Desert preschool lesson plans
Many different animals live in the deserts of the United States. For a full list of these animals check out this page: Desert USA. Deserts all over the world host many different kinds of animals, check some of them out here: Desert Animals. You can talk about the animals that live in the desert. Compare and contrast two different animals such as a snake and a bat. How are they different? How are they alike?
Please check out the following pages for more activities:
Fire Ants live in the desert as well as spiders (on the Halloween page). Dinosaurs used to live in the desert long ago, and Jackrabbits and Cottontails live there now (found on the Easter page).
A dolphin in the desert? HUH? WHAT? That is right. Many marine mammals, called Cetaceans, live in the Sea of Cortez which is within the Gulf of California's Sonoran Desert. What other marine mammals live there? the Finback Whale and the California Sea Lion. Amazing!!! Find some other cool desert facts here
you know those colored bottles of sand.
Sand Art 2
Allow the children to glue sand to a piece of paper to create a beach scene. Add white torn paper for clouds, colored torn paper for desert animals.
Place a thin layer on sand in the bottom of a jelly roll pan. Have the children make a letter in the bottom of the pan, or draw a picture.
Supply the children with both wet and dry sand to feel. Have them describe the differences.
You will need two similar containers. Measure out 1/2 cup of sand add to each container, add 1/4 cup of water to each. Place one container in the sun and one in the shade. Ask the children what will happen to the sand.
Add sand to your paint to give it a different texture.
This one is a lot of fun, and has great results. Set out a piece of yarn for each color of paint you intend to use. Have the child dip the yarn in one color of paint, and run it across the paper. Use a new piece of string for a different color.
Have the children slither on the floor like a snake. Have the children race from one mark to another.
Let the children look at sand under a magnifying glass or even better a microscope. Explain that each grain of sand is really a tiny rock. Many different kinds of rock can be found in sand.
Ask each child, "What two things would you want for your trip to the desert?" Record each child's answer and post them on a bulletin board.
Desert Dress Up
Supply the children with khaki pants, white long sleeve shirt hiking boots gloves sunglasses safari hat and scarf backpack clipboard and pencil for notes water container empty sunscreen bottles empty band aid box magnifying glass camera flashlight
Pairs of students stand one behind the other with the back child's hands on the front child's shoulders. Have them race from one point to another.
Have the children hold their arms to their chest and jump in a zigzag pattern to finish line.
For this race, the students will lie on their side facing the finish line. They will move their upper body toward the finish line and then their lower part of their body.
Had a leap frog style race.
Have the children pretend to be turtles by crawling on their hands and knees.
Cut out sandpaper in different shapes. Tape the shapes to the table. Give each child a piece of paper and a crayon. The child will place the paper over the sandpaper and rub the crayon over the paper to make the shape appear on their paper.
Cut out cactus shapes and have the children paint them green or brown.
Find stickers or pictures that will fit on index cards. Create a memory game by attaching matching images onto index cards.
Provide the children with many different plastic snakes (or other desert animal) and have them sort the snakes by size or color.
Place a digital thermometer outside. Each day record the temperature.
In the Shade?
Place a digital thermometer outside in the sun and another in the shade. Ask the children which will be hotter? Record the temperatures on the thermometers.
Cut out lizard shapes from construction paper. Have the children decorate them with scraps of paper, tissue paper, yarn and other items.
Have the children use a tree branch for a paint brush to create a picture.
Mining for Gems
Hide some stones and gems in your sand table for the children to find. Show the children how to sift through the sand to find the gems.