Seven Special Ways to Help your Baby or Toddler Bond with Wildlife

Bond with wildlife (335x500)It doesn’t take much to encourage a love of wildlife from a very early age. Although the twins are not even two yet, they know a range of animal names and even the sounds they make. Here’s how you can encourage a love of wildlife in your little monkeys too.

1.   Give your child a wildlife stuffed toy.

Babies naturally bond to stuffed toys. Miss Purr and Miss Squeak love all their stuffed toys(we didn’t realise we had so many). Their first bonds with wildlife were with their animal comforters.

children and wildlifestuffed toys

2.   Sing them nursery rhymes.

Babies love to hear their mummy (and daddy) singing to them. Here’s a list of wildlife-friendly nursery rhymes to encourage some wildlife love. It comes as a free printable too!

3.   Read wildlife books.

It’s never too early to start reading to your children and there are plenty of wonderful baby and toddler-friendly wildlife books to collect. We love Mem Fox’s Hello Baby and Time for Bed and we can’t go past John Butler’s Can You Cuddle like a Koala too. The illustrations in all three books are just beautiful and the girls love them.

wildlife books

4.   Sing them wildlife songs.

Here’s our top list of wildlife songs. They are taken from you tube so there’s wonderful visuals with them. Let your littles enjoy a good beat and dance like little animals. If they love this, you can also introduce the wildlife movement dice.

5.   Talk about the animals.

Name animals by pointing out the stuffed toys or the animal pictures in books. Point to the animal and say the name, they soon get the picture and start saying it back to you. If you show it’s important to love animals, they will too.

6.   Animal Sounds.

When your toddler has grasped some of the animal names, start to ask them what noise they make. Soon they’ll be repeating it back to you. It’s a nice follow up activity on naming animals and it’s so adorable too!

7.   Get closer to the real thing.

Children from 6 months old love interacting with animals. Of course we need to be mindful that young children don’t quite understand how to interact appropriately and safely with animals and wildlife yet, so full supervision is a must. I wouldn’t avoid it though.  They will learn quickly and the joy on their faces when an animal eats from their hand, or the curiosity they ooze when they see an animal moving in a different way from them is priceless.  You don’t need to go to a zoo for this,  go on a family outing to the beach or just look in your backyard! This activity may be last on the list, but is the most important!

wildlife activities

We don’t push the girls into loving wildlife. It’s easy to teach children about wildlife because they are naturally drawn to them. Most of the activities we do come naturally in our day.

Does you child have a favourite animal stuffed toy? What wildlife nursery rhyme do they love the best?

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    • pawhitehouse says

      Thanks so much Janice. I’ve been meaning to do a few more baby toddler posts. You’re slighlty limited when they’re little though but the Twinkles are growing up so fast!

  1. says

    This is awesome! My boys are HUGE animal fans. Especially my eldest. He has a bed full of stuffed animals, knows each one by name and loves them all equally although I think he has a particular soft spot for his Orca Whales. Since we arrived in AU he has been collecting all the Australian animals. The only one he does not have is a croc. He is very afraid of them. My youngest, on the other hand, is not a big stuffed animal kid. He has his one dog, Ruff Ruff and he is loyal to him and only him although his bed IS full of other creatures. For a while he was really into kookaburras, but that seems to be a thing of the past. The Kookaburra song is a fave of our whole family. Everything else is about firetrucks, dumptrucks and diggers…. :)

    • pawhitehouse says

      Naww, so cute that he knows all of them. Miss Possum is the same as your youngest. She has a bear that she is attached to but the twins seem to love everything. First it was their bunnies, then Squeak loved owls and Purr loved dinosaurs and now it’s a frog for Squeak and a croc for Purr.

  2. Melanie Jones says

    Kids naturally love wildlife. I have two kids and most of the time I will find them playing with my puppy or the cat. But what I am scared of is leaving them alone with the animals.

    • pawhitehouse says

      I think that’s a very normal worry and it’s good you’re concerned about it. I think it’s important to fully supervise your child with animals present but it’s not always doable is it!? As long as you teach them how to act around the animals from an early age, you’ll have a lower chance of anything happening to your child as a result of your pet. It’s also important to teach the animals too.
      I’m no expert but before all our babies came along, our dogs, Sam and Caddy, were taught that I could take food off them any time I wanted, so that if a baby came over and touched the food they would be use to it. When they baby came along, we were sure to make the dog feel included (they are pack animals after all). The children are always fed first to maintain that the children are higher in the pecking order and more dominant. All of those little things made a big difference to the safety of our children around the animals.

  3. Angelique Felix says

    What a magnificent post again! I love all your animal / kids ideas…we should collaborate!!
    Please write me and maybe think of an idea??
    Love, Angelique

    • pawhitehouse says

      Thanks so much Angelique! I would love to collaborate! I send an email soon.

      I love that you’ve initiated the World Animal Day Bloggers Unite link up. It’s so wonderful and I’m so glad I’m a part of it. I’m loving all the posts!

  4. says

    Penny…i do so love your posts and enjoy learning all these ways to incorporate wildlife fun into the twins lives! They are quite fixated on Dear Zoo and accompanying sounds at the moment and they both have a lion soft toy which remains a favourite!
    They have adopted one of the wallabies that ‘visits’ my vegie patch for a munch each day and named him/her ‘Hoppy’ Original huh? Not sure what sound to do for a wallaby though!! Thanks for your wonderful ideas as always…pinning to my toddler board now!

  5. says

    You come up with the most wonderful ways to enhance children’s natural love for nature and wildlife. This is a lovely post. My son has a toy Wombat which he adores and he as given a book about a Wombat last Christmas called Sebastian Lives in a Hat which is one of his favourites. It’s a really lovely book if you’re not already familiar with it. It was written by Thelma Catterwell.

  6. says

    This is a great list. I have two boys, 4 and 2, and a baby girl. My boys LOVE animals. They go through phases where they are especially into bugs, or safari animals, or farm animals, etc, but this has just made them more well rounded. It’s incredible to see how much memory recall they have about each animal. Their favorite books are nonfiction books chocked full of great information. Animal videos and documentaries are also much enjoyed.

    I really love the idea for the nursery rhymes, songs, and movement because that is something we haven’t incorporated much yet. I look forward to trying some new ones soon!


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