Helping adults prepare children for kindergarten and life.

Animal Recognition

Using the book “The Mitten” for counting and animal recognition

Instructions Printer-Friendly
Watch Video

  • Read the book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett or Read/Listen here (use full screen and pause when needed)
  • Count the number of animals that went into the mitten ( 8 - rabbit, hedgehog, owl, badger, mole, fox, bear, mouse)
  • Say the name of an animal in the book and let the child find the picture of the animal in “The Mitten” book

Ask these or other questions about the animals in the story:

  • What animal likes to hop and jump?   Rabbit
  • What animal is thought to be very smart?  Fox
  • What animal is big and furry and makes a deep growling sound?  Bear
  • What animal has bright eyes?  Badger
  • What animal knows how to protect himself and is an explorer?  Hedgehog
  • What animal likes to be a lookout?  Owl
  • What 2 animal names begin with the sound of "m"?  Mole and Mouse


When asking the questions about each animal, go to the page of that animal before asking the question.  For example, find the page of the rabbit and then ask the child, "What animal likes to hop and jump?


Let the child tell you aloud the story of "The Mitten".  From the beginning, let the child tell you what is happening on each page. Let the child turn the pages as the story is being told aloud by the child.


What animal from the book would you like to be and why?

What is your favorite hiding spot? 


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Curriculum Plan Resources

Skills Focus

  • Shape - Square
  • Color - Yellow
  • Number - One, 1
  • Alphabet Letter - A, E
  • Senses - Touch
  • Character Trait - Caring
  • Target Words - In, Out, Empty, Full

Monthly Proverb

Swedish - The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Did You Know?

Children who are not ready for kindergarten often have trouble succeeding in school. Those who do poorly in school are more likely to need to repeat classes, need special education, drop out of school, become teen parents, and get into trouble with the law. As adults, drop-outs have trouble making a living wage, and are at risk of poverty and homelessness

From Plan for the Washington Early Learning System – Draft 12/1/09 (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2005; Isaacs, 2008).

Books to Read

"The Mitten"
by Jan Brett (Activity 22)

"Little Blue and Little Yellow"
by Leo Lionni (Activity 8)

"How Kind"
by Mary Murphy (Activity 12)

"Little Blue and Little Yellow" VIDEO
by Leo Lionni (Activity 8)

"The Mitten" VIDEO
by Jan Brett (Activity 22)

"How Kind" VIDEO
by Mary Murphy (Activity 12)

Music Playlist

"The Hokey Pokey"
by Music for Little People Choir from album Toddlers Sing Playtime (Children) (Activity 14)

"Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K448 II."
Andante by Alicia de Larrocha from album Mozart: Concerto & Sonata for 2 pianos (Classical) (Activity 20)

"ABC (The Alphabet Song)"
from album Dora the Explorer (Children) (Activity 1)

"The Hokey Pokey" VIDEO
by The Learning Station (Activity 14)

"Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K448, II. Andante" VIDEO
by Mozart (Activity 20)

"ABC (The Alphabet Song" VIDEO
by Dora the Explorer

Monthly Materials List

Click Here to view the list!

Fingerplay / Poems / Songs

Select one poem for child to memorize this month and recite it at bedtime plus one song/fingerplay to learn. Here are two examples:

My NAME Song

(Activity 25 Month 1 - Sung to tune of BINGO)

There was a family had a child

and Carly (insert child's name) was her name.

C - A - R - L - Y C - A - R - L - Y C - A - R - L - Y (spell child's name)

And Carly (insert child's name) was her name

Kind To Others

(Activity 13 Month 1 - Fingerplay)

5 little children

Standing in a row ( hold up 5 fingers)

They are kind to others

Everywhere they go. (walk hand in front of body)

I am one of the children (point to self)

Standing in a row (hold up 5 fingers)

I'll be kind to others (point to self)

Wherever I go. (walk hand in front of body)

(This fingerplay works as a reminder to a child to be kind in any situation- without saying a word. Just walk hand in front of body to silently signal a child to remember to be kind or use actual sign language for the word kind.)