Over the last few weeks my daughter has shown a massive interest in learning more about animals so we decided to create our own zoo. I've had the best day doing this and she's already asked when she can make her next animal, so I think it was a hit for her as well. I thought I'd share what we did, plus some other great inspirational animal learning ideas.
Come up with a plan
In the morning we sat down and talked about if we had our own zoo what would it be like. I've found if we talk through what we are going to do then she's more likely to want to do the activity for longer, as she feels like she's had a say in the plan. We came up with a name, what were the first animals we would like to have and how we would make them. To get some extra learning out of it as well, I wanted to make sure we did some reasearch on the animals and then thought we could create a sign for the animals with the facts we'd discovered.
I let her lead this part by coming up with her own name and picking the animals herself. To keep the day interesting we also decided to make each animal in a different way. In the next section I'll share some ideas for this.
To help you out with this step, I've made a printable sheet which you can fill in at home
Making your animals
You could just draw your animals but I think by creating each animal in a different way it makes it more exciting and the fun lasted longer. We both searched through Pinterest for inspiration but I limited it to something we could already do with the items we had in the house. TOP TIP: I learnt the hard way you shouldn't show the kids all off Pinterest if you are not prepaired to make it - It might be worth creating your own board first so that only ideas you have material for or are within your creative comfort zone are on your list, so that it's more enjoyable than stressful when choosing your animals. I've created a starter Pinterest board with ones we loved and shared our animals too. The great thing about this is you can adjust it for any age. Younger kids will need easier animals and much more guidance, where as you could just give these sheets to older kids and let them craft away. It's also a great task to do as a family, either as a team or all making an animal each and coming back together to create the zoo.