How to use your amazing animals cards.
So if you already have a set of my amazing animals fact cards you will know that one of the ways I suggest to use them is testing each other on the facts. You start by reading the cards together and learning the information and then you can turn it into a game, pull out a card and see if the other person can answer a question about it, or tell you its scientific name, score points for each correct answer and see who knows the most….
…..Thats not the only way you can use them, theres actually loads of different things you can do with them. So I thought it was about time I wrote a little blog post with some ideas for you all (I’d also love to hear any other ways that you use your cards, pop me an email [email protected] and I will add your suggestions)
Use the cards to practise drawing, kids can copy my illustrations to draw their own animals.
There’s lots of ways to combine writing practice with the cards, you can copy the animal names and the facts.
You could combine drawing and writing by using the cards to create your own little fact book. Draw the animals and write some of the facts out.
Sort your cards by colour, each pack has a key card that shows you what the colours mean. In most of them the colour shows were in the world they come from, whilst in the dinosaur cards the colour shows which time period they lived in.
Sort the cards into each different colour, then you can talk about which animals live together, this can be a great stepping stone into other projects too. Once you see which animals live in a particular place you can start to learn about that place as well. Look at what their habitat is like and why they live there, do they have any special features that help them to survive there? Can you look up what other animals live there too?
This is a great way to use the more advanced fact cards for younger kids and just a great way to play. Treat the cards like flash cards, show them and read the names, then try lying them out and asking your little one to find the different animals. Easy to set up and lots of fun. As they get to the point were they know all the animal names you can start to introduce the facts, simple things like what the animal eats is a great place to start. Then when you get them to find the different animals you can also ask what they eat.
This can also then progress into playing what do they eat, go through the pack and see if they can remember what the animal eats. Whoever has the most cards at the end wins
Grouping is a simple way to play with the cards, as well as the colour sorting you can also sort by the sort of food the animals eat, are they carnivores or herbivores? Or how about sorting by conservation status, you can see which animals are under the most threat.
Inspiration for further learning
You can take inspiration from the cards for doing bigger projects, maybe from playing with the cards you have found an animal that you really love, use that as a stepping stone for further learning.
Match to toys
This is a game that my two always love to play, and its simple, just lay out the cards and then send them off to find toys that match (schleich and Papo toys are great for this game)
Lovely fun game that helps with letter recognition. You can do it with lots of different things you just need something with the alphabet on it. You could use clothes pegs with the letters written on it, or letter magnets, anything with the alphabet on will work. Then the game is simple you just need to match the card to the letter that it starts with. Using pegs is a great gross motor skill too pegging the cards as you find the right one. You can do the letter matching with the alphabet cards or the fact cards.
You can use the number cards from the alphabet sets to create maths questions. If you turn the cards over you will have the animal repeated the same amount as the number on the card, which makes them great for counting to help with adding up and taking away. Or you could combine them with physical things to count, like buttons, bead or rocks from the garden. Get creative with it.
This is always a fun way to practice letter sounds and the alphabet, get the kids to organise the packs of cards alphabetically, younger ones can just use the first letter, whilst older ones can go further than that using the rest of the word as well.
Although most of the sets only have one of each animal in them you can still play snap…just use the background colour instead.
Put them on display
Who said that your cards need to stay in their box? You could use them as decoration too, popping them in a frame, using the alphabet cards to spell a name out for a bedroom door, or pegging them up on a string. You can use this just as a fun way to decorate a room, or as a daily prompt for learning.
So thats a few ideas for ways for you to use your amazing animals cards, but theres lots of other things you could do too, and I would love to hear about any ways that you play.