Activity: Count the Puppies in the Picture

Welcome to a paws-itively exciting challenge! Today, we’re going to be puppy detectives, using a radiograph image to count how many baby puppies are waiting to be born. Grab your magnifying glass, and let’s get started!


A radiograph image of a pregnant dog that shows the puppies inside.
A printed copy of the radiograph for each participant (or project it on a screen for a group activity).
Dry-erase markers (if using a laminated radiograph) or pencils.
A magnifying glass for each participant (optional).

Distribute a copy of the radiograph image to each participant. If you’re working with a group, project the image onto a screen where everyone can see it.
Explain to the kids that just like a treasure map, a radiograph holds many hidden secrets, and today they’re going to discover the number of hidden treasures – which are the puppies!
Ask the kids to use their dry-erase markers or pencils to circle where they think each puppy is. Remind them that puppies can be nestled closely together, so they need to look carefully for outlines and shapes.
Allow the kids to use magnifying glasses to get a closer look at the details in the radiograph. This will help them identify the puppies more accurately.
Once they have circled all the puppies they can find, ask them to count the number of circles and write the total number on the top of their radiograph.
Go through the image together afterward, discussing the puppies that were found and pointing out any that may have been missed.


Encourage patience and remind the kids that it might take time to spot all the puppies since they are still growing and might be hidden behind one another.
If working with very young children, you might give them hints or guide them through finding the first couple of puppies to get them started.
Emphasize the importance of being gentle with real puppies and how radiographs help veterinarians take care of animals without disturbing them.
After completing the activity, congratulate the young explorers on their keen observation skills. Every circled puppy represents a new life they’ve discovered, just like a real veterinarian might do!