This core experience can begin with a story, depicting parent and baby animals, to spark a discussion. Also, compare differences and similarities between the children, and their parents.
Set out some cards with photos or drawings of parent and baby animals, and have the children match them. Have various kinds of animals, such as mammals, fish, insects, amphibians, birds and reptiles. Talk about whether the baby looks very similar to the parent, somewhat similar, or not at all similar.
For younger children, this topic could be approached by focusing on one group of animals, such as farm, or pets.
All animals reproduce themselves. Offspring (babies) are very much, but not exactly, like their parents and like one another. Some traits characterize an animal throughout its life cycle, while other traits change as the animal grows and matures.
How do animals stay the same as they grow? How do they change? Think about a kitten, a bird, a person etc
Some baby animals are helpless when they are born, and need their parents to feed them and keep them safe. Some baby animals are able to take care of themselves as soon as they are born or hatched. Let’s research that.
Make a wall chart with pictures of parent and babyanimals. Categorize those who resemble parents when they are young (e.g. dog), and those that do not (e.g. insects). Where should we put birds?
Play a game. Baby animals hide around the room, and parent animal tries to find them by listening for their baby animal noise. E.g. piglets squealing, puppies yipping/crying, chicks cheeping.
Packs and Printables:
Baby Animals by Margaret Wise Brown
Big Ones Little Ones by Tana Hoban
You Don't Look Like Your Mother, Said the Robin to the Fawn by Aileen Fisher