Here are some animal games for kids and toddlers to use in conjunction with any animal themed lesson plan. While your students are playing these fun animal games you will proudly know that they are engaging in exploration, deductive reasoning, and memory learning concepts.
Huckle Buckle Beanstalk
Huckle Buckle Beanstalk is an age-old game that has brought joy to many children. This game will enhance name recognition skills in addition to the fun.
How to play: Choose an object that the students will search for. Common objects can include a stuffed animal, an animal puppet, or any other animal object in the classroom. Have the children count to ten while closing their eyes. When they are counting hide the object, but be sure to have some of the animal showing! Have the students look around the classroom in search of the identified animal. When a child finds the correct animal they shout “Huckle Buckle Beanstalk!," and the game ends. Hide it again while the students are counting and start a new game!
Of course playing with toddlers will mean hiding the animal so it could be very easily found. This game should be used in teaching toddlers animal names. For example, use a stuffed animal dog as the “object.” Identify it to the students and refer to it often throughout the game. You could use phrases such as, "Where is that dog?" or "Who will find that dog first?" for memory skill acquisition.
Use different animals as the students become skilled in animal name recognition. Watch how fast learning takes place when a student is motivated to find the correct animal, win the game and have the ability to shout to the rest of the class "Huckle Buckle Beanstalk!"
What Am I?
Most people are familiar with the game of Charades. In this game have your students use deductive reasoning to figure out what type of animal you are portraying. Behaviorally portray common characteristics as “clues,” such as the sound an animal makes or the way they move.
This game also serves as a memory tool. Use either two or three different stuffed animals or pictures. Put the animals or pictures together and ask the question “Which one is the ___.” As the students become increasingly skilled at identification, make the game more complicated by adding animals.
Bring energy to these games for positive reinforcement. If you act as though your students’ correct answers bring about excitement, then they will react accordingly and want to play more. In addition to supplementing your animal themed lesson plans, you are teaching them that learning is fun. You will be surprised how fast your students will learn. Beware: animal games and activities let your wild sides come out!