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Teach Preschoolers about Whales with these Activities


We’re heading to warmer weather in a  few weeks so we’re covering a few key and fun topics before we depart for Maui: Sea Turtles, Whales and Volcanoes. Here is the latest work we’ve done on our preschool whale unit.

sperm whale and bottlenose whale

Preschool Whale Unit

Types of Whales – I printed out these Types of Whales 3 Part Cards and gathered up our Safari Whale Replica Toob new language and do some matching. We talked about the relative sizes of whales, what they eat and what parts of the world in which they live.

We also talked about what whales eat largely depending on whether they fall into the toothed or baleen group. Fascinating, really. We love to talk about krill!

Whale Parts of the Body – We took a closer look at the parts of a Humpback Whale’s body and talked about how they are mammals who give birth to babies and whose babies drink milk.

Movement – We looked at the common, incredible moves that whales make in and out of the water. We even tried to replicate them. My 3 year old does a mean breach.

Whale Species – I created sequence cards from these images to line up smallest to largest whale species. Then we looked at real images online. These cards were in black and white and only included seven types of whales.

I let my sons color the black and white whales before we talked about the sizes of the whales and then put them in order. We also talked about measurement and how one whale would compare to another one in relative size using much smaller ratios, of course!

Map Work – We read Wonderful Journey by Gill McBarnet and studied the path Humpback Whales take every year to Hawaii and back. We also matched whales to their homes on our world map.

Sensorial – We used Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks to create a whale from shapes. Next I created a “Let’s Count Whales” activity where my son had to draw a line matching the number of whales to the appropriate number. I also really want to create this origami whale. Finally, we did a listening activity on whale songs. We explored whale sound bites online and then, in good fun, I tested his ears! He did pretty well!

Practical Life – I printed out two copies of a Humpback Whale on card stock and laminated them. For one, I cut out the image with an xacto knife to create a stencil. This work will help my 3 year old’s fine motor development. With the other, I left it be and fixed a piece of tracing paper over it with clothespins for my son to trace.

Whale Resist Painting – This whale art project was a fun introductory work that keeps us inspired!

Writing – I printed out “W-h-a-l-e” in large dotted font onto card stock and laminated the page for my son to work on his writing via tracing. Here is the FREE printable for the dotted lettered Whale page.

Well, that is a good start! :-)

Other Whale Resources:

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