A fun and easy game to get children playing together and putting animals into groups. This game introduces children to animals and their natural habitats.
- Building interpersonal relationships
- Learning about animal groups and habitats
- Achieving goals
- Recognise shapes
Contents: Six habitat boards and thirty animal cut-outs to fit into the matching shapes.
Suitable for ages 2-5 years.
To begin the game, give each player a habitat board and lay the animal cut-outs face down on the playing surface. Each player takes a turn to pick up an animal card. If the animal picked is shown on their habitat board, they take it and slot it into the matching space; if it’s not, they return the piece, facedown, to the playing surface. The first person to complete their habitat board with all five animals wins.
This game can also be used in an unstructured way, i.e. presenting the animal cut-outs to the children like flashcards,
pronouncing the names of the animals and their relative habitats.
To make the learning process more natural and effective, the three-step Montessori method is recommended.
A three-step lesson is useful when introducing things for the first time and encouraging vocabulary development. It works as follows:
- The educator chooses a category and introduces it to the child. For example, present the animals of the Savannah one at a time, picking them up and saying the name aloud: “This is a giraffe!”, “This is a lion!”, “This is an elephant!”, “This is a rhinoceros!”, “This is a pink flamingo!”. The learning exercise can be given added meaning by placing the animals on the corresponding habitat card.
- The educator then asks questions to help the children learn
the names of the animals presented. For example: “Where’s the
elephant?”, “Where’s the rhinoceros?”, “Can you find them?”. This is
the second step of the three-step lesson. Children are encouraged
to recognise the animal from the name, developing visual and
- To reinforce and verify learning of the animal names, ask the
children to place all the animal cut-outs on their matching cards
and ask questions, while pointing: “What is this animal called?
And this one, what’s it called?”.
Remember that the learning experience can be enriched by adding
details and information about each habitat.