One day when I was at one of my favourite stores, which is Michael’s, I found these super cute little farm animals.
I thought there could be some learning potential with these figurines. They are very realistic-looking, and they can be used for imaginative play about the farm, as well as for learning about animals. My parents have a small farm, and my parents-in law used to live on a farm until recently. Although we live in the city, I hope that Mr. Monkey will grow to have an appreciation for farms.
So, I decided to make some learning cards to go with these figurines. I found online photos of actual farm animals that are similar to the figurines. I printed out the photos, cut them into cards and laminated them. I also made a little felt barn for his animals.
Mr. Monkey got to practice putting the figurines on the correct pictures. He enjoyed it very much, and caught on pretty quickly. He also got to learn the names of the animals, and what sounds they make. He now recognizes a lot of these animals in pictures on books or on the computer, too. However, with the farm animals, one thing that’s a bit challenging is that several of the animals looks very similar. Such as the cow and the bull (they’re both brown), the hen, duck, and goose (they’re all white with orange feet). He still gets those mixed up. So, I got him another set of little pets. The pet set has all different looking animals.
I made him photo cards to go with his pet figurines.
Here he is, matching the animals with the photos:
This is a fun game for him, and it teaches him to make connections between toys and the world around him.
*Frugal Note* The Safari Ltd. Toobs are a bit pricey. At Michael’s they sell for $14, which is a little much for little animal figurines. I like to wait to get the 50% off coupon that Michael’s puts out every once in a while and then purchase things that I’ve had my eye on. One other thing that I appreciate about these animal toys, though is that they are lead and phthalate-free (which is probably why they’re more expensive).