Friday 3rd March is W O R L D W I L D L I F E D A Y. The theme this year is Listen to the young voices. Have fun this year with our animal themed activities.
Learning about endangered, threatened and vulnerable species is a way to encourage our children to not only protect their local surroundings but think further afield to the critically endangered species around the world.
There are so many animals on the IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature) list that are heading for extinction due to deforestation, poaching and ultimately human causes.
The definition of an endangered species is any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. (IUCN)
Have fun with our list of activities to inspire, encourage and educate.
SMALL WORLD PLAY
Small world play is not just for preschool. Small world play encourages and provides opportunities to explore, and represent learning experiences that help children make sense of the world. By creating a real life scene children have a multisensory world which can be a rich learning environment. New vocabulary can be built and real life challenges can be played out. We have some huge rocks in the garden that are used all the time as playspaces. Different materials from around the garden where collected and the plastic animals assembled. We often collect twigs and leaves etc on walks.
Carrie Gelson from – There is a book for that has a great book list for endangered animals. I just love finding new book lists on the web. It takes so much work out of research. We found most of these books at our local library.
Children of the earth also have a great book list. Just right to encourage research.
ART AND CRAFT
There are so many art and craft ideas that can go with animals. Art can be a great way to inspire kids to learn more about the world around them. Handprints are so versatile and fun. A Crafty Morning has a great post all about handprinting animals.
Painting can be so much more than brushes. We recently experimented with kitchen utensils and found forks to be quite amazing when it comes to animals. They really help to add texture and roughness making the fur of an animal look more realistic.
Check my animal art and craft pinterest page. I find so much inspiration on pinterest. There are a heap of activities to go with an animal and craft theme.
A-Z OF ANIMALS
As the kids get older and research becomes ever more present in their curriculum, google, search engines and the internet creep more and more into our conversations. Searching the internet can be a tricky business. We have had many a discussion about wielding the sword of google!
How do I find what I want?
What search terms are the best?
How do I know if what I am reading is true?
Getting the kids to research ideas and topics of interest is a fun way to learn about the power of google. Recently I set them all a collaborative challenge to come up with an A-Z of endangered, threatened and vulnerable animals. It was fun seeing them work together and collaboratively discuss how they were going to find all of this information out using google. Use our free printable to make your own A-Z.
Check out my World Wildlife Day pinterest board for links to help you with your A-Z search.
Sensory activities can be for any age. Yes they work great for preschool, but there are many who love a walk on the beach, or running their hands through a box of rice. Sensory activities can calm down even the most anxious child. Get inspired with our endangered animal sensory bins.
CREATE YOUR OWN SPECIES
Imagine creating your own animal. Using what you already know about the animal world and your favourite creatures, create your very own animal.
A while ago on a hot afternoon, when we had nowhere to go we all made up our very own creatures. So much fun can be had from box construction. It is amazing how much learning happens and how much dialogue is used when children are faced with a pile of boxes and other assorted items. A Ligerbee, Lilycatbee and Octosnake were made using an assortment of art and craft resources. Just love the hybrid versions of animals and flowers made.
Later on I asked the kids these questions for their fact file.
Is it a hybrid of animals you already know or is it completely new?
What does the animal looks like?
Where does the animal live?
What does your creature eat?
When does your animal sleep?
Does your animal have predators?
Time spent together can be such fun, when new species are found!
Let’s encourage our kids to show love, kindness and respect to all vulnerable species of this earth no matter how many legs it has or how many leaves are on a stalk.