Planning and engaging in age-appropriate activities with your children will help you build your parenting skills and minimise the use of digital entertainment and gadgets, such as cell phones, laptops and tablet computers, in your home. Children love to watch how animals behave and hear the sounds they make. As your child reaches 18 months of age, they’ll begin to engage in imaginative play - they might feed a stuffed animal, for example. Between two and three years of age, they’ll show interest in playing make-believe with other children. Imaginative play will help your child develop social, emotional and cognitive thinking skills. A scenario you could propose might be a pretend visit to the zoo. Here are some fun activities or imaginative play for you and your child to do together - create animal props.
Paper towel tube
Green construction paper
Green paint and paintbrushes
- Cut the shape of a ’s mouth from the tube with the pinking shears.
- Cut out four legs and one tail for the green construction paper, also using the pinking shears.
- Paint the tube green.
- When the paint is dry, glue the legs and some googly eyes onto the tube to complete the crocodile.
Paper gift bag
Black, white, and yellow construction paper
White and black craft feathers
- Cut out the following shapes for your younger child or let an older child cut out some of the shapes themselves:
- Place the paper gift bag on the table in front of you; leave it folded flat, and turn it so the bottom flap – or the penguin’s head – is at the top.
- Glue the large black oval onto the bag, tucking part of it under the bottom flap, and then glue and layer the white oval on top.
- Glue the smaller black circle onto the flap of the bag and attach the penguin’s eyes.
- To attach the beak, lift the flap and glue one triangle, pointing downwards, on top of the belly; glue the other triangle, also pointing downwards, in the centre of the penguin’s head, positioned directly over the first triangle.
- Glue the wings to the underside of the belly, positioning them so that they protrude.
- Glue the wider yellow triangles, pointing downwards, along the bottom edge of the bag.
- Lastly, glue black and white feathers to the penguin and then set the puppet aside to dry.
- Now watch your child have fun putting their hand inside the bag to play with their penguin puppet!
- a large black oval for the penguin’s belly, and a smaller white oval to layer inside.
- a smaller black circle for the penguin’s head
- two long, thin black triangles for the penguin’s flippers
- two yellow triangles for the penguin’s beak
- two wider yellow triangles for the penguin’s webbed feet
Wriggling SnakeMaterials needed
9-inch paper plate
Red construction paper
9-inch paper plate
Red construction paper
- Use the crayons to colour the back of the paper plate.
- Turn the plate over. Starting from a single dot in the centre of the plate, draw a spiral outwards.Younger children may need your help with this.
- Cut along the spiral from the outside edge of the plate (the tail of the snake) until you reach the dot in the centre (the head).
- Draw in the snake’s eyes and then cut a small triangular snip for a mouth.
- Punch a hole at the top of the head and pull a string through to hang the snake up.
Toilet paper tube
Black and white (or) yellow and brown construction papers
What to do:
- Cut out the following: - A circle from the black construction paper that is slightly larger than the end of the toilet paper tube which will be used as our bat’s face.
- Cover the toilet paper tube with black construction paper.
- Glue the pointy ears, eyes onto the face.
- Glue the face onto the end of the tube.
- Glue the wings on top of the tube, midway down, with the bat’s face facing outwards.
- Fold the wings up and down to resemble bat wings.
- Glue the feet on the other end of the tube, so that they stick out below the wings.
- Use a skewer to make a hole in the centre of the wings, through the toilet roll – make sure your child is supervised for this bit.
- Thread through string and hang up.
- Two pointy black ears and white eyes that your child can glue on the circle.
- A set of black bat wings
- Two small black bat’s feet.
Pretending to populate a zoo with animals like this will capitalize on your child’s natural curiosity and help build your parenting skills. And now the fun can really begin! Join in with your child’s imaginative play and make animal noises or help with their zoo-keeping routine.