Monday, June 29, 2009

Animals around the world

This is somewhat of a continuation of the last post. . . so fun!!

Here's what you need: A map of some sort - you can make your own out of felt like I have, make one out of paper (which I wouldn't recommend because of storage AND the usage. Why go to all the trouble if it won't last?) or just use a printed paper map. OR, (I just thought of this one), you can draw it on the driveway in chalk!!
You also need animals!! The little animals they sell in the tubes will work great or any plastic animal you have around the house. You can also find animals online, print them out and use pictures if you don't have any other resources.

I happen to personally love the Schliech brand of animals for several reasons.
1. They are extremely life-like and have minute details.
2. They are basically indestructible and have no hard plastic edges to hurt teething babies. :)
3. Amongst each other, they are sized appropriately. (the meerkat and the elephant are somewhat proportional to each other.)
4. There is a very wide selection of animals - perfect for finding animals around the world!

Where are these animals found you may be asking? Well, when Lawton was about eighteen months old, his grandparents bought him some farm animals from the local co-op. He loved them so much, family members, Santa, and occasionally we would add to the collection by going to local toy stores. They also now carry Schleich at Target in a limited selection. If all else fails, you can always get them online! They are pricier than buying the animals in big buckets or tubes, but I think they are well worth it. Animals are so open ended (for creative play, for language building, and now for some different activities that I am doing now.

Did you happen to see this activity with animals? Or what about this post as a great language building tool? Just in case you're new here . . . :)

Here's why you should do it: Again, this is a great tactile way for your kiddo to categorize animals and the world around them.

Here's how you do it: Lay out the map (however big or small)

This is what Carolina was doing most of the time . . . walking all over the maps, loving the scarf on her head and playing with her instruments. (oh, and terrorizing Lawton by picking up and moving all of his animals. ha!)
Place animals on the corresponding continents. Obviously, many animals will fit on multiple continents. Just talk through it and decide where they should go. Next time they can go on a different continent and you will never know . . . hmmmm. . . where should this camel go?
For the young child, I would just pick out one animal per continent at first. Too many can be overwhelming!
Sister finally settled down when I gave her a baggie of small animals to look at, pull out, and chew on!

North America
(which I didn't realize until later is backwards) but that's okay . . . it didn't hinder his learning!
South America
(we had to stretch on this one . . .)


Have fun visiting around the world!

And the winner of the small felt set from last post . . .
(I promise I use, but don't know how to show that I do . . .)

#8 - Candie!


  1. Awesome!!!! Hooray for me!!! I am loving all of these geography post! btw... Hope you're having fun at the beach ;)

  2. That's really cool. I love the HUGE map as well! One thing I wanted to point out...Polar Bears don't exist in Antarctica. They're northern animals...Alaska, Northern Canada. (I know it's been a few years since you posted this so your kids are probably too old to be still doing this activity; I found just you via Pinterest)