Animal-Inspired Play

Animal-Inspired Play

We had a visitor in the garden last week, which resulted in some animal-inspired play…

Visitor in the garden - from Rachel (",)

The children were so taken with the cat that we had lots of discussions about pets & I decided to follow this interest in some of our activities  this week. Here are a few of the things we explored…


Cat & Dog World

I added a tyre & plank from outdoors to add a different dimension to the area. Of course the cats & dogs went on adventures all round the room too…

Cat and Dog World - from Rachel (",)


Tweezers, Animals & ‘Food’

We enjoyed sorting the loose parts as well as ‘feeding’ the animals…

Animals and loose parts... from Rachel (",)


Jungle on the Lightbox

I am a big fan of the blog Casa Maria’s Creative Learning Zone & enjoy following her Facebook Page too. She posted a picture with pine-cones, corks & plastic leaves on the light table & this inspired me to create something similar on our homemade lightbox. I added reels, pine-cones, glass nuggets & small animals & we created some lovely jungles (amongst other things)…

Animals on the lightbox... from Rachel (",)


Animal Dough

Pipe-cleaners, googly, eyes & small shapes were used to enhance the dough play this week…

Animal dough... from Rachel (",)


Bird Seed

Good job I put this in a tray; not as much control as I might have liked from some of them! 😉

Exploring bird seed - from Rachel (",)



Hard to see in these pics, but the children had fun looking through books & playing with a variety of ‘pets’ here…

Pet play... from Rachel (",)


Counting, sorting and pattern-making with animals

I’m not the biggest fan of these animal counters but they have been useful in supporting colour recognition this week. We seem to have a lot of children who are unable to name colours & so we will have to explore this a little more…

Counting, sorting and pattern-making with animals - from Rachel (",)


Continuing the Tea Party

This was just adapted from last week’s tea & coffee play. They really enjoyed it & I loved listening to the language they used as they played. I swapped the tea & coffee for some of the leftover rice & added a few additional pots…

Tea play continued - from Rachel (",)



Thanks for reading!

Cat leggings - from Rachel (",)

– Rachel (“,)


  1. Wow! Your practice inspires me! I am loving your regular email updates. Showing them to my colleagues! Thank you!

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Janet – & for sharing! (“,) x

  2. So many lovely invitations to play! It seems childrens love of animals is universal – it’s one of my kids favourite things to play with. We love playing with birdseed too – such easy cleanup outside 😉

    • Thanks Nichole – & thanks for sharing the post on your Facebook page too! 😀
      Bird seed is great, isn’t it? Steep ‘sweeping’ learning curve for some of my class – didn’t do them any harm, mind you! 😉

  3. You have some fantastic ideas, how on earth do you have the time to collect all tha resources and set up,,

    • Thanks Louise. It does take time to collect resources, but they’ve been collected over years & so many of the things I have can be used in different ways. I set up lots of the areas with the children too, which also saves time! 😉


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