Pets Theme

Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for learning about pets



Nursery rhymes that go well with a Pets Theme:

  • Hey Diddle Diddle
  • Old Mother Hubbard

Look for printable posters of these rhymes on the Nursery Rhymes Page.

hey diddle  diddle

old mother hubbard


  • How Much is That Doggie in the Window: traditional song
  • Old Mother Hubbard: Rhymin’ to the Beat Vol. 2 CD by Jack Hartmann
  • Rags: Rhymin’ to the Beat Vol. 2 CD by Jack Hartmann


Pet Word Cards

Pet Picture Word Cards

Play Dough Mat DogPlay Dough Mat Cat

Dog Food and Cat Food Play Dough Counting Mats

Pet Classification

Pet Classification

Counting Game

Spots on the Puppy Counting Mats

Pet Grid Game

Pets Grid Game

Pet Bingo

Look for the Pet Bingo game on the Bingo Games Page.

Pet Dice Inserts

Pet Dice Game

theme printable

Look for the Pets Cards on the Picture Cards for Themes page.

Pattern Block  Mat

Printable pattern block mats in blackline and color. Look for the dog, cat, turtle, and fish mats to use with a pet theme.


Obedience School

[Large Motor]
Children pretend to be dogs. As a few dog commands are called out (fetch, sit, lie down, roll over, bark, beg, come, etc.), the children act them out.

Pet Movements

[Large Motor]
The children choose which kind of pet they want to be. They move around and make the sounds of that animal.

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Pet Food

[Fine Motor Skills]
This idea came from one of my students one year. Children roll Model Magic into little balls for pet food and paint the pieces brown. They use the pretend food in the pet store and in their pretend play with the toy dogs and cats. Or, use play dough (see below).

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Pet Food Play Dough

[Fine Motor Skills]
Similar to the above activity, children roll play dough into little balls to make dog food or cat food and place them into a bowl. Rolling play dough into balls is a good fine motor skill.

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Pet Cutting Skills

[Fine Motor Skills]
I printed out some dog and cat clipart and cut them into strips. The children used scissors to snip the pictures and glue them on a piece of paper. This was a free choice activity in our art center.

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Dog House

This is another idea from one of my students. Children made dog houses with cardboard boxes. They worked together with others to make the doghouses, deciding how it would look, where the door would be, and what materials to use to decorate the house.

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Pet Store

[Dramatic Play, Literacy, Social Skills]
Children made pet food, dog houses, pet toys, and leashes to sell in their pet store. A cash register with play money, paper, and pencils were added and the children wrote receipts and price tags for the items.

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Pet Store Signs

Children made signs for their pet store.

Story Retelling

This is an activity that goes with any theme. Choose a book that goes with the theme, and have the children retell the story.
Read the blog post here for details: story retelling

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Pet Graph

Our graph title was “What is your favorite pet?” In the top of the chart, I placed pet clipart (available in the Printables section). The children chose which pet they would like to have, and placed their name card in the pocket chart graph. We counted how many of each animal, and determined most/least/same.

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Dog and Cat Card Game

For each set of cards, half of the cards (index cards) are stamped with dogs and half with cats to represent the numbers 0-4. Children work in pairs, and have an equal amount of cards: one child has cat cards, the other child has dog cards. Players turn over a card simultaneously. The player whose card has the most cats or dogs keeps both cards for that round of the game. When the players tie, they both keep only their own card. Children compare more, less, and same amounts.

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Dog Counting Game

These counting cards were made with index cards, a dog notepad from the teacher store, and a paw print stamp. Children count the paws and match them to the numeral on the dog.

Pre-K Pets  Theme

Pet Care Prop Box

[Dramatic Play Center]
In the house center, we have toy dogs and cats with pet food bowls, rawhide bones, pet carrier, collars, leash, pet bed, pet toys. We keep these in our house center all year.

Police Dog Visit

[Social Studies]
Schedule a visit from a K-9 police dog and ask the officer to talk about the importance of working dogs.

Packets Available from “Teachers Pay Teachers”



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