Teaching Toddlers about Animals: 10+ Ways to Play and Learn
I feel like everyday Mary is starting to say more and more words,
Mama I mean Dada or even Daddy but never Mama. She calls her brother Baba. When she finished eating she says all done and just this week I’ve noiced her repeating me when I say thank you. One of my favorite stages of motherhood is teaching toddlers about animals. So this week I am busting out ALL the fun animals toys and getting ready to say a lot of moooos.
With this fun touch and fee game from Educational Insights, Petting Zoo, work on tactile awareness, introduce matching skills, and building vocabulary and language skills. The spinner and animals all have different textures that your little one will love investigating.
When it comes to learning sounds baby is going to copy you more than anything so start working on all your barnyard sounds now! Barnyard Bessie will help with easy to push buttons that light up, make animal sounds and plays 6 different songs.
Plush toys are a huge hit right now for Mary but I don’t care to have a collection of full size stuffies just for this purpose. These mini plush animals, complete with soft barnyard carrier is perfect. They are the right size for her toddler size hands, they make noises and have their name stitched on them.
Reading is huge in our house and I love find books that allow the kids to interact with them while reading. So bring on all the flip flap, textured and even a few scratch and sniff for our reading time. Little Explorers is serious the best for flip flap books, We have the entire collection and their The Farm and The Animal World books are some I am sure you will love too.
Wooden puzzles have a special place in my heart. I remember my wooden peg puzzels from when I was younger and I love that Melissa and Doug continue to make amazing wooden puzzles. This one was a hit with John and I stashed it away for when I was ready to get it out again with Mary. A fun hide and seek with animals and developement of fine motor skills while opening and closing the small doors.
Many moons ago I remember using felt boards for story time and various learning activites. Now its all about magnetic toys. HABA’s Peter and Pauline’s Farm Magnetic Game is great for solo play with an older child and also story telling with a toddler. Move the animals and characters around to make up a story, practice animal sound and just have fun learning.
Build and Spin toys are great for teaching with siblings. John can show mary how to do something and she immediately wants to copy him. With the Build and Spin Farm Friends toy they can work together to put it together and spin the animals. Great for fine motor and fun with big brother.
Since we homeschool there is only a few hours a week that big brother is not right along with us. I’ve found that by providing him with an activity of the same theme allows for him to feel included but also because it’s a “big kid” activity he will allow me some time to focus my attention on little sister. These are fun for creating and also great for fine motor developement. Remember they are for the big kids only due to small parts that can be a choking risk. If you love the concept try these with the little ones.