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Discuss what is living and non-living

and the difference between plants and animals,

 then go into vertebrate and nonvertabrate. 

Finally, you will come to the five classes of

vertebrate:  

  1. fish     
  2. reptiles
  3. amphibians                                
  4. birds
  5. mammals

It would be nice if you could have a representative from each class, but it is not always feasible.  Birds can be attracted to backyards with feeders and bird baths as is mine.  Amphibians like frogs can be visitors or you can catch one and let it hide out in your backyard for the kids to find. 

Another idea is if you have friends who can rotate the care of these animals with you.  A miniature hamster can be fun or a terrarium for reptiles.  We have a plane ol fish bowl with a beta in it.

Go over all the parts of each animal naming the legs, feet, wings, fins etc... let your child observe them and help as much as possible in the care taking.  Remember your child wants to touch, smell and hear as well as see.