My kids have really been enjoying zoo week and love doing pretend play with their plastic zoo animals and reading our favorite zoo books. Our absolute favorite zoo book is Dear Zoo by Rod Marshall. It is a lift-the-flap book and all of my kids LOVE it.
Since the kids love to lift the flaps, I thought it might be fun to create our own lift-the-flap activity... which is why we ended up creating this simple zoo animal peek-a-boo board to go along with Dear Zoo.
This board was pretty quick to make and was a great use for the animal flashcards I recently found in the dollar spot at Target! Hooray!
- colorful felt (several pieces)
- fabric scissors
- glue gun & glue sticks
- large foam board
- animal photos (or animal flashcards)
- animal print photos (found online)
- circle punch (optional)
- double stick tape
We started off this activity by preparing the peek-a-boo board. This was a mom project, although my kids stuck close by me since they were anxious to try out the flaps and check out the animals. I had to keep stealing them back from the kids.
To get started I cut several pieces of felt to fit the size of my animal flashcards. I cut 8 rectangles of felt.
Next I printed off corresponding animal print designs to go along with each animal I selected (from just looking on Google). Then I used my circle punch to make a circle of each animal print.
Next I warmed up my glue gun and then I glued an animal print circle to the center of each piece of felt.
After that I prepared the board by double-stick taping the zoo animal flashcards around on the white foam board how I wanted them to be.
Next I grabbed my glue gun and glued each rectangle on top of its matching zoo animal flashcard. I only put glue along the very top edge of the rectangle so that the felt stayed secure to the board and you could still lift up the felt easily to see the animals.
Once the glue cooled off, we let my kids come and play. They immediately started lifting flaps and talking about the animals.
This was such a great language activity for my toddler! We talked about the animal names and then what the animal prints looked like (bumpy, colors, striped, zip zag, etc).
We kept the board up against the wall for a bit and then we also laid it down. The kids liked playing with it both ways. The hot glue gun really helped keep the felt secure, so the kids weren't easily yanking the felt pieces down.
I stayed close by while they were playing to talk about the animals, the colors, the shapes, and the designs we noticed. We also made animal sounds (if we knew them).
My youngest just lifted up one flap after the other after the other. I tried to have my kids guess the animal by looking at the animal print circle. This was a great activity for strengthening their memory skills as we played... and then did something else... and then came back and played again.
I can already tell that this peek-a-boo board is going to be great during playtime and fun to change around based on other themes as well.