DIY animal learning activities

Today we bring 5 learning activities from Busy toddler to do with a few toy animals. This kind of toys are “open-ended”, which means you can invent countless games with them for children of all ages.

These activities favor skills such as logical reasoning, eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills, counting, etc.

1. Animal hunt

This activity is about burying several animals in a box with cornmeal, rice, or the material that you like the most. The children have to search and “hunt” the animals one by one and put them in a ice cube tray or a cardboard egg or any container where they can sort and classify them.

The toddlers (1-2 years old) can hunt the animals with their fingers. From 3-4 years we can offer them a pincer to make the activity more interesting.

2. Animal tape rescue

This activity is perfect for the little ones (although surely some older one also entertains doing it). We tape the animals to a tray or big piece of cardboard, so that they have to be “rescued” one by one, removing the tape with the fingers.

It seems a simple activity but the children will take a while and they will practice fine-motor skills: getting the tape pulled up, getting the animal off the tape, and getting the tape off their fingers – it’s a lot of steps for a little one!

3. Animal parade

Another very entertaining activity for all ages is to draw a line on the floor (you can draw it with washitape or with a pen on a large piece of cardboard), so they got to make a line with the animals.

This activity gives a lot of play, because each kid will order the animals in their own way, some will find it harder to keep them in balance, they will invent their own stories with them, and in the end they spend a lot of time playing.

To make it more interesting, you can propose rows with different “shapes” like the ones seen in the photos.

4. Number Line-Up

Grab some numbers (or use Post-It Notes) and encourage your child to build a number line. This is a very visual and concrete way for children to see how numbers grow and build as they get “bigger.” Perfect for our 4-5 year old kids.

5. Sorting by Attributes 

Sorting is a crazy important skills for kids and one that is incredibly complex. Here, the animals were sorted by long fur vs little/no fur. When a child is sorting, they are making decisions, analyzing data, and comparing attributes. 

You can find lots of activities like these in


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