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Preschool Syllabus: Reptiles

Did you know that except for pets and zoos, Ireland is 100% snake free?  Poplar Irish folklore gives St. Patrick credit for this mystery, claiming that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. This little folk tale, along with Big Buddy begging me to do a unit on dinosaurs, led to our March theme: reptiles. I'm not on doing a unit just on dinosaurs because Big Buddy has been interested obsessed with dinosaurs for over a year now and there really not much left that I could teach him - he's now the one educating me! I'm also secretly hoping this unit might encourage him to expand his passion to some living creatures. 

WRITING CENTER ADDITIONS - these items are added to the markers, crayons, and paper that is always available.

dinosaur and reptile stencils, dinosaur scratch cards, 
dinosaur stamps. 
skills practiced/reenforced: fine motor, creativity,
expressing thought/ideas

*the scratch cards are actually valentines. 

LEARNING "TRAYS" - I rotate these, setting out about four/five a day from which the boy's can choose.

alphabet eggs 
skills practiced: upper case & lower case letter
alphabetical order, fine motor
*the egg tray if from this game, the letters are scrap-booking stickers.

Big Buddy can identify all the letters (upper and lower case) with relative ease now and on his own has started making phonetic observations - "Dddd...donut has a 'D' like dinosaur".  We are not in a rush to start reading - he still needs a lot of practice printing letters - I do, however, want to encourage his interest in letter sounds. If he looses interest we will probably stop and come back to this work after a while. When we do begin offical reading lessons, we will be using Bob Books, so the activity below is for the letters in the first of these books.

phonetic picture match
skills practiced: phonetic awareness
*printable via montessori for everyone, currently everything in their
store is 25% off when you use the discount code "march" 

sorting buttons
skills practiced: sorting, comparing, classifying

The activity below was inspired by the book A Color of His Own.  The color chameleons were cut from paint strips and then hot glued to clothes pins. The color wheel is made up of triangles cut from paint strips which were then glued to a trimmed down paper plate.

color wheel chameleons 
skills practiced: one to one correspondence, fine motor, 
scientific knowledge (color order)

parts of a turtle
skills practiced: vocabulary, scientific knowledge 
*free printable via montessori materials 

The cards below are one of Big Buddy's favorite things to borrow from our local library.  Not only do the cards include a wide variety of dinosaurs (the popular and the more obscure), but the graphics on the back of the cards make it possible for even pre-readers to characterize, sort, and classify them. If you have a little dinosaur lover at home I highly recommend them.

dinosaur flash cards cards
skills practiced: vocabulary, classifying,
scientific knowledge

matching reptiles to their corresponding card as well as
sorting extinct from non-extinct reptiles
skills practiced: one-to-one correspondence, sorting, vocabulary
*printable via montessori for everyone, currently everything in their
store is 25% off when you use the discount code "march" 

classifying animals as reptiles or non-reptiles
skills practiced: classifying, scientific knowledge 
(reptile characteristics) 

This next sorting activity I planned specifically for Mini Man, who is two-years-old. 

sorting dinosaurs
skills practiced: fine motor, sorting *there are three of each dinosaur

You may look at the tray below and think "more cards?" but this is what excites Big Buddy - he loves facts. These cards are free to print at National Geographic Kids. When we are done with them I plan on punching a hole in the corners and then putting them on a ring - they will be a great in-the-car activity.

reptile cards
skills practiced: vocab, scientific knowledge 

3d wood dinosaur puzzles
skills practiced: spatial, fine motor, problem solving

reptile (turtle, snakes, alligator) pattern block puzzles
skills practiced: geometry, spatial, fine motor

counting reptiles
skills practiced: rational counting, numerals
* i have made this pdf available here 

measuring "snakes"
skills practiced: measuring length, numeral recognition,
size, number sense, practical life

reptile (turtle, dinosaur, alligator) dot marker coloring sheets
skills practiced: fine motor, creativity
worksheets via making learning fun

This next tray is another one I set up specifically for Mini Man. When I'm watching, he uses the lemon press to transfer the water, but as soon as my back is turned he puts it down and uses his hands. I think he likes how much quicker the work goes when he uses his hand. as well as the feel of the sponge and water.

transferring water with sponge and lemon press
skills practiced: fine motor, practical life

water beads and reptiles
skills practiced: social, imagination, sensorial 
*this sensory tub is big enough that the boys enjoy it together

I'm not posting pictures but remaining in our rotation from last month's unit are our sand paper letters and bead bars.

P.S. Check out our homeschool page for more theme units and educational ideas. 


  1. this one is super amazing! I love all the activities here! thank you for sharing !!!!!

  2. What a wonderful assortment of great trays! I will be pinning for later when we get to reptiles! I love all the montessori cards, my children love them! Thanks for sharing!

    Mama Of Many Blessings

  3. awesome ideas! Ditto Nicole, I'm pinning too, some really really great ideas!

  4. I found your blog through WIWW and I am so happy I did! My oldest little guy will be 3 in June and I have been researching preschool curriculum for him as well as experimenting with some more structured activities. Just this week I've started to REALLY try to figure out what to do and I couldn't believe the blessing when I saw one of your pages was TITLED "Homeschool Preschool"!!!! Jackpot! Yay!

  5. Thank you so much for these, thier so helpful to use for us just beginning to teach.

  6. I keep coming back to this post after pinning your chameleon color wheel project and am in love with this entire post! Fantastic!

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