Kids love games that involve grouping objects together or picking the odd one out. That means they’ll love learning about animal classification!
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 should do the trick!
Animal Classification Activities
Below are some basic classification activities that continue on from our animal body coverings lesson. If your child doesn’t know the difference yet, I would start with that activity first.
I think it’s important to start slow with animal classification and so I’ve only focused on three animal groups in our activities. When your child gets more familiar with classification, you can then add more groups.
We all know there are exceptions to the fur, feathers and scales rule, and it gets 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.
Discrepancies like this will lose their interest, and it can be difficult to regain their attention!
For the record, dolphins do have stray hairs when they are first born, but it quickly falls out. It’s best to avoid these exceptions for now when teaching your child, unless of course they ask.
A hallmark sidewalk game, with an added classification twist!
You simply call out an animal group, after which your child has to throw the rock on that animal group and hop through the hopscotch, collecting their rock.
Animal Group Sorting Activity
Using left over contact from school books, you can have fun sorting animal pictures into 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 incorporate in our play, too. It gave me the inspiration to manipulate it into a great classification activity for Miss Possum!
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, then 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.
Classification printable for kids
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!
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 weeks. 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.