Pond Life Theme

Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for learning about pond animals: frogs, turtles, fish.

Pond Life Activities for Pre-K Preschool

Find more Pond Activities for Pre-K


Check here for a complete list of Pond Books for Kids!

Pond Books for Pre-K

Pond Large Motor Games

Turtle Crawl

Children crawl like a turtle with a “shell” (foam mat or carpet) on their backs, trying not to lose the shell.

Frog Hop Game

Children move from one point to another, hopping like a frog.

Hatch, Little Egg Game

Several pond animals come from eggs. In this movement game, children curl up into a ball and pretend to be an egg. One child is tapped on the shoulder, and pretends to hatch and act like an animal they choose. That student taps the next child who hatches, then taps the next child, etc.

Pond Art Activities

Sand Art

Children draw a pond animal of their choice using a black ink pen to make the outline. They use a glue brush (inexpensive dollar store brush) to spread glue inside the outline and sprinkle on some colored art sand. They use their fingertips to pinch the sand and sprinkle it on, then shake the excess sand onto a paper plate.

Pond Animal Sand Art

Pond Literacy Activities

Beginning Sounds

Children match a small toy pond animal to it’s beginning letter (which is written on a plastic egg), and place the animal inside the egg. (F for frog and fish, T for turtle, D for duck, S for snake, A for Alligator, etc.)

pond beginning letter sounds

The Lost Button: Book Connection Activity

We read the story “The Lost Button” from Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel. Each child in the group has a set of buttons. While listening to the story, they eliminate the buttons that do not belong to Toad (for example, a button with two holes, or a square button). At the end, we find out which one belongs to Toad.

Lost Button Activity

Pond Animal Bingo Stamping Game

Use this bingo stamping game to practice letter or numeral recognition. Print out the bingo page, write the letters or numbers you want your students to practice, and make copies. Get the printable here: Pond Animal Bingo Game here — Look for the turtle, frog, and duck games. (These are FREE printables.)

Duck Stamping Game
Frog Stamping Game
Turtle Stamping Game

Frog Roll & Write Game

A fun way to practice fine motor and writing skills! Print and find directions here: Roll & Write Games. Children roll a game die with letters or numbers and write the letter they roll. The samples below show that children can succeed at this game regardless of their writing skills. (These are FREE printables.)

Pond Roll & Write Game Printable

Pond Animal Listening Skills Game

Children listen to a teacher read out a description, such as “I spy a turtle on a log”. They find and mark the picture on their game mat. Kids love this game and it helps them develop listening skills! This can also be used to assess listening skills. This game is part of the Pond Theme Math & Literacy Pack.

Pond animal listening skills game

Pond Animal Rhyming Game

This printable set of rhyming clip cards can be found in the Pond Theme Math & Literacy Pack.

pond animal rhyming game

Pond Syllable Activity

This set of syllable sort cards includes mats and cards for words with 1-4 syllables. This activity is part of the Pond Theme Math & Literacy Pack.

pond syllable sorting

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

Pond Math Activities

Frog Jump Math

Frogs can jump ten times their length. We lay ten frog cutouts end-to-end to see how far a frog can jump. Then, we compare our jumping distance to the frog’s.

Froggy Slap Math Game

The children work in two teams, each team with a froggy fly swatter. They count dots on a game card, find the number on a lily pad, and swat the fly. The first team member that slaps the fly swatter on the correct fly earns a point for the team. (My froggy fly swatters in the picture below were bought years ago at Big Lots.) Lily pads are made with green craft foam sheets, with the bugs drawn on with a Sharpie. You could also use green construction paper.

frog slap math game

Fish Tumble

Children toss foam fish (numbered 1-9) into the pond (blue felt), and arrange them in numerical order. The foam fish were bought in a package at a craft store. (If these are not available, you can make these by cutting a simple fish shape from craft foam or paper.)

You can also play other games with these fish. Have children draw a number card from a pile and find the same number fish. You could also print dotted cards, have children draw a card, count the dots and find the fish. You can get free numeral and dotted card printables here.

fish tumble counting game

Floor Graph

Pond animals, such as frogs, flies and turtles are put in plastic eggs. Children choose an egg from a basket without knowing what is inside. At each child’s turn, they open the egg and place it on the floor graph. We count each group of animals and determine which had the most, least, and same.

pond graph activity

Object Graphs

Ice cube trays make great graphs that can be used with manipulatives. Children graph two kinds pond animal manipulatives in the two columns of an ice cube tray. They count each column and determine more/less/same. For example, 5 turtles and 3 frogs.

Animal Graph

Pond Pattern Block Mats

Look for the fish, turtle, duck, alligator, and dragonfly mats here: Pattern Block Mat Printables. These come in both color and black & white. (These are FREE printables.)

Pond Pattern Block Mats

Frog Measuring Activity

Print out the different length logs and have children measuring them. These can be measured with a variety of manipulative: you can use Unifix cubes, or small frog counters, or small turtle counters, or print out the rainbow frog ruler to use for measuring. This printable is part of the Pond Theme Math & Literacy Pack.

Alternatively, you can cut logs of various lengths out of brown felt.

frog measuring activity

Frog Grid Game

Read about about print here: Grid Games (These are FREE printables.)

Pond Grid Game

Pond Roll and Cover

This roll and cover game can be used to practice counting and numeral recognition. Read about and print it here: Roll and Cover Games (These are FREE printables.)

Pond Roll and Cover Game Printable

Pond Science Activities

Pond Animal NonFiction Book

For this activity, we watched a video about an alligator, discussed what we learned, and made a book about alligators. You can choose any pond animal for your class to study through video and/or nonfiction book, then make a book about that animal.

My class watched a National Geographic video called “Gus the Alligator”. It has short segments that can be watched a little each day. We make a 4-page book about alligators with these words:

Alligators eat ___.
Alligators live ___.
Alligators have ___.
Alligators can ___.

The blanks were filled in with the children’s dictation (a fact about alligators they learned from the video), and the children drew a picture to illustrate.

Alligator Book
Alligator Book
Alligator Book

Aquarium Field Trip

During a field trip to the aquarium, children look for animals on the checklist and mark them off as they found them. The pictures can be marked with a crayon or a sticker dot. Go here for the printable: Aquarium Checklist Printable (These are FREE printables.)

aquarium field trip
Aquarium Field Trip

For the Science Center

Live tadpoles
Live frog
Live turtle
(sometimes these can be borrowed from a student)

More Pond Animal Activities


Frog Fingerplay

Download the Frog Fingerplay

frog fingerplay

Five Green Frogs: Printable Book

Get this Five Green Frogs book on the Printable Song Books page.

Five Green Frogs printable book


Find Pond Songs for Kids here!

Pond Life Songs for Kids

In My Shop

You might like these Pre-K Math Journals for May, available in my shop.

Pre-K Math Journals for May

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free printables for preschool
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