Planning animal activities and crafts for your 2-year-old introduces her to the wild world of animals, while letting her sink her hands into pudding, paint, fluff and seeds. Tie it in with a few animal books and you’re set. Moove over Farmer Brown, there’s a new farmer in town.
Your little one probably acts like a monkey; might as well make a game out of it. Fill a tube sock with newspaper and pin it to the back of your child’s clothing. Now she’s got a monkey tail. Ask her to show you how a monkey sounds and acts. Sit back and watch the zoo come to you.
Cats and Dogs
Let your toddler choose which one she wants to be: a dog or a cat. Use face paint to decorate her face so it resembles the chosen animal. Let her act out the animal. She’ll most likely start meowing and purring or barking and growling at everything that moves.
Get in touch with your inner child and play “Duck, Duck, Goose” with your child and at least one other friend. You’ll need three or more people; otherwise it takes the element of surprise away. Play this outside on the grass or an area that doesn’t have throw rugs or sharp corners to trip over or bang their head on if they trip. You could also read “Five Little Ducks” by Penny Dann. Turn this animal lesson into bath time fun. Get a handful of little rubber ducks and put them in the bathtub. Let her talk to and play with the duckies. Getting clean can be an adventure, too.
Read Dr. Seuss’s “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” Grab a white paper lunch bag. Let your toddler dip her thumb into black paint and put thumbprints on the bag to make the cow’s spots. She should also draw a cow face on the bag. Once it’s dry, let her use the bag as a cow puppet.
Cut out a shape of a pig from construction paper. Mix some chocolate pudding according to the package instructions. Let your toddler finger paint that muddy pig. At least this way, the mess is edible and smells good.
Sheep are wooly little guys that are really soft when they are young lambs. First, sing her “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Then, trace your 2-year-old’s hand on some black paper and cut it out. Have her squeeze some glue on the sheep’s body and place some cotton balls on it. Draw a face on the paper with a white crayon. Now she’s got herself her own little fuzzy friend to follow her around.
The chickies need some love, too. Draw a chicken on a piece of paper or find a chicken drawing in a coloring book if you're not artistically inclined. Now, that chicken looks hungry, so she better feed it. Pour some glue next to the feet of the chicken. Have your toddler sprinkle some birdseed or sunflower seeds over the glue and let it dry.
- Delta State University; Monkey April Lesson Plan
- Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County; Two Year Old Lesson Plan
- Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?; Dr. Seuss
- Five Little Ducks; Penny Dann
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images