An initiative of the Dekko Foundation

Learning Activities

Easy activities to enrich your child's learning

Animal Friends

Ages 2 – 5 years

Get Ready:  Grab a cookie sheet and a cup or two of uncooked rice from the kitchen.  Collect some rocks or other natural items from outside.  Provide small animals or other play pieces (people, vehicles) 

Get Set:  Set the materials out on a table or a mat on the floor.  For little ones, you may want to have the rice already on the tray.  Older children can pour the rice onto the tray.  

Sit Back and Watch Your Child Go:   He will increase the use of his imagination and also draw on knowledge he already has about animals – the noises they make, how they move, & where they live. He will figure out ways to use the materials in new ways. 

Want to amp up the learning?  Talk to your child about animal habitats.  Read a book together about where animals live.   Use animal names & placement words as you see how your child is putting the animals on top, beside, under the rock.  Add a bowl of water to the tray.

Get Creative:  Add counting to the mix.  Ask your child to put a certain number of animals in the rice.  Add other materials to the tray such as sand or playdough.  Experiment with the rocks – piling them up and balancing them on one another.  

As your child grows:  He will begin to tell stories about the animals.  He will use sound effects as he moves the animals around.  He will increase strength in his hands and fingers as he manipulates the pieces and gain physical coordination.  

Your child will love: the independence and imagination this play provides.

You will love: seeing him play independently and listening to the stories he creates about the pieces. 



 At Before5, we are passionate about helping you understand how your child grows and develops – especially in the first five years, which is when the really important learning happens.

An initiative of the Dekko Foundation

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