Toddling on the Wild
E Resources Group
Age level: 1- and
2-year olds and an adult
Time: 1 hour
Topic: Winter, Snow, and Iowa Forest Animals
The format of our
program is set up as follows:
45 minutes of exploring
at their own pace the 8-10 activities which are spread out in a park or large
activity room. Being outside works best. These activities are followed by 15
minutes of group time which includes a theme snack, and story, finger plays or
songs. Our class size is limited to 10 child-adult teams when inside and 15
Wild About Winter
Iowa’s Forest Creatures
Fill a large box with
snow or cold salt. Use cups, containers and spoons to fill and dump just like
you would in a sandbox. Make a snow castle if you have snow. Skills
Developed: Fine and gross motor, sense of touch, sight.
Use the dough and cookie
cutters to cut out animals. Skills Developed: Fine motor, sense of
touch, sight, mathematical (sorting)/thinking.
“Who’s In The Forest”
Prepare cards with
pictures of forest animals before group arrives. Select animals that make
noises that are easy to reproduce such as owls, mice, cardinals, and snakes.
Make sure that there is at least two of each animal for the group.
Each adult-tot team
picks one card. Keeping your animal picture hidden, sit in a circle. One
team begins by making the sound of the animal on their card. The others in the
circle that have the same animal respond by repeating the same sound. Continue
around the circle until everyone has had a chance to hoot, squeak, chirp,
whistle and hiss. Skills Developed: Social, sense of hearing, thinking.
Forest Friend Foray
Go on a “wild woods”
hike. What animals can you see? What animals can you hear? Can you hear the
stream? Look for footprints. Who’s been here? Skills developed:
Gross motor, sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell.
Forest Animals Big And
Animals come in all
colors and sizes. Using stuffed animals, ask your tot “Can you sort them by
color? By size?” Talk about patterns like stripes and spots. Skills
developed: Thinking, mathematical, sense of sight, touch.
Forest “Night” Hike
Many animals are only
out at night. Place nocturnal animal pictures or stuffed animals in a dark
room. Use a flashlight to find our forest animals. Skills Developed:
Thinking, mathematical (sorting), gross motor, sense of sight.
- Blow bubbles. Do they freeze? What happens when they land? Can you catch
them? Skills developed: Fine and gross motor, sense of sight,
- Make a snow cake. Ice it with bread crumbs, decorate with apples, seeds, corn
and twigs for candles. Sing “Happy Birthday.” Skills developed: Fine and
gross motor, sense of touch, sight.
- Bring pan of snow inside. Give child a pan of warm water.
Experiment with melting. Make snowball, put in freezer. Talk about
freezing. Skills developed: Observation, physical, thinking,
- Catch snow on mitten. What shape is it? How big is it? Does each snowflake look
alike? Skills developed: Mathematical (comparisons, shapes),
physical, sense of sight, touch.
- Explore concept of some trees having needles, others having broad (flat)
leaves. Skills developed: Observation, thinking, language, sense of
- Fill a spray bottle with water and food coloring. Decorate the yard, a snowman,
etc. Skills developed: Creative, gross and fine motor, sense of
- Look for animal tracks in the snow. Follow them. Who do you think left
them? Skills developed: Physical, observation, language, thinking.
- Leave birdseed on ground at night. Inspect the snow the next morning to see who
came to lunch last night! Skills developed: Physical, observation, language,
thinking, sense of sight, touch.
- Have a scavenger hunt in the snow. Use sticks to mark the hidden locations with
an “X.” Skills developed: Thinking, physical, sense of sight.
Frost a graham cracker
with ‘snow’ (white frosting or cream cheese). Make tracks through the snow with
teddy bear shaped crackers.
…prepared by Ginny
Malcomson and Jennie Groves
Gross motor or
kinesthetic development (moving, running, moving your body, jumping)
Small motor or tactual
development (blocks, puzzles, sensory)
(songs, patterns, sound)
people and social interactions)
(understanding of the
physical world, nature)