Kids love games that involve grouping things together or picking the odd one out, which means that learning about animal classification is both easy and fun. You can tell your child is ready to learn about basic classification by their interest in animals, how many animals they can recognise and if they understand the difference between fur, feathers and scales. It doesn’t take much to learn, just a few really fun activities!
Below are some basic classification activities that continue on from last week’s post about body coverings. Once again, I am only covering a few animal types (fur- mammals, feathers- birds and scales – reptiles).
I think it’s important to start slow with classification. We all know there are exceptions to the fur, feathers and scales rule but it can get quite confusing if you have to say, for example, dolphins are mammals but they don’t have fur all over their body like other mammals (they do have stray hairs when they are first born but it quickly falls out). It’s best to avoid these exceptions for now unless they ask.
Hop into Classification
Miss Possum has never played hopscotch before, so this is the first way we’ve introduced it (it can be used in many other learning opportunities too). She loves it!
Children have to throw the rocks on the reptiles (for example) and pick them up as they hop along the hopscotch.
Stick: Classification Contact
Using left over contact from school books, you can have fun sorting mammals, reptiles and birds. With sticky tape, stick the contact on a glass door or window (sticky side facing out). Cut out a range of animals and ask your child to put the animals in their correct category. For younger children, use the scales, feathers and fur images to help them.
Thanks to Ali who helped with this idea. After seeing her Contact Collage post, I had to incorprate in our play too and then it gave me the inspiration to manipulate it into a great classification activity for Miss Possum!
Jumping on Classification
This one is easy! Draw different animals on the trampoline and ask your child to jump on the birds, then mammals, then reptiles. So. Much. Fun!
Can’t draw? Print out some images from the internet, cut the animals out leaving the silhouette of the animal. Use the template to colour the silhouette. You can add eyes and body features from there.
Are your children getting good at classifying mammals, reptiles and birds yet? Why not try giving them this print out and see if they can match the images with the words!
See? It doesn’t take much to start learning about basic classification with your child. We’ve had so much fun in the last couple of posts. I think it’s probably been one of our favourite themes.
Do you have any theme requests? What animals are your children interested in at the moment?
- If they love these activities, start to include insects and arachnids too.
- If they’ve grasped these activities easily, add some of the harder to classify animals e.g. dolphins for mammals, geckos for reptiles and penguins for birds.
- Look through books and see if your child can classify the animals in the books