In the Kitchen: Zoo Animals in Grass

IMG_0060I have a little one with a birthday coming up, and for some reason it is this birthday that I always feel like a visit to the zoo is the right activity. I don’t know why, but I pick the hottest time of the year to go to the zoo! So, this is why the zoo animals on grass activity ends up here!
IMG_0055Soften your cream cheese and have your child help you mix in the green food color. Once your cream cheese is ready, pull out the graham crackers and let your child smear their green “grass” (cream cheese) onto their cracker. Then, they can stand up the animal crackers in the grass. They can dig in and eat it, or have a little pretend play time!

Let’s talk about what is going on in this activity:

Fine motor: From the smearing of the cheese to the perfect placement of the little animal crackers, your child is getting a great fine motor workout! There isn’t much for you to do to enhance this, it just happens! That’s the best form of learning.IMG_0056

Colors: This is a great chance to talk about what color you are using, what green things you see, is it someone’s favorite color? Think of ways to relate what you are doing to your child’s life. For us, it’s daddy’s favorite color. So I might say, “Look it’s turning green. It’s daddy’s favorite color, like his shirt! What else is green?” If your child is older they will probably say something like “Grass!” or “My tractor!” If your child is younger they might not answer right away, so you could offer prompts or simple answers yourself. Remember, it takes a toddler and preschooler longer to process something you have said or asked, so give them enough time to think about it, AND to think about a response.

Pretend play: You might need to demonstrate this, but what a fun way to play with their food a little bit! Have the animals move around on the cracker. Maybe they talk to each other or make animal sounds. Whatever your child chooses to have their animals do, they will have a blast playing zoo with their crackers!

Happy Playing!

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