By: Hillary Ross, MS, CF-SLP Speech Language Pathologist
Animals and animal sounds are fun to review while visiting the zoo, reading books, creating crafts, and singing songs. Here are 5 fun ideas on how to teach your child to identify and name animals using materials at home and in the community:
- Animal flash cards: While looking at animal flash cards at home, identify and name specific animals and their sounds. Flash cards including various textures on the pictures are a fun way to learn too! While looking at the flash cards ask your child various questions such as “what is it?” “what sound does it make?” “is it big or small?” to help keep your child engaged. If your child is unsure about what the animal is parents should name the specific animal to encourage imitation for example, “This is a cow. A cow says mooo.”
- A trip to the zoo: A trip to the zoo is a fun and easy way to help your child identify and name animals! Interacting and viewing the animals will give them a new perspective. While visiting the exhibit have your child label the animals, talk about their habitat, and the noises that they are making.
- Make animal crafts with your children: Creating animal crafts is fun for all ages. While creating crafts, parents can discuss the animals body parts, color, size, and texture of their fur or scaly skin. This is an activity to help your child get involved and a fun way to learn about animals. Craft ideas for all ages can be found on the Pinterest website.
- Animal books and puzzles: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? is a great book for young children to help identify and name animals. The book includes great pictures that your child will enjoy. Another way to help your child name animals is by using animal puzzles that can be found at any local store. Have your child name the animal by asking “what is it?” or take out the animal pieces and ask “where is the pig?” and have them place in the correct animal piece.
- Animal songs: If your child loves music singing ‘Old MacDonald’ is an interactive way to help your child learn details of animals. While listening to the songs have your child produce the animal sounds. Also, using pictures of the animals as a visual will help increase learning.
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