If you have been fallowing me, or reading my previous post you will know that Teddy has been starting to show more interest about our planet, the continents and animals that reside in them. It started with reading the book MAPS more in detail and looking at the migratory journeys of whales (you surely must know by now that we just love the whales!…anyway so we have been looking for whales and of course we have spotted different animals so we started to talk where they live and why.
Teddy already knows quite a few Australian animals as one of his favourite book characters travels to Australia on holidays, seeing loads of different animals during his adventure so it was only natural for us to expand on this topic so I decided to pull out our old atlas mat.
This mat with animals of the world is actually a piece of fabric I got maybe a year ago from Etsy and made into a mat. (Unfortunately I cannot provide you with a link as the fabric has been sold out and no longer made in the same design. I try to search for something similar but found only paper maps, which could do the job too, I suppose. I will keep my eyes open for one and if I find it I will update with a link)
I have left him to use the mat before (at 18 months) we looked at it and we did some animal matching, that used to be his favourite activity so he did not see it the for the first time when presented with it but as I said he used to just look for the animals and match his toy models to it whereas now he looks at an animal and thinks which continent it resides and then looks for it on the map.
He has been really enjoying this work the last couple of days, I can’t believe I did not introduced it earlier. It helps that we have over the last 2 years accumulated quite a large collection of animals which he loves. Unfortunately we have realised while putting them all out on the map that we only have 2 south american animals and only one representing Australia, a lonely kangaroo ( well two if you count the joey in its pocket) so I have decided to make him some more animals
He always likes to learn about different animals so he was really excited when I offered him the cards I made.
You can download them here:
(if there is any problems, please contact me and I can send them via e-mail)
You can fallow us on Facebook to find out about more free printables
There is 10 cards for each continent, well 8 for Antarctica as due to to the harsh weather conditions the choices were bit limited, I thought 2 species of penguins are more than enough for now and the other sea birds do resemble Albatross a lot so I did not wanted to make it confusing.
They are colour coded according to Montessori which makes it easier to separate them and place them on a map. We are still working on our Montessori globe so I have opted for a quick felt puzzle so please be kind, I know its not perfect but I needed a map with Montessori colours to make it easier for him to understand and most of our books have different colouring in every one of them.
As it might look just like another matching activity, it wasn’t just that for us. I won’t lie to you he did a great deal of matching animals to the mat, and his models to the cards or just the cards to the felt map but it wasn’t all, at all. This activity has sparked a new wave of curiosity. He did already know loads of animals shown on the cards but some of them were new or he couldn’t recall the whole name which made him more inquisitive. We went through them all, talking where they live and why and using our books and the internet to find additional information which was brilliant.
Teddy seemed to be really interested in south America predominantly in the animals living in the rain forest. So looks like we will be looking at them in more depth. We have a great book about them which we have been reading this week before bed time so it might be what ignited his interest…who knows I’m just happy that he is keen on finding new information and we can learn about it together.
We have loads of books about animals but these ones are our favourite and those are the one we have been using last 2 days rather frequently:
This is fab book showing part of animals in their actual size, or some whole as the atlas moth on a cover or a pygmy lemur next a gorilla’s hand. We love it!
Both these books I have already introduced in my previous posts but we just love them!!
This is very old and massive book about animal life, I actually got it for free from a charity shop
Another book Teddy loves to read, featuring different animals and very interesting facts about them