Thursday, January 12, 2012

Zoo Play At Home ~ Animals From the Art Cart

Children love animals! A trip to your local zoo is bound to be a hit, but when that's not possible you can have lots of zoo fun at home. With a variety of animal activities and with a spark of imagination you and your kids can 'take a walk on the wild side!'

From the "art cart"

With paper, glue, paints, crayons and the recycle bin, your child can create a menagerie of animals at home.

Gentle Giraffe - Cut out the shape of a giraffe on yellow construction paper and let your child put spots on it with a bingo marker or ink stamp.

Slithering Snake - Your children can make a snake out of a paper plate. First, draw a line that goes around and around from the edge to the middle and stops. Next, invite your youngster to sponge paint the plate (dab, dab, dab) with green and brown poster paints. When dry, the kids can cut on the line (lots of curves) to make a spiral. Punch a hole at the top, thread in a piece of string and hang the snake. It will wiggle and cause lots of giggles!

Zebra Stripes - Draw and cut out a horse-shape from white construction paper. Using black poster paint, invite the children to marble paint this animal. Do this by placing the paper shape in a baking pan. Tape it down on the bottom of the pan with a rolled piece of tape. Coat a couple marbles with black paint and then place them into the pan. Your kids can tilt the pan back and forth, letting the balls roll over the animal. Children love to see this "horse" turn into a zebra. As a variation, ping-pong balls can be used.

Thumbprint Monkeys - Give your children a piece of construction paper with the outline of a tree drawn on it (older children can draw their own tree). Set out inkpads and felt-tip makers. Let your kids make thumb print monkeys all over their tree picture. To create monkeys, have them press a thumb on an inkpad and make two thumb prints, one above the other on the paper. Then complete the monkeys by adding faces, arms, legs and tails with the markers.

Playing zoo can be loads of fun and a good way to bring out all the stuffed animals your child has hidden in her room. Whether you have a rainy day or one where staying home is the call, creative play is so productive to your child's development.

Previously posted on Examiner.com
http://www.examiner.com/early-childhood-parenting-in-fort-lauderdale/tania-cowling