Animal games can help children burn off energy, keep them entertained and teach them facts about animals. Choose the favourite animals of the children to incorporate into the games or develop games with new and interesting animals for them to learn about.
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Play a game of animal charades by creating a variety of flashcards with the names of various animals on each. For younger children, in lieu of just writing the name of the animal on the card, include a picture of the animal. Place all the cards in a paper bag. Have each child taking a turn drawing a card from the bag and silently acting out the animal to best of her ability. The first child from the audience who guesses the animal gets to take the next turn.
Compile a variety of facts about animals. For example, lobsters and penguins mate for life, and turn all the facts into flashcards about each animal. Pass the deck to the first child and instruct him to read the clues to the group. For example, for a penguin he could read, "I wear a black and white suit all day every day, perhaps because I marry my wife for life." The other children must decipher the clues to guess the correct animal. The child who guesses the animal takes a turn reading the clues.
Create a CD compilation of a variety of animal sounds, from elephants to parrots to dogs to whales. Play each sound one at a time and ask the children to guess which animal made that sound. For easy sounds like a cow mooing or a dog barking, play a series of the sounds through once. Ask the children to relay back to you, in order, the different animals they heard.
Animal Scavenger Hunt
Break the children into teams and provide them with a stack of animal-related magazines, such as "National Geographic." Assign each team a different category of animal; this could include jungle animals, water animals, types of dogs or even animals that have spots or stripes. Set a timer to 15 minutes and instruct the children to find as many pictures of their assigned animals as they can. The team that finds the most wins.
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