But still, not bad. (I know, could there be a more rave review?)
Ella loves animals more than just about anything, so I figured this would be one that really appealed to her.
We started out by singing "Going to the Zoo" (I taught them a simple action for each verse beforehand).
And then, of course, books. Oh, glorious books. So many good options for this topic. Here are six possibilities:
Life-Size Zoo, Two at the Zoo, Good Night, Gorilla,
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Hippo! No, Rhino, Where's Walrus
We read three books (Life-Size Zoo was an especially big hit - the girls loved looking through and naming the animals).
After that, we made "monkey snacks" with slices of bananas and mini-chocolate chips to press into the bananas (like bugs). This was very popular and then we put them in the freezer to get hard. (There are some other really cute ideas for zoo snacks like these animal crackers eating ants on a log)
I spread out all our alphabet flashcards (which have animals on the opposite side) and they took turns picking a letter. For the ones who knew the letters, I would say a letter and they would find it. For the ones who didn't, I would let them pick any card and then tell them what the letter was.
Then, time to eat their frozen bananas.
We read a couple more of the books and then I let them play for a little bit.
We finished with one of Ella's favorite games, "Hide the __________." They would stay in the living room and count to twenty together (you would die over how cute it is to hear three little toddlers counting to twenty), while I hid one of the plastic animals in Ella's bedroom. Then, they would all come in and two of them would sit with me while the third girl looked for the animal. I think they would have done this activity all afternoon long.
I wish I'd started planning for this one just a little bit earlier because I think there are SO many great activities and options out there on this topic.