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Dear Zoo Book Play Ideas to Support Development using the animals in Dear Zoo


Dear Zoo is a classic baby and toddler book from Rod Campbell, enjoyed by little ones ever since it was released in 1982. Let us introduce you to all the animals in Dear Zoo and how you can use the book to support development.


- Ask your little one which Dear Zoo animal is under each flap? This activity will support their memory and recall ability and engage them in the book to maintain interest. Will it be the grumpy camel, jumpy frog or a giraffe that is too tall? If your little one is too young to respond, answer the question for them to teach them the art of conversation.


- What colour crate is each Dear Zoo animal hiding in? Support colour recognition by looking at the colours of the flaps on each page. Why not try and find items around your home to match the colours of each crate.


- Improve fine motor skills for babies by encouraging them to lift the sturdy flaps for themselves in the Dear Zoo book and discover the Dear Zoo animals for themselves.


- Set up a Dear Zoo sensory tuff tray with textures for your little one to explore, re-tell the story, let imaginations develop and match the animals to the pages in the Dear Zoo book.


- Take the book out on an adventure to the Zoo, look at the real-life animals and match them to the ones you can see in the book. Your little one will recall happy memories of your time at the zoo together whenever you read the book and be able to associate the fictional characters with real-life experiences.


- Explore the feelings of both the animals in the Dear Zoo book such as the grumpy camel as well as how your little one feels about the animals in the Dear Zoo book and other animals that they have encountered. Which animals do they love, which animals make them feel happy, scared, frightened etc.


- Re-create your own zoo at home using animal characters your little one has in their toy box. Small world play is excellent for development and a rich way of learning.


- Use different sized boxes and animal toys to see which animals fit in which boxes. Great for re-telling the Dear Zoo story as well as teaching the concept of sizes.


- Create a Dear Zoo story sack. Story sacks are fantastic for complementing a book bringing the story to life, engaging your little one, allowing small world play, encouraging imaginations to develop and much more.


Check out our Dear Zoo story sack to support all the activities above and discover all the Dear Zoo animals for yourself,