The idea for this animal matching game came about when we were playing with an animal puzzle and the Little People farm animals were nearby. Combining the two seemed like a fun idea and my kids agreed. It’s a great way to practice fine motor skills and language skills with older babies and toddlers.
Animal Matching Game for Toddlers
For this game, we used the Melissa & Doug Jumbo Knob Wooden Farm Puzzle (Amazon affiliate link) and Little People farm animals.
I started by removing the puzzle pieces and placing the animals onto the puzzle.
I showed Lily (12 months old) the setup and she wanted to play. She reached for animals and took them off of the puzzle. This is similar to how she plays with the puzzle as well. Read more about why destructive play is important for babies and toddlers.
Aiden (age 5) liked this game, too. His role was adding the animals back to the puzzle.
As Lily played, Aiden and I talked to her about the animals she was picking up. We said their names and/or made their sounds.
Work on language and communication skills by trying the following:
- Ask questions about the animals: Where is the sheep? Can you find the horse? What sound does the duck make make?
- Pick up an animal and talk about it: This is a goat. Here is the pink pig. It says oink oink oink.
- Ask your child to do a certain action: Can you put this sheep on the puzzle sheep? Pick up the farmer. Can you act like a duck? (quack and flap your wings)
More Play Ideas for Toddlers
- Are You My Mother? Storytelling Using Props – act out the story using props from around the house
- Make a race track with DUPLO and blocks – great for toddlers who get frustrated when their blocks don’t stay together as planned.
- What Can You Learn from a Cardboard Tube? Kids will love exploring a giant cardboard tube.
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