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Teaching your children about the natural world


insect farm5. Bring to their attention that they may categorize the insects as per their wish. In the image above, my daughter (age 5) categorized them as the ones she Loves and ones she Doesn’t Love. Some other kids categorized them by ones that can fly and ones that crawl OR they may not categorize them at all

6. They may create and share a story out of their garden if they wish to.

ACTIVITY TWO – ANIMAL and BIRD PLAY CARDS

animal categories

  1. Have the animal and bird play cards either cut out beforehand or have the kids do it.
  2. DO NOT go over each animal or bird. We are going to leave it for the kids to discover that on their own.
  3. Challenge the kids to be able to separate the birds and animals in two sections in the shortest time possible. You may time the kids if you wish.

habitats

birds4. Go over the answers and see who did it right. Note that some of them could be a challenge. g. Bats are animals that can fly (mammals) and ostriches are birds even though they cannot fly

5. You may now play other games using the same cards and may even make groups to challenge the kids. Eg.You can see in my animal section, I have categorized animals that live in the cold, ones that are found in the African Safaris, and the rest kept separate.

Make up your own games with these cards. Below are some examples I have stated.

  1. Phonics: Kids must pick out all the cards that belong to the alphabet sound you make.
    g. if you say the sound ‘Au’, they must pull out Ostrich and Ox. Focus on the sound here, not the alphabet.
  2. Alphabet: Kids must categorize all animals and birds mixed together as per their starting or ending letters.
    g.Seagull, Seal go in one section.
  3. Letters: Kids must arrange cards as per the letters you mention.
    g. if you say all the cards that have an ‘H’ in them go in the same category. So Ostrich, Cheetah, Hummingbird go in one section.
  4. Patterns: Kids must arrange all cards in altering patterns like one animal, one bird. You may time them for the same.
  5. Quiz: Take up to 6 cards at a time to help kids memorize names with 3-4 repetitions and then quiz them. Doing all the cards at once may be too overwhelming.
  6. K.: Share more information about each animal / bird.
    E.g. The reason why bats are not birds and ostriches are not animals. How different animals adapt to their environment; offspring names, and so on.

Parents, share your responses on these activities. Do you find this activity easy, fun, and educational? How soon are you committed to perform this activity with your kid/s? Did your kid/s enjoy these? What are your questions and queries? Do write back.

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Rima's has a Master's Degree in Psychology from Mumbai, and is a certified Childcare Professional and Life Coach from USA. She has written numerous articles for parents and women in Tanzania, India, and in USA. Her work includes writing for airline magazines and editing internationally published books. She has extensive experience in training teachers and parents and working with children aged 2-7 years. Her parenting page can be accessed at Parenting Booth , and her personal blog here.


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