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.
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.
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 littlies 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!
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?