*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)
- 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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