I LOVE creating themed centers for my kindergartners and these pet theme centers are no exception! I find my students learn best through play which is why math and literacy centers are so important! So often, kindergartners are expected to work above and beyond what they are developmentally capable of doing, so it’s my job to incorporate those important skills in a fun, age appropriate way.
Take a look at our new pet themed centers! Almost all of the fun manipulatives I used are from the dollar tree, Target, and Amazon. I will link my Amazon finds with my affiliate link so you can grab them if you need them!
I designed these centers to be used during anytime of the year, so the skills range from concepts they can complete easily at the beginning of the year and skills that are more suited for the second half of the school year (or to differentiate for students who are ready!)
Fine motor handwriting lines
Have your students work on tracing different lines to help build their fine motor muscles. These are important in helping young students improve their handwriting skills.
Alphabet letter match
I found these little dog bowls at the dollar tree and knew they’d be perfect for this center! I filled the dog bowl with magnetic letters, but any plastic letters will do. The students pick a letter from the bowl and match it to the letter on the alphabet mat. You can also have them work on a cookie sheet or magnetic tray so the letter stick.
This is a fun, hands-on way to have your students practice letter formation. You can find colored sand and divided trays at the Dollar Tree. I like using Tupperware with a lid to contain the sand when not in use 😉 Have your students pick a letter, trace the path of motion on the card, then trace it again in the sand.
Sight word practice
This center is always a huge hit! Type the sight words you need directly onto the dogs, attach a piece of pipe cleaner for the leash, and have your students string the letter beads to spell each sight word.
Your students can work on sounding out CVC words by pushing up a bingo chip for each sound in the word. Then they can write the word on a whiteboard or on a recording sheet. I like having a visual for them so they make the connection that each word has three sounds. You can find these magnetic bingo chips on Amazon.
One to one correspondence and number practice
Have your students show the number of fish in each bowl using any manipulatives you have on hand. Then they can use a dry-erase marker to practice writing each number.
I like giving my students opportunities to practice seeing numbers in different ways. These dog bones show the numbers 1-10 using tally marks, ten frames, and dice. If you’re working on one specific skill (like ten frames) you can just set out the ten frame bones. Then have your students match the bones to the dog bowl with the correct number.
Making ten frames
Another fun way to practice seeing numbers in a ten frame. You can have your students build each number with unifix cubes, mini erasers, play doh balls, or anything you have!
Addition practice to 10
Your students can add the numbers on the dog treats using any strategy they choose (counting on, using manipulatives, using their fingers, etc) and match it to the dog with the sum on their collar.
Bunny hop addition and subtraction
This center helps your students add and subtract numbers on a number line. They will choose an equation and put their bunny on the first number. Then they will have the bunny hop forward or backward to find the answer. This one is always a hit!