Preschool aged children have an innate fascination towards animals. We are certain that your child has a favourite picture book or toy, a rhyme or a birthday cake that is most likely centred around the animal theme. Many children grow up with pets and in most cases they form an inseparable bond with their furry friends.
Nurturing this connection can build empathy and respect towards animals and the environment around them from a very young age and these are crucial learning experiences for enhancing socio-emotional development.
If your little one is obsessed about animals, here are three fun activities to nurture this interest while keeping learning at the heart of it all –
Animal Themed Letter Activity
One of the earliest things that a preschool aged child learns and observes is letters and numbers. Even letters are often associated with animals, just like this;
C for Cat
D for Dog
E for Elephant
This is an extremely simple and fun activity that requires very little effort. You can use flashcards with the letter of the alphabet and the respective animal name
A for Ant;
B for Bat;
C for Cat and so on.
To make it more engaging, ask your child to mimic the sounds of the animals as they call out the letter and the respective animal name.
Here’s another way you can learn animals through letters through the medium of art and craft. Choose a letter and turn it into an animal that begins with the same letter. You can try out this activity with every letter and make it fun and interesting.
- Animal Action Songs and Stories
Remember Old McDonald had a farm, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Three Little Pigs? I am sure some of your earliest memories of being introduced to animals would be through these rhymes and stories.
Songs and stories form a predominant part of early childhood. But we’re pretty sure you’re bored of the age old, animal themed nursery rhymes and stories and you’re looking for something that is new, developmentally appropriate and connects with children of this generation.
Kutuki has a range of animal themed action songs like ‘Fly, March, Hop’ where children can mimic actions of insects, ‘Under the Ocean’ explores fascinating facts about sea creatures and the ‘Herbivores and Carnivores’ rhyme connects children to food habits of various animals.
Stories and songs have the power to build deep empathy, respect and genuine fascination towards animals that they have met or yet to meet. It gives them a glimpse into animal behaviours, habitats, food habits of creatures they may have never seen before. It is sure to pique their curiosity to explore their world further.
Here are some other popular songs stories around Animals on the Kutuki app that we are sure your little one would love to explore –
The Octopus Story – “The Aquarium of Disappearing Octopuses.”
A story where children learn about several fascinating facts about Octopuses.
The Spider Story – “The Spindly Spider”.
Our most beloved ‘Animal Action Song’.
The most fond and loved Kutuki Rhyme.
Download the Kutuki App now and give your child the best in just a few clicks.
- Nature Themed Animal Activities
When children are outdoors like at the park, terrace or even on your balcony, they will often notice animals or birds. While seeing these animals a few children may run to catch them, chase them or a few would even feel scared and run for safety. These are normal tendencies as young children are keen to explore their surroundings. It is important that these feelings are acknowledged and discussed.
Take your children on an animal safari and allow them to notice the shape of a bird’s beak or the length of an animal’s tail, the sound the animal makes and how they behave around one another. Sometimes when you visit a zoo, children might ask you why are animals in a cage?
It is crucial that these questions are not brushed aside but discussed. This allows children to think about how we can live harmoniously with animals, respect their space and celebrate the uniqueness of all these diverse creatures. In this way, they learn to appreciate the environment they live in.
Since young children are still developing instincts for personal safety and self awareness, it is important that a caregiver is always by their side when they are observing or interacting with animals.