My husband and I recently got our puppy, Pepper and ever since I've been so excited about releasing this themed unit! Furbabies really are members of the family. I hope you enjoy this theme as much as I do. My kiddos have loved telling me about their pets and I love the opportunities for them to continuing building on this vocabulary through engaging conversations and extension activities. This blog post is fairly comprehensive and is a way to help you get started implementing these resources with your kids, TODAY!Disclosure: Keep in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I link these companies (amazon) and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
Ideas Based on Developmental Areas: (Printable Version Here)
- make a dog collar with construction paper
- make pet paw prints with finger paint
- Sensory Bins:
- have a bin that resembles being outside -dirt/grass
- have a bin that is water and soap
- place both bins side by side
- use miniatures and make a grooming station
- plush pets are a great sensory experience as they resemble real pets
- Fine Motor:
Fine Motor Movements are small movements that we make. These skills are very important for our littles and they also aid in cognitive skills over time. Encouraging the use of fine motor movements during daily activities is very important.
Ways that you can support your little’s fine motor skills is to:
engage in writing/drawing activities
put together the chunky pet puzzle (on play recs)
utilize the letter puppy to make sight words and practice words with speech sounds.
- Gross Motor:
Gross motor activities involve large body movements. Developing these skills helps children build body strength and help keep them healthy.
Ways to engage your kids in these large movements as it relates to a pet theme would be to act out the movements of your pets. (ex: Slither like a snake, run really fast like a hamster, hop like a frog, move slow like a turtle, jump like a cat... )
Pretend play with this theme can be SO much fun! There is a vet outfit that is linked within the blog post that I think your littles would LOVE! Role-Playing is so good for cognition and social skills as they take on the perspective of another individual.
For even further engagement set up centers. Make a grooming center, pet hospital center, and a home center. Let your little’s imagination wander through purposeful play.
There are many ways to work on cognitive skills but a few ideas to get you started:
working on patterns: use real objects and line up animals (ex: dog, cat, dog ___ what comes next ... )
Sequence Steps to Give The Dog A Bath (example: first get a towel, next take off the collar, then put the dog in the bathtub, after fill a cup up with water and pour on the dog’s back...)
Pets bring about a LOT of emotions. They are a part of our little’s families and are so important. When talking about this theme it is important to be sensitive as some of our kids may have lost a pet recently.
Some books that talk specifically about processing losing a pet can be found online but one that can help get you started is called: “I’ll Always Love You” By Hans Wilhelm.
- talk about your experience with pets
- describe your pet or a pet that you like from a movie/tv show
- identify the things you need to own a pet and take care of it
Book Recommendations: (Printable Version Here)
This is a list of books that pair well with the Pet Theme. I highly recommend searching some of these titles on Epic! or on Youtube if you're looking for free ways to utilize these stories for your kiddos. Another option is to print the list of recommendations and take them to your local library. There you can check out the books you're interested in.
When you know you want to add some books to your personal or school library, you can use the links below to purchase through Amazon.
Play Recommendations: (Printable Version Here)
- Dalmatian Vet Kit
- Melissa + Doug: Travel Play Set
- Vet Dress Up Uniform: Pretend Play
- Pet Vet Hospital
- Chunky Pet Puzzle
- Melissa + Doug Grooming Kit
- Pet Food + Play Set
- Letter Puppy (fine motor + phonemic awareness)
Apps That You Can Download: (Printable Version Here)
- Happy Pet Story
- Pet Vet: Doctor Dogs
- Pet Vet: Doctor Cats
- Pet Shop Story
- Littlest Pet Shop
- Toca Pet Doctor
- Pet Run
- Virtual Pet Dog
Educational Video Links: (Printable Version Here)
Grab your list of words related to the Pet theme that are categorized by speech sound above. This is helpful for your mixed speech therapy groups or if you have a child who is working on their articulation skills in speech therapy.
Like Our Thematic Resources?
Be sure to check out the Boom Versions of our Adapted Books! These resources can be played on a phone, iPad, or computer and feature drag and drop icons! Whether you assign them to a student to get data or if you just use them with screen sharing during a session, they are engaging and a favorite amongst our students.
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