In the last few months, we’ve been working with different themes to come up with toddler and baby activities.
Last month, I worked with a wildlife/safari animals theme. So I was very excited when I was able to turn a basic weekend crafting project into a simple safari toddler activity for Little J.
When I was a kid, I had a box full of index cards with information about a whole variety of animals. I remember using the cards often for oral presentations back in elementary school.
Needless to say, I was very thrilled when I found out my mom had kept the box all these years to use with her home daycare. AND she passed it on to me when she retired!
It’s crazy how they’ve stood the test of time and here I am today using them with my own kids!
So naturally, given our monthly theme, I tried to figure out a way to include them in our weekly activities and came up with a super fun safari toddler activity, which can be adapted to babies AND sibling play.
Here’s how you can turn your kids into safari explorers:
- Every safari explorer needs their binoculars! Check out my post on how to make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls.
- Animal flash cards, or any cards with animal drawings/pictures on them (the cards we have are from the 70s, not even sure where my parents got them from in the first place…)
- Animal figurines
First, pick out a few animal cards. We picked 8 animals because I know Little J has a short attention span and I didn’t want to overwhelm him. I pulled out images of animals that he is familiar with, along with animals that we don’t discuss very often. (We started with a snake, an ostrich, a hippo, a gorilla, a rhino, a giraffe, a lion and an elephant).
Find the matching figurines for your cards.
Place the cards on the table, or on the floor, whichever spot is more convenient for your toddler.
Hide the animals around the house, or a specific area of your house (we did living room only).
Now, have your child use the binoculars to try and find the animal figurines. Every time they find a figurine, they need to bring it back to the matching card!
Little J had such a great time! I’ll definitely be doing this safari toddler activity again in the summer when we can do it outside with more space!
If your kiddo is still too small to figure out the whole binocular portion, that’s ok! Here are some other things you can do:
- Have the child play with the figurines while you show them the picture on the card. If you have cards like ours, you could even read all the information on there. Baby won’t understand it, but it’ll help expand their vocabulary!
- Hide the animals under different blankets and create a small obstacle course for your little crawler to go find the animals (with help from mom and dad of course!)
SIBLING PLAY VARIATION
Looking for a way to keep both your kids busy for a while? Have the older sibling find the figurines for the younger sibling and tell them what animal it is.
Would love to know if you decide to try this and any other variations you’ve come up with!