I was at Micheal’s when I overheard a woman say to her daughter ” I just don’t get what people use these for.” As she grabbed a Safari Toob. I couldn’t help it, I yelled down the aisle, ” As a preschool teacher I use animal figurines in a million ways!” Which was only a slight exaggeration, and named a few animal learning activities. On the way home I thought she must not be the only person who wonders what animal figurines are good for so I complied a list of my ten favorites ways to use animal figurines for animal learning activities in your preschool classroom, but you can do these activities at home too!
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Animal Learning Activities with Animal Figurines
- Paint with them. Leave the paint brushes in the cupboard grab some figurines. You will see your preschoolers be more careful, use their imagination and marvel at how horse or pig or puppy figurines can be used to make art too!
- Add them to play dough. The activity shown is making fossils, but in my class, a favorite is to add farm figurines to play dough along with some toothpicks and let the children create barnyards. Another favorite is to make prints in the snow ( white play dough).
- Use them for sorting, we did this a lot at preschool, and we didn’t use anything special, we just dumped the basket of animal figurines and groupings would slowly emerge. Sometimes we’d count things, arrange them by size or color. This is probably one of my favorite things to do!
- Use them for more specific classifying lessons like deciding if an animal is a domestic pet or a wild animal. The lines aren’t always clear but being able to manipulate and hold the figurines helps to bring this activity to life.
- Add figurines to discovery bottles to turn them into more dynamic activities.
- Instead of matching up pictures to pictures try matching up photos to figurines like in this Mother and baby farm animal activity.
- Use figurines to classify animals into herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores!
- Freeze some water and make your own mini Arctic by adding in arctic animal figurines. This is easily one of the most played with items I have ever made for a classroom.
- Play hide and seek with larger figurines like these, games like this are a great way to fit gross motor activities into a classroom space.
- Use the figurines for circle time; this animal sounds game is always a hit!
- Use the figurines to prompt storytelling!
- To make letter sound activities more dynamic
- Or to practice syllable counting!
How do you use figurines in your classroom or at home for learning?