Quiet Play


The Zany Animal Zoo

You know all those plastic animal figures you keep stepping on? Time to put them to work! Welcome to “The Zany Animal Zoo!”

First have your toddler sort the animals. This is a great time to work on reinforcing colors and size. I love to sort the animals into two groups, big versus small, and then encourage my toddler friends to place them in size order from biggest to smallest. For an added challenge, separate the animals in different corners depending on where they live — sky, sea, or land.

Next, color the animals’ feet with washable paint or stamp pads. Have them hop, race, and gallop across a piece of paper. Look at how each animal’s tracks look different! For more messy fun, paint the entire animal figure a wild color. A bright purple duck is even more fun than a yellow one.

Finally, it’s time to give our zany zoo animals a bath! A sponge, water, and some soap will keep toddlers happy for quite a while. Take this time to review body parts. Guide your toddler to sponge off the plastic horses’ back, maybe even his hooves, etc. Best part is, our toddler has had a fun filled, educating activity and done most of the clean up themselves!

Upgraded PlayDough Play!

After a long day in the sun, sometimes you need some air conditioned fun… To keep littles’ boredom at bay, try our Upgraded PlayDough Play!

  1. Work with a plastic fork and knife to practice cutting skills.
  2. Take your leggos and plastic blocks to make different imprints in the dough. We like using a comb and rubber band too.
  3. Rediscover your plastic animals and make fossil prints!
  4. Roll tiny dough balls and practice counting, addition, and subtraction.
  5. Roll long lines of dough and use them to make the letters of the alphabet or spell out your name.
  6. Bust out some pipe cleaners, beads, and googly eyes to create your own creepy creature.
  7. Add some essential oils or glitter for even more magical, Upgraded PlayDough Play!

Pom Pom Play!

We love Pom Poms because they keep little bodies busy for a long time. You’ve seen these at the store, but did you know you can use them for a lot more than just crafting?

– Practice sorting them with toddlers. Sort by color or size. And use salad tongs or tweezers to sort for an added challenge!

– Get silly and sort them with your toes! Put some cups down on the ground and kids will get a kick out of filling the cups up with poms using only their feet!

– Move them using only your breath! Just like you are blowing out birthday candles, you can blow them across a table or floor. Make sure you are behind, not above the pom, to make it race the fastest!

(originally posted on Toddler Blog)