity, I'll be checking that more...

And ticket sales--good idea Abigail. We have a zoo (that I'm a member of) about an hour away (Cincy zoo- and it's great!). I might have a map or two hanging around...thanks!

Yay! So many ideas. Keep them coming, we have to look like a zoo here by Monday!
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Pammie 08:16 PM 01-29-2011
I set up a vet station (we use our play doctor kit) to give the animals check-ups and fix their boo-boos

I also use the plastic fruits, vegetables and steaks/burgers from our kitchen set to pretend to feed the animals (and to teach about meat eaters and plant eaters)

We have mini binoculars to get close-up looks at the animals.
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kendallina 08:24 PM 01-29-2011
Originally Posted by Pammie:
I set up a vet station (we use our play doctor kit) to give the animals check-ups and fix their boo-boos

I also use the plastic fruits, vegetables and steaks/burgers from our kitchen set to pretend to feed the animals (and to teach about meat eaters and plant eaters)

We have mini binoculars to get close-up looks at the animals.
Binoculars-great idea. I have a not-so-mini pair that I could let the kids use.

We just did vet station, but I might include it anyways, like it! I also like talking about what the animals eat.

Geez...this theme could go on for weeks and weeks. Now I have to get organized and focus it all. Thanks for all the ideas, keep 'em coming!
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melskids 09:22 AM 01-30-2011
you could take a big cardboard box and cut squares out of it to look like a cage.

big yards of fabric that look like aniaml print. i just got some from walmart, they were like $5 for a bolt, but it was enough to cut into two pieces. there were zebra print, tiger print, and this really neat green pattern that looked like alligator. i also got solids like brown, pink and white. the kids love to wrap themselves up in them.
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Stacy214 01:01 PM 01-30-2011
Originally Posted by melskids:
you could take a big cardboard box and cut squares out of it to look like a cage.

big yards of fabric that look like aniaml print. i just got some from walmart, they were like $5 for a bolt, but it was enough to cut into two pieces. there were zebra print, tiger print, and this really neat green pattern that looked like alligator. i also got solids like brown, pink and white. the kids love to wrap themselves up in them.

Oh I love the fabric idea!
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Tags:playroom, playroom ideas, playroom layout, zoo
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