Before you know it, the weather will finally warm up and outdoor activities and trips will be easier to accomplish with your little one. Trips to the zoo are always a hit, but before you bring your child out to meet the real animals, you can help him/her learn animal names and sounds by creating your own indoor jungle. Describing the animals as you see them will also help to develop their receptive and expressive vocabulary. Here are a few tips and book suggestions:
- Pretend Play: Provide your child with stuffed animals, animals costumes, and/or animal masks (If you have the time, you might even want to create an animal mask with your child!).
- Reading: Select a few jungle animals (e.g., lion, tiger, monkey) and label them for your child. Remember to include the exotic animals–peacocks, cobras, sloths! Make the associated sound while showing them the animal.
- Hide and Seek: Place the animals behind a pillow or plant and make the animal sound. Ask your child, “Do you hear that?” Continue making the sound while you search for the animal together. Once it is found, label the animal and make its sound again!
- Listening Game: Use this banana drop to ‘feed’ the monkey each time your child hears a noise. This will teach them how to condition to sounds and will help during your time in the audiology booth!
Tallest, Shortest, Longest, Greenest, Brownest Animal in the Jungle by Keith Faulkner
Touch and Feel Jungle Animals by Nicola Deschamps
Peek-a-Boo Jungle by Francesca Ferri
Animal Noises in the Jungle by Jane Brett