Prep: 5 Minutes / Activity Time: 5-10 Minutes

The ability to hear and pay attention to the sounds in our environment and in our language is an important prereading skill. This activity will give your child fun practice in listening to and identifying animal sounds.

  • four or five small animal toys or stuffed animals from around your home
  • basket

Step 1: Place a basket on one side of the room (or lawn if you are lucky enough to play this game outdoors!). Then place four to five small animal toys or stuffed animals on the other side of the room (or across the lawn).

Step 2: Stand near the basket and look at the animals across the room or lawn. Choose one animal and make that animal’s sound. You might say, “Look at all the animals over there! There is a cow, a dog, a cat and a bird. Which animal says ‘moo’? Run across the room and get the animal that says ‘moo’.”

Step 3: When your child returns, ask him to name the animal sound and then to place it in the basket.

Step 4: Continue with the remaining animals as long as your child is engaged and enjoying the game.

Reduce the number of animals you use to just two. You can also give additional information. For example, you might say, “The cow says ‘moo’. Run across the room (lawn) and get the cow that says ‘moo’.” When your child returns, you might say, “The cow says ‘moo’. Say ‘moo’.

Speed up the game! Tell your child you are going to say an animal sound and you want him to run and get the animal and put it in the basket. As soon as your child puts an animal in the basket, say another animal sound and have your child do it all over again. Continue until all the animals are in the basket.