Friday, February 27, 2015

Animal theme activities - week 1

This is actually a post about what we started doing three weeks ago. Since our return from holidays in Australia, I just haven't found the time to post any new blogs. There has been crappy internet service, an intermittent access to Blogger and the hassle of trying to get Little Bean settled in at home again.  Then I sprained an ankle and got the sore throat from Hell; a totally miserable combination. Add to that, all the Vietnamese New Year holiday preparations, work functions, visitors and the required visits to family. Honestly, I am SO, SO over it. I can't wait for normality to be restored and for life to go back to our regular, slightly boring, but reassuringly familiar routine.

We're having a month-long theme of animals and the sounds they make. We're focusing mainly on the farm and household animals that he see sees regularly, as well as the most common African and jungle animals he sees on TV and in books.

Our journey began with lots of singing and dancing. Little Bean is a huge fan of The Wiggles and we have several of their DVDs. We've watched, sang to and danced along with lots of their songs about animals such as The Monkey Dance, Ponies, Uncle Noah's Ark and Captain Feathersword Fell Asleep on His Pirate Ship.  I have to tell you, I've been getting a pretty good workout dancing along with the DVDs. Who needs aerobics when you have a toddler who loves The Wiggles? We've also been watching New MacDonald's Farm and Play School DVDs.

We've been singing animal songs like Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Five Little Ducks using our plastic animals and bath tub duckies. Here is a copy of our free printable lyrics for Five Little Ducks

I bought some Kinetic Sand from Online Toys Australia at Christmas time and we finally got it out to make an animal sensory tub. It is really weird stuff. It's almost like it crawls along. I think it's kind of creepy. I put some small plastic African animals, spoons and small bowls in the tub along with 2kg of sand. Little Bean loves to go out to the balcony to play with it at least once or twice a day. I've been burying animals for him to find and helping him mould the sand with the bowls. But mostly, he loves scooping and pouring the sand.

I bought this Build-A-Garden set online from Modern Teaching Aids. This is one of my favourite online stores for Montessori and homeschool materials. The dowels are designed to fit into a base and the beads can be threaded on to make a garden with flowers and bugs. We're only using the dowels and bug beads at the moment for a smaller scale threading activity.

 We bought this push-along duck toy in Australia from our local pharmacy. Little Bean broke the duck's beak off five minutes after we got home. He loves the noise it makes.

Little Bean was given these cute ladybird and monster Pillow Pets by his aunties. He loves snuggling up on his new floor bed with them. I plan to put them in his old toddler bed and turn it into a reading nook. More on that project in my next post.

 I got these gorgeous Melissa & Doug jumbo knob puzzles from Modern Teaching Aids.
We've also been using the pieces for vocabulary practice, singing Old McDonald Had a Farm and imaginative play.

 Little Bean loves to throws things at the moment, so I'm trying to channel it by putting out this basket of soft balls. The four smaller balls are actually really dense pompoms I got from Kmart  in a pack for a few dollars.

 Little Bean's Daddy gave him this super snuggly teddy bear a few months ago and he's really taken to it. This month, Big Bear got his own bed, clothes, nappy and sippy cup. Little Bean has been resistant to sitting on the potty so I'm hoping that Big Bear can help us by swapping his nappy for training pants and going on the potty too.

Montessori Nature


  1. Oh no! I'm so sorry that you were ill and had a sprained ankle - that sounds rough!

    I love the theme your using :) My son is obsessed with animals and I have quite a few animal themed projects in mind for the next few months, too :)

    1. I think that we'll probably extend it a few more weeks. There are so many activities I'd love to try. I've just made some three part cards and am thinking about making some pre-reading cards. I'm making a felt board over the weekend. I'm looking for some cute animals patterns now.

  2. I love the toys you have put together for your little one! How inspiring! :)

    1. Thanks Vanessa. I'm a little behind in posting but I'll be putting out the next post on our animal theme activities tomorrow. I am so in love with the farm animal counters I bought. Little Bean is a huge fan too.