A dog is sometimes a child’s first introduction to learning about animals. So many people have them for beloved family pets. Several preschoolers have recently shared with me that a dog is their favorite animal. This may have been influenced by the two new puppies I have been walking around my neighborhood. A Dog Busy Box is still an awesome addition to your preschool at home learning tools. If you want to learn more about Busy Boxes, read here!
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I recommend getting some fun stuffed animal dogs to play with when using this busy box! I am sure you have some fun ones at home already. If not here are 2 super cute Amazon options and a DIY Dog Sock Craft!
If you already have a story routine every night at bedtime, chances are your kiddo is well versed or at least immersed in many of these pre-reading skills. Especially the first one I mention- Print Awareness. How to Make the Most of Reading
What is a book? What do I do with books? How do I hold books? When do I use books? Who reads books? Where do I read books? All these are things kids learn with print awareness. Dogs are a very fun a familiar topic. Fiction and Non-Fiction titles on the subject are readily available. Check out some of my favorites.
Drill and practice with my dog and puppy ABC Flashcards.
Put them in ABC order.
Match uppercase and lowercase.
Talk about tall and small letters.
Play letter hide-and-seek (hide them around a room and have the kiddo find and identify the letter cards).
Finger trace the shape or use a dry erase marker if you laminate the cards.
Use the word and letter wand to search out letters when reading words in the house or in books.
This stage or pre-reading is all about learning the sounds the letters make and how they work together to make words. Use the Dog ABC Flashcards to practice and drill the letter sounds. Then use the CVC Word Building Mat to put the letters together to create words! Nonsense words still count! The Dog Themed Word Wall Cards I created can be used to practice identifying the beginning and ending sounds of words.
To develop those small muscles in the hands and fingers kids need to play with small objects and movements that help build stamina. My go-to toys are puzzles, play dough, beads, stickers, and other small manipulatives.
I always create a trace or cut-the-line worksheet printable to fit the Busy Box Theme. This Dog to his Bone one is very cute. If you want to reuse it with a dry erase marker be sure to laminate it!
Using the Dog Busy Box Word Wall Cards to label pictures of dogs is a great prewriting skill. Understanding that there are words that can be used to describe things is the beginning of writing! Learn more about using a Word Wall Here!
Practice, identify and drill the numbers and their shapes with the flashcards.
Count the bones on the card and say the number as you feed it to the dog.
Create Sets with manipulatives and the Dog 10 Frame and # Line.
Sorting, Matching, and Shapes
Create dog patterns with big and small dog manipulatives or stickers. Create different shaped dog tags to put on your pet dog. Sort the different colored dogs on the number flashcards.
Here are some other ideas to incorporate your kiddo’s Learning Style into the Dog Busy Box. Want to learn more about Learning Styles- Take My Free Quiz!
Encourage your visual learner to create a map where the dog can hide its bones or ABC Flash cards! Play Hide and Seek with a home made map! Bonus Tip: Create one good one of you living room or yard and copy it before adding bone and ABC locations. You can recreate the game different times with different objects.
Check out these cool learning songs with a dog theme on YouTube!
Grab the stuffed Dog (or a real one if you have it) and take it on a letter hunt around the house. Hide the letter flashcards and identify and collect them as you walk by. Feed the toy dog some bones and count them. Create a set on the 10 frames as the dog eats the toy bones. Here is a free bone printable, Just print, cut, and laminate to play!
Reading and Writing
Be sure to check out the books mentioned above for your read write learners. Get them to copy the Dog Word Wall Words onto paper and label any dog drawings they create.