Using imagination and props, you and your child will act out a “jungle safari,” searching for stuffed animals in your house. This activity includes a chant with gestures that promotes language skills and vocabulary.
Learning Area(s):Language and Communication, Reading and Writing
- Picture book about animals in the jungle
- Stuffed animals or plastic animals
Start by reading a picture book about animals in the jungle and talk about how they live, what they eat, etc. (See tips below for book suggestions.) Before or after reading the book, hide several stuffed animals around the house (for younger children, start in more obvious locations). Then, together, you and your child can go on a jungle safari by turning off the lights and using a flashlight to look for “animals.” Explain to your child that a safari is when you go out into nature, such as the jungle, to see wild animals where they live.
As you walk around the house, you can say this chant:
We’re going on a(n) ______ (insert name of animal) hunt.
We’re not afraid. (shake head no)
We’re going to catch a big one! (spread arms wide.)
And look what I see! (shine flashlight on animal)
Who’s that ahead? (place your hand above your eyes as though you were looking far away.)
It’s a _____________! (insert name of animal)
Encourage children to act out the phrases as you look for the animals.
- Examples of books include: Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Maryanne Berkes, Roar, Roar, Baby! by Karen Katz, Touch and Feel Jungle Animals by DK Publishing, Baby Animals in the Jungle by Kingfisher Publishers, Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Berkes, Noisy Nature: In the Jungle by Ruth Martin, and Let’s Explore…Jungle by Lonely Planet Kids.
- You can also make binoculars by taping together two empty toilet paper rolls. Look through them to search for animals during the safari.
- In the past, a safari usually included hunting and killing animals, but now there are safaris just to go see and photograph the animals. The emphasis in this pretend activity is on finding and talking about the animals, not harming them. Families may wish to talk about appreciating and protecting wild animals in their natural environments.
- A variation on this activity would be to change the type of animals you search for and where they live. For example, you could go on an “ocean dive” and pretend to be swimming underwater to look for sea creatures. Look for whales, dolphins, fish, octopi, turtles, and other animals that live in the ocean. Instead of looking through pretend binoculars, you could pretend to look through swim goggles or a snorkel mask. Read a book about sea animals to go with this version of the activity.