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Preschool Unit: Pandas

Updated on October 2, 2012

Learning About the Panda Bear

Every weekend we go to the library and walk out with an enormous stack of books to read for the week. Along with this trip, I ask my girls what they want to learn about for the week. My 2 year old doesn't have much of an opinion, she just likes to walk around the library and look at everything. My 4 year old, however, loves this routine and always surprises me with something new to learn each week. This past week she asked to learn about Panda's. So, like always, we made our way to the computer to see where panda books would be located and found them. I told her a little bit about the dewy decimal system and we pulled some books on our new topic. This time around she even got a great chapter book on Pandas and she enjoyed listening to it even though there weren't many pictures in it.

Here are some of the activities we did through the week to incorporate Panda's into our learning.

Panda Facts

Here are some great facts to share with your kids about Pandas. See if you can get a discussion started by asking some questions to see what they think.

1. Pandas primarily eat bamboo. Bamboo is tough and woody, ask your children how they think Panda's can eat bamboo when it would be hard for us to eat the same thing.

2. Pandas live in a small area in China. Pull out a map or globe and show the kids where Panda live. Ask the kids why they think Panda's only live in this small area. Get their responses, then read some books and find out the answer why. See if their ideas matched the books and discuss why.

3. Pandas must eat about 40 to 50 pounds of food a day. Ask your children why they think pandas eat so much. Research the answer.

4. Pandas move very slowly. Ask your children to pretend to be pandas and walk slowly like a bear.

5. Pandas are an endangered species. Talk to your children what it means to be an endangered species, why it is important to keep endangered species around, and what can be done to help endangered species.

6. Pandas are white with black pacthes around their eyes and black legs. Find some pictures of pandas online for your child to look at. Then print out some bear pictures and ask your child to color them like a panda.

Care Bears

My girls are huge fans of Care Bears. Talking about pandas wouldn't be complete without adding some activities and discussions about the panda care bears. Perfect and Polite Pandas, Care Bear Cousins, weren't in many episodes, but they were there enough to be noticed. We own some Care Bear DVD's where they appear, so we watched those episodes, then talked about some of the concepts related to the Panda Care Bear Cousins. One of those aspects was rhymes, so this was a great place for us to practice rhyming words just like the Panda Bear Cousins did. Manners is another thing we work on after talking about Polite Panda Bear. This is a great time for a tea party, and we invite our Panda Bear stuffed animals to the party! Tea parties are always a great place to practice manners.

Kung Fu Panda

We don't want to forget about Kung Fu Panda! Although he's an animated character, he is a great lesson in achieving what seems to be impossible. For fun let your kids watch the movie, then formulate some discussions about how a Kung Fu master should be fast and nimble, while a panda is thought of as slow and cumbersome (great addition of vocabulary here).

Ask your children what dreams they have and want to achieve and spend some time talking about them and the different things they might need to do to achieve them. Be prepared for some interesting dreams and have your creative thinking cap on because it may take some great ideas to figure out how to make the dreams come true. The main thing is, is to be positive and supportive. No matter what they say they want to do, how realistic or how crazy, problem solve to figure out how to make it happen. My 2 year old always tells me she wants to be Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba, so we've been working on acting like Muno, and talking about how TV shows are made. She loves it!

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    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub! I love this and I love Panda bears as they are so adorable. This is interesting and informative and gives great advice and tips for teaching kids about Panda bears. When I first saw the title I thought this was going to be about Google and Panda LOL What a relief it is about the cute bears. Voted up and shared!

    • mkjuett profile image
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      Mary Juett 4 years ago from Omaha, NE

      Thank you for the kind words!! My daughter surprised me when she wanted to learn about pandas, so I thought I'd share with everyone :) Sometime in the future we'll be talking about Red Pandas, so I'll probably be creating another hub about them.

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