The intellectual growth of your child is crucial to a successful future, but so is their happiness. Children have a fantastic imagination and using it for animal activities is a great way to learn all about animals while having fun. Hands on animal activities are a beneficial way to teach your young one all about animals. Animal activities help kids to understand what an animal looks like, sounds like, and eats like among other things.
Children can choose an animal of interest and go wild (pun definitely intended!) with these animal activities suggested by What to Expect. This article provides six great animal activities for children to learn and enjoy. Animal activities will get a child’s brain thinking in both factual and creative ways and create a fun bond between parent and child as well as child and animal.
6 Games That Teach Tots About Animals
These animal activities can help your critter learn about the other living creatures that share our planet.
To toddlers and preschoolers, animals are endlessly fascinating, mostly because they seem just as silly, noisy, and cute as little kids. They’re even easy and fun to imitate — one reason most toddlers can moo soon after they say “Mama.” Lots of tots are eager to learn about their furry or feathered friends (especially if you already have a pet), so try a few of these animal activities to boost your child’s knowledge of the natural world.
Eat like an animal.
Turn snack time into a lesson on what animals eat by filling a muffin tin with animal-friendly snacks: berries for bears, pumpkin seeds for birds, sliced bananas for monkeys, or baby carrots for rabbits. As your munchkin munches, have him try to guess which animals prefer each food — he can even match the treat to a lineup of pictures you’ve printed out. (Add a few sneaky snacks, like mini marshmallows — your little one will think it’s hilarious that they’re a favorite of those junk-food fiends, raccoons.)
Speak their language.
You already quack like a duck or meow like a cat just to make your sweetie smile. But those aren’t just silly sounds. They actually teach your child an important lesson in animal behavior — that animals use noises to communicate. To help the knowledge sink in, play this animal activity: Oink, bark, moo, or growl, and see if your tot can guess which animal you’re imitating. With an older preschooler, you can name an animal and ask her to make the sound (“What does a lion say?”).
Build your own zoo.
Most kids have a menagerie of stuffed animals, so why not give these furry friends a home? Brainstorm the perfect habitat, like a mixing bowl of (imaginary) water for his stuffed seal or cut out some brown construction paper to create a mud puddle for his plush pig. Group animals from similar places: sea creatures in one corner, barnyard critters in another. When you’ve finished your DIY zoo, take the grand tour together.
Do a dance.
Your munchkin probably loves to get her groove on, so the next time you turn on the tunes to dance, transform the party into an animal activity. Take turns calling out different creatures to imitate. The two of you can waddle like a penguin, prance like a deer, lumber like a bear, or slither like a snake. To boost more large-motor skills, see if your tot can balance on one leg like a flamingo, tiptoe like a giraffe, or climb up the couch like a chimpanzee.
Watch nature in action.
Your backyard is the perfect setting for lots of animal activities, including building homemade bird and squirrel feeders and then seeing who visits. Help your toddler slather peanut butter onto a pinecone, then roll it in a tray of birdseed. Hang the finished feeder on a tree branch with a bit of twine, and make time each day to watch for visitors (reapply the peanut butter and seeds as needed). If you can’t name every bird, a kid-friendly field guide can help you identify whatever alights.
Become a tracker.
Any child who’s seen an episode of Blue’s Clues understands that animals leave behind paw prints. Make your own Blue’s Clues–style hunt by printing out paper versions of real animal tracks (just Google “printable animal tracks”) and hiding them around the house. Whenever your tot finds a paw print, ask him to guess the critter that created it. Up the fun by pressing your pipsqueak’s paw in washable paint then stamping it onto a piece of paper. What a terrific track for Grandma to find!
These animal activities are great for teaching children all about animals and getting their minds drawing connections, but why not take it to the next level? Visiting a zoo and getting some hands on experience with animal activities will boost the enthusiasm of any child. A perfect place to teach children about animal activities while relaxing is Southwick’s Zoo, where the wide variety of creatures will expand the list of animal activities available. Your children will love roaring like a lion, racing around like a cheetah, or starting a stuffed safari collection with all the toys available in the gift shop. You’ll be amazed to find how much these animal activities combined with a Zoo visit, will stick with your child and help them be more knowledgeable on the animal kingdom. The combination of both education and enjoyment with animal activities is a great way to introduce young children to a love of learning. Now get out there and enjoy some fun animal activities!