We LOVE animals like love love love them! If I could I would have a house full of animals but at the moment I have had to settle with our one little dog and just pretend my neighbours donkey, horses, sheep, cows and dogs are mine too 🙂 “A” adores animals too! Yay! But to be fair it would be pretty hard for her not to like them as from the day we arrived home she has been around “doos” our dog and my parents old english ellie as well as their gorgeous hairy lurcher pip. She sees cows, sheep and horses daily and has been on horses a number of times so far in her little 9months of countryside dwelling.
The animal theme has spread through to a lot of her toys, the majority of which are soft animals some knitted especially for her by her great gran. She always seems to choose these toys to play with most often. So iv’e started to try and say what each toy represents each time she lifts it so she gets to learn the animals names. I bought a pack of Baby Einstein animal discovery cards before she was born. They are gorgeous cards with a picture of an animal on each and on the back a few facts you can read the little one. These are targeted at 1 year plus but iv’e shown her them and talked about the animals to her since she was about 12 weeks.
Recently she is able to take each card and look at it herself. She will study the cards especially the ones of the animals she likes. It’s nice to see her really taking notice. So when she was having a wee nap the other day I decided that i’d put a few of her fave cards down on floor and place a toy of that animal beside and see what she thought.
I think its important to help your little ones explore and learn through play and I try to do something educational but fun with her each day even if it’s as simple as making the animal noise when she lifts a particular toy.
So, once she had woken from her nap I popped her down in front of the cards and toys and sat back to see what she would do. There was the chance she’d crawl off completely ignore everything and play with something totally different and I am very much for letting her choose what she wants to do during play time and I never force her to play with something if she seems disinterested.
She had a good look at the nice neat pile of cards and animals and then started lifting them of course not in pairs but lifting them and looking at the cards. I said each animal name and made the sound when she lifted it and she had a right giggle at my expense. I think even she realised that I had no idea what noise a rabbit makes, to be honest for some of the more tropical animals I totally winged the sounds!
But hey it got a smile and a giggle and that’s what matters.
We have a great “Find it” picture book and there’s a great double page of animal pictures so we cleared the cards away after about 5-10 mins and opened the book, I pointed at each animal and then gave her the soft toy animal. She giggled as the animals gave her kisses and fell over and ran around the book (with a little help from me of course).
It was such a simple way to past 15 mins and hopefully she learnt a little even if she didn’t she had a giggly time and all I ever want for her is that she is happy each and every day. As long as I make her smile I know i’m doing my job….
Pop over and visit me at my new blog http://www.elliebearbabi.co.uk/