Summer Activities for Animal Loving Children
Encouraging children’s engagement with animals can lead to the creation of bonds and memories that last for life. When introduced at an early stage, animals contribute positively to a child’s development as they further social and emotional growth while stimulating intellectual curiosity and strengthening fine and gross motor skills.
Designing activities for engaging children who love spending time with animals can seem challenging, but this process can in fact be simplified, and made to include various learning components.
Here is a list of some of the exciting games and animal-themed activities that your children can enjoy:
1. Skillmatics STEM Building Toy: My World Amazing Animals
A great way to introduce pretend play into your little one’s repertoire, My World Amazing Animals also includes STEM concepts. The building aspect of the game helps kids think strategically and creatively, plus, once the animals are assembled, your little one can dive into storytelling and use them to create their own imaginative scenarios.
2. Animal Crafts
Put some colorful sheets of paper, glitter, and ribbon to use by creating animal crafts! Using safety scissors, children can cut masks of different animal shapes and fill them in with sparkles and color. You may also help them design animal-themed bookmarks for their favorite books.
3. Animal Puppet Pretend Play:
Create sock puppets or creature masks with prints and patterns from the animal kingdom with your little one! Use them in pretend play to come up with stories, or put on an interactive puppet show to entertain the whole family. Doing so will help your little one recognize animals and their distinctive sounds and habits.
4. Animal Stories
Storytelling is one of the most creative and interactive ways of engaging children with something they love. Some books that children will surely love include:
a. Penguin Books
The book titled, 'Penguins' published by National Geographic Kids talks about one of the cutest and delightful of animals, and is an exciting read to learn about the Antarctic dwellers.
b. Books on underground animals
Lurking in the shadows, these animals have a buzzing life that benefits the earth and its ecosystem. Amazing Animal Architects Underground: A 4D Book is a wonderful book to learn about the life underground.
c. Animals of Australia
Location based books on animals introduce children to locally found animals and increase their general knowledge regarding animal species found around the world. Australia and Oceania: The Smallest Continent, Unique Animal Life is another wonderful addition to your child's library.
5. Guess in 10—Animal Planet
A trickier spin on the Animal Kingdom version of the “Guess in 10,” this game will have you thinking about the best questions to ask to guess the right animal.
6. Connectors Animal Planet
Helping children build on their puzzle-solving and numeracy skills, this animal-themed game is an interactive way for children to make connections between different types of animals.
7. Origami Animals
Folding paper into beautiful shapes can be a rewarding creative experience. Learning how to make simple animal origami can be a process of great creative expression for little ones, and there is so much inspiration to be found. You can watch YouTube videos or refer to books—for example, Origami Animal Friends by Mari Ono—on animal origami for some visual aids to master the skill.
8. Planning a Trip to the Zoo
Visiting your local zoo is a great way for your little one to meet and engage directly with animals. Spending a day at the zoo can lead to the creation of many core memories with the family as they bond over the antics of various animals and learn cool facts about them. Zoos also organize activities for budding animal lovers and participating in these activities can lead to new friendships and experiences.
9. Backyard Bird Nest
Using old cardboard boxes, kids can create a bird’s nest for themselves. Take the pretend play to the next level by helping your little one dress up as their favorite bird and practice their bird calls. In addition to the fun your child will get from playing pretend, by recycling materials and using common household items in new and unique ways, your little one is introduced to concepts of recycling and generating minimal waste - important skills for a responsible and sustainable lifestyle.
10. Animal-Themed Printables
Easy to design and easier to carry around, these themed printables will keep your children engaged with animals throughout the day. They are perfect for days when it’s raining or for someplace that requires handy activities to keep children engaged, like a restaurant or a sibling’s piano recital. These printables can be based on any subject, and can be designed to help your little one work on numeracy, literacy, or art skills. Find some free Skillmatics animal-themed printables here.
There are plenty of memorable summertime activities for young animal enthusiasts. You’ll also find many animal themes sprinkled throughout our Skillmatics Learning Kits, which are designed to ensure that every developmental milestone for children has been included in the activities.