April showers bring May flowers- and my littles are both animal lovers so I thought it was a great time to do a dog and cat week! We celebrated the 101st day of school this week with lots of fun 101 Dalmation activities (all at the start of each category), and pulled in several regular cat and dog themed activities as well. Coincidentally, our 14 year old kitty also died this week, so we did a few things to remember him like a shape Nimbus for math. We will miss him so much!
-Read and retell “101 Dalmatians”: The title pretty much sums up the whole activity!
-Have your little read “Kittens” and “Puppies” by Laura Ellen Anderson: These are two favorite books that we’ve had for ages- and they’re very simple with pictures that help your emergent reader figure out what each page says. I had my 5 year old read each one to my 3 year old (with help sounding out the words of course!)
-Oral instructions how to draw a cat or dog: I let my littles pick if they wanted to draw a cat or dog, then gave them oral instructions on how to do it!
-Cat and dog breed touch and say: I googled then wrote down several dog and cat breeds then had my little touch and say the sound of each letter and put them together to make the word. I helped him with silent letters and combos like -sian and -tion.
-Opinion writing: Which is a better pet, a dog or cat?: Have your little answer this question in writing this week with reasons why they feel that way on each page.
-Dog and cat books:
-Counting to 101 with popcorn: Have your littles count out 101 pieces of popcorn then eat it while watching “101 Dalmatians” for a special treat.
-Dalmatian spot counting: Have your little use their finger and some black paint to add 101 spots to this dog picture. (My 3 year old just added a random number of spots- you can count them after if you want!)
-Make a shape cat: We used shapes to make our kitty Nimbus… you can choose any color you like, but I think he was pretty cute!
-Dog and cat sticker count: I wrote “20” and “50” at the top of my littles’ papers and then had them stick that many cat and dog stickers on the page while counting. My 3 year old can count to ten independently, so I thought we needed to extend it to 20. I helped him because he took his time choosing his stickers (he wanted all the cats) and kept losing track…lol Either way, it was good find motor practice!
–Cat number puzzle: This was a great hands on way to practice addition and scissor skills! You have your little cut out the puzzle pieces carefully, solve each equation, then glue the piece with the answer on it in the correct spot.
-Dog video: You can also read a nonfiction book, but we watched this National Geographic Kids video on dogs together to learn a few things about our furry friends.
-Cat video: They didn’t really have a longer video on cats, but we watched a few on how cats became pets and cool facts about cats. Dogs vs. Cats looked good too, but we needed to get a move on with our other lessons!
-Cat and dog diagrams: This is technically two activities but we did them both on the same day. As I had my littles label each part of the dog and cat with sticky notes, we talked about why they’re special (ie. whiskers help cats balance and sense their environment…dogs’ noses are 20,000 times more powerful than ours).
-Compare cats and dogs: I drew a Venn diagram on the board then had my littles tell me how dogs and cats are alike and different. I wrote how they’re alike in the center and how they’re different on the outside edges.
-Dalmatian shirt painting: I had my littles use a round sponge brush to add black spots to a white t-shirt. I painted the collar like a dog collar too!
-Dalmatian ears: Have your littles add spots to some strips of white paper. Then tape them in a circle to fit their head and have them add black ears to make a dog ear headband.
-Paper plate cat or dog: I gave my littles each a paper plate and had them draw either a cat or dog face on it. Then I had them cut out and glue their choice of ear color on the plate.
-Cat or dog furry face collage: I had my littles cut out strips from magazine pages, then glue them to the back of a dog or cat face (their choice). When they finished, I had them add some ears I cut out for them. I got this idea from Art Room Britt.
-Dog and cat multimedia art: I had my littles make a background/setting of their choice and then add kitty and doggy stickers to it when they were done.
-Word of the week: the, each day we do a different activity focused on our word- introduction/sound the word out/have your little practice writing it on the chalkboard or whiteboard, word family list- think of other words that rhyme with your word of the week, use the word in a sentence (have your little come up with the sentence and write it for them) then have your little illustrate the sentence, and workpage practice.
-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “Be kind to one another, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.
-Character trait of the month: forgiveness…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates generosity I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “Thank you for forgiving your brother for grabbing that toy from you.”)
- book and movie versions of “101 Dalmatians”
- “Puppies” and “Kittens” by Laura Ellen Anderson
- cat and dog stickers
- sticky notes
- paper plate
- white shirt
- black paint
- old magazines