Getting kids to learn does not have to be a chore. In fact, their natural curiosity draws children into learning through everyday experiences. Harness that need-to-know energy by including educational farm animal toys into everyday play.
While children are naturally curious, it is usually a good idea to start new games or lessons with at least an element of the familiar. This helps draw them in and serves as a platform to build on. Since many children are familiar at some level with them, farm animal toys are a great way to bring something familiar yet fun to learning.
Children indeed draw comfort from what they know, but most are also eager to learn about new things, too. Adding a few new animal toys to playtime can keep things fun and exciting without overstimulating sensitive kids. It is also a great way to expand games you already love.
Use your imagination when adding new animal toys to the mix. For example, you might introduce a new animal along with a story about it.
Animal figures lend themselves to all sorts of creative play. The following games are just a brief glimpse into some different ways to use them to make learning fun.
Bring storytime to life with animal figurines. Use them to act out the scenes on the pages, to expand on activities that happen in the book, and to dream up new chapters for favorite characters. There are so many great picture books with animals that the biggest challenge here may be selecting a few to keep on hand.
Instead of having just one chicken toy, gather four or five different types of chickens. Let kids explore the similarities and differences. For example, an Ameraucana chicken has blue legs and feet, whereas most other breeds have yellow legs. In the same way, a bantam hen is much smaller than a standard-size chicken. The same type of game can be played with all sorts of farm animal toys, including bulls, goats, and pigs.
Educational toys are great for so many activities, and sorting is one that kids are naturally drawn to. As you introduce new animals to playtime, ask your children to describe them. The following questions can help get things started:
Once your child describes the animal, ask if there are others with similar characteristics. Then, encourage grouping of the animals by one or more of them.
It’s a good idea to invest in high-quality toys for children. Yes, they will outgrow them, but you can always pass them down to younger siblings or resell them at a consignment sale.
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