Zoo Animals Roll and Move Game

Are you looking for a fun, easy game for your Zoo thematic unit that builds in following directions, listening, and movement?

Roll and Move with the Zoo Animals will give your children multiple opportunities for learning while having fun too!

Zoo Animals Roll and Move
Disclosure: Amazon links included below.

Learning Opportunities

This game helps children build skills in

  • Listening
  • Following Directions
  • Building Vocabulary

In addition to these skills, children can develop social skills when they play group games together. Use Roll and Move with the Zoo Animals with a whole class, in a small group of children, or as an individual activity (child-teacher interaction).

Children can build motor skills. Young children learn best when they are engaged kinesthetically. This movement game encourages all kinds of bending, crawling, hopping, and stretching.

Zoo Animals Roll and Move Game for preschool

Materials Needed

Prepare the cube: Print the cards and cut them apart. Slide the cards in the die. Now you’re ready to play!

Directions for Group Learning

  • Roll the die.
  • Name the animal.
  • Read the sentence.
  • Children move like the animal.
  • Pass the die to a child.
  • Child rolls the die.
  • Child names the animal.
  • Child reads the sentence.
  • All children move like the animal.
  • Repeat.

Modify for Individual Learning

  • Roll the die.
  • Name the animal.
  • Read the sentence.
  • Child moves like the animal.
  • Repeat until all animal actions have been rolled.

Zoo Animals Roll and Move Game

Music and Movement

Turn on some fun animal zoo music like “We’re Going to the Zoo” by Raffi and play the game with music. A teacher or child rolls the die and shows the animal to the class. Children move like the animal to music. Repeat until the song is over.

Play it Another Way

Make extra copies of the cards. Give each child one animal card. Roll the die. Name the animal. Children with that animal card stand up and move like the animal.

After the Game

  • Brainstorm and record a list of other zoo animals.
  • Ask the children how these animals move.
  • Children can play animal charades with this list.

Have fun moving and learning with your children!

Zoo Animals Roll and Move Game Cards

BIO: Kathy Griffin is an early childhood teacher, educational consultant, mother, and a “Nana K” who writes about teaching children through hands-on play, music, and movement. You can download her free Five Little Monkeys math and literacy printable. Connect with Kathy through her blog, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Check these zoo theme links–
Preschool Books About the Zoo
Zoo Animal Fine Motor and Counting

Zoo Theme Pinterest Board
Follow my Zoo Theme Pinterest Board [link] for more great ideas!

Zoo Animal Fine Motor Activity

Zoo animals are a lot of fun to learn about in preschool and a great theme for any time of the year.

Here’s a hands-on zoo animal activity that practices fine motor and counting skills.

Zoo Animal Fine Motor Activity for Preschool
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

In this activity, children are given a zoo animal card with a number and circle spaces on it. The child pretends to “feed” the zoo animal in its cage by placing gems on the circles. You could also use beans, pasta, or pieces of play dough.

Zoo Animal Fine Motor and Counting Activity

Building Concepts and Skills

This zoo activity covers several learning concepts. Since tweezers are used in this activity, children are practicing fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills are the actions that are performed in the hands, fingers, and wrists. Squeezing the tweezers together builds hand strength, which helps prepare children to write.

This activity is also a math activity. Children practice identifying numerals, counting, and one-to-one correspondence. One-to-one correspondence means counting each object once. Using hands-on activities to develop one-to-one correspondence skills is very effective because kids enjoy touching and manipulating the objects.

Zoo Animal Fine Motor Practice for Preschool

Supplies and Set Up

Here’s what you need for this activity:

  • gems (craft store or dollar store)
  • kid tweezers
  • zoo animal printable

To set up the activity, print the cards on card stock and cut them out. Set out a container of gems and tweezers. Present a zoo animal card to a child and have him or her identify the number or count the number of circle spaces. Then, invite the child to use the tweezers to place the correct number of gems onto the circles.

If tweezers are too difficult to use, children can use their fingers.

Zoo Animal Counting and Fine Motor Activity

This set has ten cards. Since the cards show zoo animals, you can review the names of the animals as you go through the cards. My children liked to make the sounds of that animal as we went through each card too!

Zoo Animal Counting Activity for Preschool

This activity can be done individually with a child, in a classroom setting, or in a center.

What I love most about this activity is that my children had so much fun, they didn’t even realize they were learning!

Zoo Animal Fine Motor and Counting Printable

BIO: Angela is the writer of Teaching Mama, where she shares hands-on learning activities for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. She is a former teacher, turned stay-at-home-mom to 3 wonderful boys. She is also the author of The Preschool Journey, a great resource for preparing your child for Kindergarten. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Zoo Theme Pinterest Board
Follow my Zoo Theme Pinterest Board for more great ideas!

Preschool Books About the Zoo

Preschoolers love animals, especially the exotic animals found in the zoo.

They also like learning everything about zoo animals including what they eat and what sounds they make!

These fun and engaging zoo theme books below will both delight and build enthusiasm for a zoo field trip or a learning theme at home or in your classroom.

Zoo Preschool Theme Books

Books About the Zoo


Zoo-Looking by Mem Fox – Acclaimed children’s author Mem Fox spins a rhyming tale about little Flora who visits the zoo with her father. She likes looking at the animals, but some of them turn to look at her too!


The View at the Zoo by Kathleen Long Bostrom – In this humorous twist on a visit to the zoo, who has the most interesting view?


If Anything Ever Goes Wrong at the Zoo by Mary Jean Hendrick -“If anything ever goes wrong at the zoo, you can send the zebras to my house,” Leslie tells the zebra keeper. She also invites the monkeys and the elephants. Nobody shows up until one wet, stormy night when the zoo floods and the zebra keeper remembers Leslie’s offer.


Curious George Visits the Zoo by H. A. Rey, Margret Rey – Beloved children’s book character Curious George and the man with the yellow hat visit the zoo. A hungry Curious George snatches a pail of bananas from the zoo keeper. Though he shouldn’t have taken the bananas, George soon changes the zookeeper’s shouts to praise with his clever, helpful ways.


We’re Going on a Lion Hunt by David Axtell – A delightful twist on the classic tale of Going on a Bear Hunt. Two sisters set off in search of a lion-a lion that lives on the African savanna, where the girls go through swishy-swashy long grass, a splishy-splashy lake, and a big dark cave. What do you think they find?


Dear Zoo (Dear Zoo & Friends) by Rod Campbell – A class favorite year after year! A young boy searches for the perfect pet. Your kids will love using their imaginations to guess what is inside each box!


Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann – Sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp. A classic must-read (or not) wordless picture book that is perfect for developing oral language and retelling skills.


Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo by Karma Wilson – An imaginative tale of a little girl who trips, drops her ice-cream cone, and then gives a frustrated cry, despite the narrator’s warning to “Never, EVER shout in a zoo-/because if you do-/anything might happen.”


1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle – A combination of simple counting with Carle’s unusual captivating and unique illustrations of animals that will help young children learn basic number concepts and counting skills.


Going to the Zoo by Tom Paxton – A “must sing” for all young children! This musical menagerie is every bit as fun as a trip to the zoo. Your kids will want to “stay all day” and come back again and again!

More Zoo Resources from Pre-K Pages
Zoo Theme Math and Literacy Ideas

Zoo Theme Pinterest Board
Follow my Zoo theme board on Pinterest for more great ideas!

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