We love exploring the animal kingdom!
Learning about the names of baby animals and matching with their mummies was a great opening to so many educational activities
How we started out
After laying out the baby animal posters, we matched babies and mums together making their noises as we went.
Miss 4 was struggling with the wiggles so to make the matching more of a whole-body experience, we scattered the animal cards across the floor.
Jumping up and down from the floor to the table worked a treat at keeping her engaged with the activity, even when she was restless!
Posting by Attributes
We repurposed some formula tins to create a hand eye coordination, posting activity.
This early numeracy activity had the girls searching for similar characteristics and behaviour patterns of each of the animals.
We sorted by
- Stripes vs no stripes
- 0, 2 and 4 legs
- Land dwelling or water dwelling
- Wings vs no wings
- Carnivore, omnivore or herbivore
Miss 7 became completely engrossed in this activity.
She loved taking charge, showing great leadership skills and resilience, explaining to her sister what attributes they were looking for. They took turns and showed a lot of patience with each other.
Matching Mummy and Baby
Repetition was a focus with assisting the girls to remember the names of each baby animal.
We turned them into a song:
🦉 “Mummy owl has an owlet, owlet, owlet. Whoo, whoo, whoo!”
🐘 “Mummy elephant has a calf, calf, calf. Moo, moo, moo!”
Even with 32 animals to match, singing along helped them stay on task.
Starting with first sounds and remembering our phonics practice in Stage 1 CVC lessons, Miss 4 was thrilled to be able to ‘read’ some of the animal names.
By the end, she was recognising the duplicate baby animal names by sight.
We built on visual memory by flipping the cards face down, taking turns to flip two cards over to match Mummy and Baby. If they did not match, they were returned face down.
Using all the cards at once was overwhelming so the girls picked six animals each to start with and built up from there.
This printable Animal Mother and Baby Activity Look Book has been a centre point of our play space this week.
The animal play theme has opened up so many conversations and learning opportunities while exploring the animal kingdom.
We have built on
✅ general knowledge
✅ early number skills
✅ communication skills
✅ compromising and negotiation skills
✅ hand eye coordination
✅ visual memory
✅ visual scanning
So much gained through play and the kids have loved every activity!
🌟 About Dani D - Play Inspired Mum
Dani is a busy mum, pre-service teacher and has her own blog, Play Inspired Mum aimed to inspire creative play ideas, encourage the love of reading, share yummy meal inspiration, offer tips to make your household eco friendly and remind you that you are not alone on this wild rollercoaster of a journey known as parenting!
She loves houseplants, giant chunky cookies and all things play based, incorporating learning experiences into every day! 💖