Tot School: Cave Theme

I’m not sure exactly when my daughter became interested in “caves”, but it happened.  All she wants to do after her bath, was for her dad (or me) to join her in the towel cave.  In the morning, it’s the sheet cave. “Come on, dad.  Come on, mom.  Get in the sheet cave!”

Tot School: Cave Theme

I’m trying to think of themes that are interest led, so of course, we had to do caves.  What I found astounding, since I know lots of kids love pretending to be in caves, is there are not a ton of cave activities online.  Even on Pinterest!  Lots of bear activities, hibernation activities, but no cave ones.   So this is going to have a lot less activities than usual since I had to think up things on my own. 🙂


(I’m sure there are many more, but not at my library 🙂 )

  1. Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs-Ashman
  2. Caveman, A B.C. Story-Trasler
  3. Little Star’s Big Adventure
  4. Stellaluna-Cannon
  5. We Were Tired of Living in a House-Skorpen

 Focus Book

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt-Rosen (Check out all the activities we did for the book here.  It was about a week and a half of this month’s theme.)

Motor Skills

  • Build caves for all the animals out of blocks
  • Crawl like a bear
  • Fly around like a bat (she always flew to the bath like a bat — well, not really like a bat since bats don’t fly upside down! Ha!)

Tot School: Cave Theme

Dramatic Play

I filled her dress up basket with hard hats, a brown cape for being a bear, and butterfly wings for being a bat 🙂

And we made caves:

A sea cave (I used  the reading area from last month’s theme to make the “sea” part.)

970437_10151589498310847_1994919669_nPlaying in her sea cave

cave artBig box as a bear and bat cave

IMG_3697A little tea party in the cave with grandma on Facetime.

 And pretty much anything that could even slightly be considered a cave, we called a cave. Dining table – lion den. That tube slide – cave slide.  That chair you’re sitting under – chair cave.  The trunk of the car – car cave (it was not a mobile cave, in case you were wondering). 🙂


Along the way, we talked about what animals lived in caves/dens (focused on bats, bears, lions and foxes), and what they were doing in the caves (mainly sleeping). We also delved a bit into light and dark, as well as the words, lighter and darker.

Field Trips

Vanalden Cave: This was an actual cave near us.  We got to go on a little hike to it.  She loves to go on hikes.  When we got there, I gave her a little bear to play with while she was in the cave.  Hopefully she doesn’t think all caves have graffiti all over the walls. 🙂

Tot School: Cave Theme

Old Zoo at Griffith Park: The old zoo is just that.  The old zoo.  The very small enclosures for animals are available to walk around and through, including the small caves that were for the lions and bears.

Tot School: Cave Theme

 Cave Bath

I quickly made some foam bats and trees.  Saw that the leftover black foam from the cutout bats looked like rocks, so used those too. Grabbed a little plastic bear, put up a chair next to the bath, and  taped a sheet to the wall and draped it over half the tub. Made some shaving cream mud — shaving cream and red/green dye to make it brown (-ish — You may have noticed the green and red streaks.  Apparently there’s a ratio that I couldn’t quite figure out in the two minutes I felt was long enough to devote to making shaving cream mud. 🙂 ) It turned out really well.  We kept up the sheet for about a week.  She really liked her cave bath.

Tot School: Cave Theme


  • Dots on bat worksheet (Found printables here.  This site has tons of great resources for any theme, and tons that are black and white!)
  • Colored a bear (Found printables here.  Again, a great site for coloring pages that are black and white!) [Can you tell I don’t like printing the very nice colored pages everyone seems to make available? Ink is so expensive!]
  • Cave painting:  I gave her red, black and brown crayons and pencils to draw on the inside of her cave.  She was interested briefly, but needed someone else to do it with her.  I didn’t realize that until some friends visited, and they all had a ball drawing in there for quite a while.


This Is Daniel Cook: Caves  (I loved this show!  I’m looking forward to using him again in the future.) A Magical Adventure in a Cave


Five Black Bats 

Five black bats Ready to soar; One stayed behind, Now there are four.

Four black bats Hanging from a tree; One fell down, Now there are three.

Three black bats Wondering what to do; One flew away, Now there are two.

Two black bats Sitting in the sun; One fell asleep, Leaving only one.

One lonesome bat With no place to go, Went hiding in a cave, Now there are zero.

Two Little Bats (I made up this song to the tune of Two Little Blackbirds–she loved to sing it…and it worked great, especially once she had the two bats from her cave bath.)

Two little bats hanging in a cave

One named John

One named Dave

Fly away John

Fly away Dave

Come back John

Come back Dave


Lesson Learned: It might seem like my daughter is uninterested in doing something, but it may be that she just needs someone (namely me) to join her.

For more ideas/activities, check out my Pinterest page: Cave Theme (Toddler/Preschool/K)

Part of a series of themes and units.  You can find the whole list here.










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