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, Christina (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
More 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).
(Note: the Free Frog Do-a-Dot Printable (Montessori-Inspired Instant Download) is available in either black or red outline.)
The free bell do-a-dot printable can be used at any time of year, but it’s especially perfect before the holidays.
You’ll find a fun printable for any season with the free dinosaur do-a-dot printable.
You’ll find two free printables and ideas using glass gems in last month’s free tarantula and spider do-a-dot printables.
If you’re looking for a printable for the start of the school year or a forest unit, you’ll find a free raccoon do-a-dot printable using stickers (great for a Kissing Hand unit).
I have a free ant do-a-dot printable and activity using Power Magnets.
In another post, you’ll find a free snail do-a-dot printable and activity using Do-a-Dot markers.
In another post, you’ll get a free car do-a-dot printable and see an idea for using pom poms and quick sticks with the printable.
In another do-a-dot printable post, you’ll get a free recycling do-a-dot printable and see an idea for using glass gems and toast tongs with the printable.
In another do-a-dot printable post, you’ll get a free butterfly do-a-dot printable and see an idea for using pom poms and toast tongs with the printable.
Montessori-Inspired Packs – Subscriber Freebies
Don’t miss our subscriber freebie zoo pack, subscriber freebie turtle pack, subscriber freebie eat-a-rainbow pack, subscriber freebie lamb pack, subscriber freebie penguin pack, subscriber freebie polar bear pack, subscriber freebie bell pack, subscriber freebie dinosaur pack, subscriber freebie spider pack, subscriber freebie raccoon pack, subscriber freebie ant pack, subscriber freebie snail pack, subscriber freebie car pack, subscriber freebie frog pack, subscriber freebie butterfly pack, and subscriber freebie recycling pack! You’ll get a monthly freebie with link and password if you subscribe to the Living Montessori Now weekly newsletter!
You can buy an Animal Alphabet Do-a-Dot Pack (with 26 different animals and letters) in the Living Montessori Now shop! There’s also a Healthy Food Alphabet Do-a-Dot Pack along with other printables using real photographs, including our new alphabet box printable labels and movable alphabet!
Montessori Monday Link-Up
Except for content, this is a no-rules linky. If you have some Montessori-inspired activity trays/lessons to share, please link up below. They can be for home or classroom. It’s fine to link up a post from your archives – and you may link up anytime during the week! Your post may be any Montessori-inspired activity or idea. It doesn’t need to be related to my Montessori Monday post.
If you’re wondering what’s considered “Montessori inspired” and what to link up (or not link up), check out my “What Is Montessori Inspired?” post. Link up your exact post URL so that we can find your activity if we return to the linky at a later date. Don’t link to giveaway posts (unless the giveaway is only part of a Montessori-inspired post). Giveaways in general should go on my giveaway linky. Also, don’t link directly to products. You can link up a review of a Montessori product or activity post related to a Montessori product.
I publish the Montessori Monday post and linky each Monday morning and keep the linky open throughout the week. I do a lot of sharing on the Living Montessori Now Facebook page from the Montessori Monday link-up. Thanks for participating!
Notes: For community discussions, please join us at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page. And don’t forget the Saturday/Sunday weekend sharing days where you may share a kid-related activity of any kind at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page!
It’s also Motivational Monday on Mondays! I invite you to share something positive on the Bits of Positivity Facebook page (Bits of Positivity is my other blog) to help us all get a good start on the work/school week. You might share an inspirational or motivational quote, positive graphic, or post about finding balance or simplifying your life. Or you might share a post on organizing, an encouraging post, a post about making a difference in the world, or a positive parenting post. Just go ahead and share on the Bits of Positivity wall any time today! (Please “like” the Bits of Positivity Facebook page if you haven’t already.) I’ll be pinning a number of ideas to my regular Pinterest boards.
If you have a giveaway on your blog, please add it to my Family-Friendly Giveaway Linky Page! If you enjoy entering giveaways, you’ll always find lots of great giveaways there.
If this is your first time visiting Living Montessori Now, welcome! If you haven’t already, please join us on our Living Montessori Now Facebook pagewhere you’ll find a Free Printable of the Day and lots of inspiration and ideas for parenting and teaching! And please follow me on Pinterest (lots of Montessori-, holiday-, and theme-related boards), Twitter (blog posts by me and others along with the Parent/Teacher Daily and other interesting information), and Google+ (post updates and Montessori Community). You can find me on bloglovin’, Instagram, and YouTube now, too.
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