Animal Track Painting

I can’t even remember what inspired this, I know my son thought of it but I can’t remember now what preceded me saying ” How about making animal tracks?”. All I remember is that he bounded to the table, which is not always the case . This is a fast project, to stretch it out introduce new paint colors , new animals and more paper one at a time.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun toy animals, a plate, paper,markers and paint.
  2. If you want you or your child can draw some scenery.
  3. Spread some paint on your plate and dip your animal in.
  4. Start making some tracks.
  5. Add the next paint color and more paper if you want and keep going.
* After we painted we went for a walk outside and pretended to look for and follow animal tracks. We tippy toed for mouse tracks , hopped for bunny tracks and stomped around the patio when we “found” elephant ones. *Books !



Animaliaby Graeme Base is iconic in teaching circles, you can loose yourself for hours in the detailed illustrations. The book is an alphabet book on steroids! Each page had a wonderful paragraph in each letter such as for the letter L ” Lazy Lions lounging in the local library.” The pages are filled to the gills with pictures of things that start with that letter as well. Parents and kids a like will fall in love!

“Peek-a-Zoo!”by Marie Torres Cimarusti is a vibrant lift the flap book that goes through sounds different animals make while playing peek a boo with the reader. What I like about this book is that the flaps offer a chance for your baby or toddler to anticipate what animal it hiding as well as the sound , so it grows with them. Also the flaps are large enough that little hands can grab them and won’t get frustrated.
“Is Your Mama a Llama? “ by Deborah Guarino is a classroom favorite, I don’t know many preschool teachers who can’t recite most of this book . Readers follow Lloyd the llama as he riddles his way through a bunch of animals until he find the one he calls mom. I like the mix of animals in this book, a little different than your average zoo or farm collection.

Painting With Water

toddler activity
No, I am not using child labor to spruce up my house, this activity will amaze you at it’s simplicity and how much kids LOVE it. I used to do this with my class on nice days when they would get stir crazy inside! The key to making this last is to wait to introduce the different brushes and sponges.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some water, and a variety of paint brushes ( make sure they are clean you don’t want to really paint your house). painting with water supplies
  2. Dip your paint brush into the water and start painting! Fences or other unpainted works the best because it will darken when “painted”.painting with water
  3. While you are painting with your child, point out the dry wall and the wet brush and ask them what happens when they paint it. painting with waterLittle exchanges like this are fantastic teaching opportunities. Remember though if they just want to do it in peace, let them you can always recap later.painting with water 3
  4. When your child starts getting uninterested- in a insanely enthusiastic way introduce the next brush. I know that this is hard for people who aren’t used to being surrounded by small kids , but a little enthusiasm goes a long way- feel free to fake it too .My son loved the roller- I gave it to him last and ended up having to go grab a coffee cause he played with it for almost 20 minutes alone! ( by grabbing a coffee I mean from my kitchen , not Starbucks). painting with water 5