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We’ve been having so much fun with our zoo unit! My 3½-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, my daughter, Christina, and I have been playing zoo animal games (such as the Wildlife “I Have, Who Has”Game) along with the other zoo learning activities we’ve been doing. And Zoey loves the zoo books we’ve been reading.
Today, I have a free zoo animal do-a-dot printable. It’s an instant download and is very easy to prepare. I’ve paired it with some of Zoey’s favorite miniature objects.
Montessori-Inspired Printables at Living Montessori Now
My daughter, Chrissy Chitwood (a former Montessori child), and I are partnering to bring you a series of Montessori-inspired printables. The printables are typically themed and use a number of Montessori principles (although you don’t need to be a Montessori teacher or homeschooler to use them):
- They use isolation of quality.
- They use photographs or realistic images to emphasize reality. Whenever I can, I’ll tell you the specific name of the object or animal featured. Today’s printable just emphasizes the general zoo animal names.
- They typically use traditional Montessori colors such as red for consonants and blue for vowels.
- They use lowercase letters, which are what we introduce letter sounds with in Montessori education. (Children tend to pick up the uppercase letters without being introduced if they’re introduced to the lowercase letter sounds.)
- They often feature themed printable versions of Montessori materials.
Free Zoo Animal Do-a-Dot Printable for the Letter Z
To download the zoo animal do-a-dot printable, click here and then click on the file image in the upper right corner of the PDF to save to your computer (just choose where you want it saved).
Montessori-Inspired Activities Using the Zoo Animal Do-a-Dot Printable
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
Zoo Animal Do-a-Dot Letter Z Tray with Safari Ltd. Good Luck Mini Animals
I used a Multicraft tray and Safari Ltd. Good Luck Minis. The Good Luck Minis Wild Fun Pack, Good Luck Minis Rainforest, and Good Luck Minis Wild American Fun Pack are perfect for a zoo theme. You’ll need 21 animals for the dots on the letter “z.” (You’ll have many other uses for them, as they’re perfect for an alphabet box and lots of activities using miniature language objects.) I also added a “z” font printable from our subscriber freebie zoo pack. At other times, I’ll have a transfer activity with tools such as quick sticks, sugar tongs, or toast tong.
You could add a tracing activity to the printable. If you laminate your printable, you can use an erasable crayon like the Melissa & Doug Learning Mat Crayons or Crayola Erasable Crayons. For a 2-year-old or other young preschooler who’s not ready to write letters, you can just leave off the crayons.
Zoo Animal Do-a-Dot Tray with Safari Ltd. Good Luck Mini Animals
Zoey adores the rubbery Safari Ltd. Good Luck Minis. It takes some careful balancing to stand them all up on the letter … great for skills in fine-motor coordination and concentration. Note: It works best for the child to start at the top (where you’d naturally start writing the letter) so that the animals don’t get bumped accidentally.
If you want to know how to introduce the letter sound for z, check out my post on how to teach letter sounds using Montessori principles.
More Zoo Posts
Montessori-Inspired Packs – Subscriber Freebies
Don’t miss our themed monthly packs! You’ll get the link and password for the Living Montessori Now subscriber library with the current pack and all the past monthly packs if you subscribe to the Living Montessori Now weekly newsletter!
Free Do-a-Dot Printables and Ideas for Using Them
I love the versatility of do-a-dot printables! If you’re doing a month-long theme, you could easily change out the type of do-a-dot activity weekly to add interest. Here are four ideas of hands-on activities for any of our do-a-dot printables from my frog do-a-dot printable post (see post for details and materials used).
Just click on an image to go to the post with the related free printable!
Note: I’ve arranged the following gallery in alphabetical order, although some posts have two do-a-dot printables (and two different letters). You’ll find at least one free do-a-dot printable for each letter of the alphabet!
Also, I don’t introduce letters in alphabetical order. You can find out the order in which I introduce letter sounds here. I deviate from that order for our unit studies, though, and focus on a letter that’s simply related to our unit. That’s in addition to our other letter work.
For complete themed alphabet do-a-dot packs, see our Animal Alphabet Do-a-Dot Pack, Spanish Animal Alphabet Do-a-Dot Pack, and Healthy Food Alphabet Do-a-Dot Pack available for purchase in the Living Montessori Now shop.
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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Montessori Monday Link-Up