Learn & Play Using Toy Animals

*This is a re-post with updates. This was originally posted on: April 17, 2014

Weeks ago, my husband and my son came home with new toys. I got excited at the thought that I’d have new ‘subjects for shooting” for playtime. =))
-Possible things to learn for this playtime with toy animals:
  • Animal names. You can play as farmers, and act as if you are calling each animal. This is a review of the names of the animals.
  • Numbers. Ask your child to count the animals.
  • Sounds.  Make the animal sounds and let them mimic you.
  • Colors of the animals. 
  • Categorizing. Guide your kid to group together animals of the same color, animals that eat the same food, big animals, small animals, etc you get the point =) .
  • Animal food. What those animals eat (in this case, there’s a tree…so we just acted that the giraffe eats the leaves on the tree).
  • Actions that animals do. (Ex. The kangaroo jumps. The fish swims. The bird flies. )
  • Moral lessons. You may create your own stories of friendship & sharing. (ex. The cow and the horse are friends…they can eat together or stay together, etc)

 

 

Reinforcement:
  • Coloring/ drawing. After playing, let your child rest then you can let him draw some animals or let them color some animal coloring pages. While coloring you can ask them things they’ve learned for that day’s activity.
  • Reading. You can also start reading stories that have animals as main characters. You can even bring with you the toy anims so that your child can participate while reading.
  • Watching movies. If you have movies or video clips where animals are the main caharcters, then watch them.  While watching, point to them the animals that they have played with in the earlier activity. =)

Always maximize the use of toys. Let kids learn from them as they play. This is one way of teaching them without feeling pressured. Whenever there’s a toy lying around. Think of what a child can learn from it. Colors, numbers, shapes, etc.

How about you? How have you used toy animals to encourage learning? =)

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32 thoughts on “Learn & Play Using Toy Animals

  1. Living in the city makes our kids deprived of seeing live farm animals although toys and picture books are helpful. Luckily, there’s the mini zoo in Tiendesitas and Manila Zoo.

  2. super cute may ganyan din c zd. Yes it’s very important to facilitate our kid while they’re playing or watching educational video clip-arts. because it helps them to enhance their learning specially pag natutukan natin sila.

  3. I like your approach! These days, when we say educational parents always think IPADS… Having something to play with using hands encourages kids to do more, instead of sitting all day. It encourages movement.. It’s also a great time to share your knowledge to your kid.. CHildren really love it when they hear their parents’ stories about childhood, just how we loved listening to our parents’ stories about walking miles to school, having “bayabas” (guavas) for snack, and selling fruits to have “baon” hehehe

    1. Kids really love when parents are involved in their playtimes. They learn more because they copy how mommy or daddy tells the stories or uses words for the conversations. When they are playing alone, you’ll hear them use the same words you’ve used. =)

  4. I’ve been meaning to buy more toy animals for my son. Right now he’s obsessed with dinosaurs and sharks so maybe we’ll start with those. Thanks for sharing ways we can use these toys not just for play but for learning too! 🙂

  5. i’ve been meaning to buy such toys but was hesitant because of the lead scare… but just the other day I saw it at one of the toy racks in robinson’s department store… hopefully these are safe toys naman, what do you think?

    1. I think they’re safe, but it depend on how old your kid is. I don’t recommend this to 2 yrs and below because they’ll just put them inside their mouth, unless you’ll be holding the toys the whole time (Which I probably doubt, knowing that kids would love to touch them).

      If you are afraid of lead content, try wooden animal toys instead. I honestly prefer those than the plastic ones. =)

  6. Kids learn best through play. We’ve used my kids toys to discuss topics in Science, Math, English and even life lessons. Their toys have also kept them away from gadgets. There may be clutter in the house most of the time but it’s a really happy mess to see. 🙂

  7. I really believe in learning through play, that’s how children learn and develop a love of learning too. Kaya at a young age my 1 yo already knows her animals/animal sounds because of our playtimes, and you are right, complimenting it with arts, books, and movies are helpful too 🙂 kudos mommy! cheers to more playtime!

  8. Favorite animals? Hmm . . . My daughters love dragons because of How To Train Your Dragon. Me too love these mythical creatures as well because of Game of Thrones #motherofdragons. When I play with my kids, I use that opportunity to teach them some life lessons using their toys as the main characters. Coz lets face it, children will pay more attention to what we, parents are saying if they’re having fun, right? =)

  9. Who would’ve thought that these simple animal figurines could teach so much on our kids? My kids love playing with animals too and it amazes me how creative their imaginations are 🙂

  10. My youngest son is a kinesthetic learner, so I dug up all the toys that we can use to teach him, including Mr.Potato Head (parts of the face), Jumping monkeys and Barrel of Monkeys (fine motor skills), animal toys, etc. 🙂

  11. I remember when I was little, I would have lots of projects from school where I made safari scenes from toys just like what your son has. Memories! I’ll have to incorporate this to our homeschooling!

  12. I still prefer letting kids play with toys like this. I used to have this type of toys when I was little and yes, i was already familiar with different animals even if I wasn’t enrolled in a formal school yet.

  13. my son was also fond of playing with toy animals when he was little. the water toys are his most fave + we’d play with them during bath time. we also have a hand puppet of animals, perfect for when we’d sing Old McDonald!

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