My daughter loves matching things and has done well with simple pattern match activities like this one. So I decided to make it a little more complicated. These animal print puzzles for kids are quick to make. (They honestly took one minute to make all four) But for young kids matching the patterns up so the prints line up can be a challenge. This is a great activity to develop attention and concentration. Although, since there are only two pieces to each puzzle it shouldn’t create too great a challenge and end up frustrating your child.
- Gather your materials. We used animal print foam sheets for these puzzles. But you could use scrapbook paper instead just make sure that the pieces are sturdy enough for your child to handle. They are harder to match up if they get crinkled or ripped. You will also need some scissors.
- Cut your foam into squares and then cut the squares into two halves using different cutting patterns. I made 4 puzzles for my daughter who is just 3. For older children try 2 in each pattern to create a bigger challenge.
- Present the puzzles to your child and ask them to put the squares back together. If they are struggling you can also make a square out of painter’s tape on the table to give them a guide. When I make puzzles like these I pop them on a tray and leave them out for a few days. When we clean them up, we put them into a Ziploc for storage. After a trip to the zoo or when we read one of our favorite books about the zoo I pull them out and we play again.
Books About The Zoo
Inside a Zoo in the City by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a rebus read along, so children who can’t read words yet can help read this with pictures put right into the text! The story is repetitive and builds with one animal and page at a time. Preschoolers love these books and the repetitive nature of it makes it interactive and fun!
Peek-a-Zoo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti is a vibrant lift the flap book that goes through sounds different animals make while playing peek a boo with the reader. What I like about this book is that the flaps offer a chance for your baby or toddler to anticipate what animal it hiding as well as the sound, so it grows with them. The flaps are large enough that little hands can grab them and won’t get frustrated.
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann is simply one of my favorite books ever. I love it and love that my daughter doesn’t fuss when I read it to her because it was a special book for my son when he was little. It’s a book he still curls up to and reads quietly with us, making it fun cuddle time for all three of us. If you aren’t familiar with this book it’s all about a sneaky gorilla who unlocks all the animals at the zoo. They quietly follow the zookeeper home and climb into bed with him, until his wife wakes up! I love this book cause I relate to the zookeeper’s wife when I wake up. There is always a sneaky 3-year-old gorilla in my bed!
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For more quick tips on helping your child learn to read check out my book; Raising A Rock-Star Reader. It is packed with fun ideas for families, book lists, and advice for parents.This post contains affiliate links.