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!
Download the animal classification printable
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.
Wow there are so many good ideas, I will definitely have to try some of them. I am glad my collage post inspired you – you have taken it to a whole other level.
Thnak Ali, it was such a brilliant idea. The Twinkles loved it too. They loved the tissue paper, do did the floor. :p
A question I have been meaning to ask for a while Penny. Where did your love and interest in animals come from? Were your parents teachers/inspirers to you? I just find myself amazed by some of the ides and activities you come up with and wonder where it all started for you…..Hopefully a story we will all get to hear some day!
I kind of hate writing about myself but I’ll write a post one day. Or perhaps I could keep that for when someone famous wants to interview me. ha ha ha
[email protected] says
Fantastic Penny!! I absolutely love the contact and trampoline ideas and shall try a simplified version for my 2 yr olds!Your drawings are very good…i may have to print mine out! You are so clever with the ways you incorporate animals into activities!!!
I love to draw. I don’t get much time to do it but one of my post Miss Poss and I will do some wildlife sketching and I can’t wait to do it. Miss Poss is so into drawing animals at the moment so it comes at a perfect time!
What a wonderful collection of ideas. I think children really enjoy the task of classifying. I especially like the ‘jumping on classification’. Well done.
Thanks Kate. We had so much fun with this. I’m sure we would have had heaps more fun on the trampoile had it not been for the Twinkles getting in Miss Possums way!
Aren’t you an incredible drawer. My daughter has asked for a trampoline for Christmas, and she’s really become interested lately in spotting things that are odd or don’t fit. I think she’d really love the Jumping on Classification game.
Naww, Jackie. Thanks. I’m okay. I’d love to spend more time drawing to be honest. I’m a very creative person. Miss Poss and I are going to do a post on wildlife/animal portraits soon!
Susan Case says
Wonderful ideas! I like Kirri’s comment – should be a future post.
I’ll write on eventually Susan, or perhaps I’ll wait for an interview to tell all. :p
Janice - Learning4kids says
Penny…..WOW…..I think the first thing I always say to your posts is wow because I am just lost for words at how amazing your ideas are! WOW!! 🙂 You are truely amazing, your ideas, games, activities are so inspiring! I also couldn’t help notice those amazing drawings….you clever thing 🙂 Pinning!!
Thank so much for your support Janice. So glad you liked it. The ideas just came to me. I’m an ideas woman! 🙂
Mud Hut Mama says
These games look like so much fun – wishing I had a trampoline and your artistic ability! We will definitely be trying the hopscotch!
It was so much fun! It took a little for her to ‘get it’ but once she did, she loved it. I still have to draw one as soon as the last one rubs off!
Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky says
Wow! Fantastic ideas, and I love those animal chalk drawings. This would be great for my little girl, who lumps all her animals into one category a lot of the time (although the different between animals that live in the water and ones that live on land is pretty clear). Fun post, thank you.
Thanks for visiting Kylie. I hope your little one likes it. It’s easy to lump them all into one category really. Animal are animals aren’t they but at school they will learn that they have will have their own places in the animal kingdom and i thought it would be a nice idea to start exploring that with Miss Poss. We loved these activities!
Penny, this is great 🙂 Everyone of them is an excellent idea. My older one would definitely go for ALL the activities mentioned above. You are such a good artist! You should do more animal related printables. I for one would pin, share and print every one of them.
Naww, thank so much Suja! If you do any of the activities with her, I’d love to share a photo of her doing them on my Facebook page.
I’m an okay artist. I don’t really have time to practise but Miss Poss and I like drawing animals together and it can be a lot of fun!
Christa Fairbrother says
These are great active ideas for science! Thanks for sharing. We’re reviewing animal classification this week so this is so timely for us. I’m sure the science trampoline will be a huge hit!
Yay! I love when I get a post out just in time for someone to use them. Yes, the trampoline activity was most certainly Miss Possum’s favourite!
Christa Fairbrother says
We finally got around to doing these activities and I got a post up about it. Thanks again for the great ideas. Have a very Merry Christmas!
Oh cool.. love the idea on the trampoline! The kids are getting one for xmas and I can’t wait. Lots of great activity ideas here. Love that they are physical and use gross motor skills as well. Perhaps it’s just the theme song for your blog but one again, I found myself singing “feathers, fur or fins…” the whole time I was reading this post, LOL.
ha ha ha Deb. I should have it playing in the background! Although, that might distract you. 😉
I try to bring other areas of learning in with my wildlife activities. I wouldn’t want Miss Possum t only know about wildlife by the time she goes to school!
Yvette Bowyer says
What great outdoor activites!
Natalie Stoute says
Awesome idea (and great drawing too!). I don’t have a trampoline but friends do, I’ll share this with them 🙂
Everyone is liking my drawings. So funny because I really wasn’t paying much attention to them. Thank you so much for your kind words thought. I hope your freinds will like this!
Cecilia Bell says
What a gorgeous idea, we don’t have a trampoline unfortunately but will share this idea with my sister who does. 🙂
Thanks Cecilia that would be lovely. 🙂
Kelly Edwards says
I love the hopscotch idea. Such as interesting take on the old game 🙂
Thanks Kelly. It was fun, although I did make the squares slightly too big for Miss Possum to jump long distances. OUr second time around was much easier for her.
Darci the STEM Mom says
Wow, I’m loving your blog. I found you via Bonbon Break! Your site is so great, not just content, but also the layout, and how the site looks! I LOVE this classification activity you share that gets kids moving! I’m all about learning and moving! I will be following your blog to get all kinds of great ideas!
You might want to check out the earthworm unit I did with 3 other blogging moms.
Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m so glad you like Wildlife Fun 4 Kids. You made my day Darci! I’ll share your worm unit on FB and twitter this afternoon. I’m sure my followers will love it!