Preschoolers love to learn and sing about animals. They especially love to pretend to be animals. Here are some of our favorite animal songs and rhymes, that teach not only about animals, but also teach math and literacy skills.
Best of all, these songs allow children to use their imaginations to pretend they are the animals!
Put five monkey finger puppets on one hand and the alligator on the other hand.
Five little monkeys swinging in a tree (hold up 5 monkeys and hide the alligator behind your back)
Teasing Mr. Alligator
Can’t catch me, can’t catch me
Along comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be (slowly bring the alligator out in front)
And SNAPS that monkey right out of that tree (grab one monkey off a finger with your alligator hand)
Repeat until all the monkeys are gone.
2. Hippo, Hippo
This is a bean bag counting game. Sit across from your preschooler and hold the bean bag in your lap. Repeat the rhyme:
Hippo Hippo in the lake, how many splashes will you make?
Toss the bean bag back and forth while counting as high as your preschooler can, whoever tosses the bean bag says the next number. When they get stuck on a number help them with the next one and start over. Each time, try to count a little higher.
Extension: Stand up and toss the bean bag. Try moving back further and further each time you say the rhyme. If someone drops the bean bag, start over.
5. Hop Little Bunnies
6. Aooo Went the Little Green Frog
7. Hippo on the Bus
8. Arctic Animal Sleeping Song
This is probably our favorite game of all time. We use it several times throughout the week with the kids as a circle time activity or just a time filler. You can use any type of animal for this song. It is best to do it with the kids.
Most children can use their imagination to make up actions for the animals or learn from their peers, but sometimes they need the teacher/parent to model what each animal acts like. Preschoolers will play this game for a very long time and it requires no prep. The best part is when they start giving you ideas for what animal to say next!
9. Five Little Penguins
Have fun singing like the animals!
—Ms. Melanie and Ms. Katie