Dogs by Gail Gibbons
Go, Go Dog by P.D. Eastman
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Dog by Matthew Van Fleet
Bad Dog, Marley by John Grogan
Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
I Got Two Dogs by John Lithgow
Pretend to be a Dog:
Description: Throughout the week, you and your toddler will have fun pretending to be a dog. Crawl on your hands and your knees and bark. You can even wag your tail and do tricks!
Skills Targeted: Teach your tot the characteristics of animals, teach your tot the sounds that a dog makes, teach your tot to use their imagination, teach your tot motor skill development
Dog of a different color:
Materials: draw or printed pictures of dogs, crayons, glue, index cards or popsicle sticks
Description: Draw or print several copies of a dog for your toddler. Help your little one color each dog a different color. Talk about the colors as your toddler uses each crayon or marker. When they are finished, cut out each dog and have your toddler help you glue them to index cards or popsicle sticks. Write the color word under each dog.
Skills Targeted: Teach your tot to recognize colors, teach your tot to color, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot to recognize color words
Description: Whether or not, your family has a dog, you can take your toddler on a doggy field trip. Find a local pet shop or dog park and you and your toddler can have fun watching different kinds of dogs. Be careful not to let your toddler pet any of the dogs without owner supervision.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot about your community, teach your tot about a dog’s habitat, teach your tot to observe
Materials: construction paper, scissors, glue
Description: Cut out several medium size circles and many smaller circles. Show the circles to your toddler and have them identify the shapes. Talk about what circles are bigger and what ones are smaller. You and your toddler can use these circles to make doggy paw prints. Have your toddler glue one of the medium circles onto a piece of paper then glue three or four small circles around the top of the medium circle. They can make several of these prints.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to understand the opposites small and large, teach your tot to compare and contrast, teach your tot to recognize shapes, teach your tot to develop motor skills
Paint Paw Prints:
Materials: sponge or circle foam paint brushes of different sizes, paint, scissors, paper
Description: During this activity you and your toddler will make more doggy paw prints. Cut out a medium circle from a sponge (or use a medium foam brush) and a smaller circle from a sponge (or use a smaller foam circular foam brush). Talk about dogs' paws with your toddler. How are they different than our feet? How are they the same? How many paws do dogs have? Etc. Provide brown paint for your toddler to dip the medium sponge or foam brush in and stamp it onto a piece of paper. Next, they can dip the smaller sponge or foam brush into the brown paint and stamp it 3 or 4 times around the medium circle. These will look like muddy dog paw prints, since they are brown.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to be creative, teach your tot to count, teach your tot to recognize shapes, teach your tot to develop motor skills
Materials: peanut butter, milk, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cookie cutters
Description: Check out Bullwrinkle for quick and easy recipe for making doggy treats. Cut out these treats using a fun shaped cookie cutter! You can feed these to your dog throughout the week, wrap them up and give them to other dogs that you know or bring them to your local humane society. (Call first to be sure that they accept homemade treats)
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to be kind, teach your tot to help in their community, teach your tot to follow directions, teach your tot to cook, teach your tot life skills, teach your tot motor skill development
Teach Your Dog Tricks:
Materials: doggy treats
Description: If you have a dog, throughout the week, teach your dog some new tricks or practice some old ones that your dog already knows. Reward your dog for doing the tricks with doggy treats! If you do not have a dog, maybe you know a friend or relative that has a dog that you could do this with.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to interact with animals, teach your tot to be friendly toward animals, teach your tot to be patient
Dogs of different sizes:
Materials: 3 pictures of dogs (all different sizes)
Description: Talk with your toddler about how all dogs are different. Some are little some are big. Show your toddler 3 pictures of dogs and have them put them in order from biggest to smallest and then from smallest to biggest.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot the opposites big and small, teach your tot to compare and contrast, teach your tot to follow directions
Materials: If you have a dog, throughout the week, have your toddler help you do all the chores that go along with pet ownership. For example, they can help you feed, brush, and wash your dog. If you do not have a dog, your toddler could do all of these things using a dog stuffed animal.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to learn responsibility, teach your tot life skills, teach your tot to do chores, teach your tot to be kind, teach your tot to care for animals
What does a dog need?:
Materials: water, food, leash
Description: Talk to your toddler about things that a dog needs to stay healthy. Like people, dogs need food, water and exercise. Have your toddler give your dog water and food. Talk with them about how dog food is different than people food. Help your toddler take your dog for a walk to get exercise. (If you do not have a dog, you can pretend to do these things with a stuffed animal)
Skills Targeted: teach your tot that living things need food and water to survive, teach your tot to care for animals
Dogs are soft:
Materials: soft objects, paper, glue
Description: Have your toddler pet your dog (or a stuffed dog if you do not have a dog). Talk with your toddler about what how a dog has fur and it feels soft. Walk around your house with your toddler and see if they can find other soft objects. They can even collect several soft objects from around the house and glue them to a piece of paper to make a "soft" collage.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot the opposites soft and hard, teach your tot sensory development
Pin the Tail on a Doggy:
Materials: large piece of paper or poster board, markers glue, double sided tape, scissors
Description: Show a picture of a dog to your toddler (or they can look at a real dog) and talk about a dog's tail. Dogs wag their tails when they are happy and put them between their legs when they are bashful or scared. Draw a large picture of a dog (minus the tail) on a piece of poster board and attach it to a wall or door with tacks or tape. Cut out several dog tails from construction paper and place a piece of double sided tape on each tail. Blind fold (this is optional) your toddler and have them try to stick the tail on the dog.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot to laugh and have fun, teach your tot to engage in a game
Songs and Fingerplays:
How much is that Doggy in the Window:
(a classic toddler song)
How much is that doggy in the window?
The one with the waggly tail.
How much is that doggy in the window?
I sure hope that doggies for sale.
____ Had a Little Dog: (put the name of your child in the blank)
(sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
_________ had a little dog,
little dog, little dog.
_________ had a little dog
It had very soft fur.
Everywhere that _______ went,
_______ went, _______ went,
Everywhere that __________ went
that dog was going for sure.
_______ walks her dog everyday,
_______ walks her dog everyday.
and teaches it to obey.
_______ gives her dog food and water,
Food and water, food and water.
_______ gives her dog food and water
so it can grow and play.
(sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)
They need food and water everyday
and have soft furry hair.
playing at the park.
They sit beg and play dead.
They love to run and bark.
Check out Coloring.ws for printable dog coloring pages.
Visit PBS Kids for some fun games with Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Recipes and Snacks:
Dog Bone Cookies:
cookie dough or box cookie mix
dog bone cookie cutter
Make the cookie dough according to packaging directions. Roll cookie dough on a floured surface and let your toddler use the dog bone cookie cutter to cut cookies. Lie on a baking sheet and cook according the package.