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Dear Zoo Craft with Animal Puppets

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals

Fun Kids Craft

The book ‘Dear Zoo’ by Roddy Campbell is a firm favourite with toddlers everywhere. The Zoo tries to send the author different animals to keep as a pet. After sending a series of unusual ‘pets’ they finally send over one that’s perfect. All sorts of adjectives are explored along the way.
 
Make this Dear Zoo craft to play alongside the book or as an animal puppet craft on its own.

Summary:

Time: 15 minutes
Age: Little kids to Big kids
Difficulty: Easy peasy

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Discover the Dear Zoo book

Dear Zoo, a Lift-the-Flap Book, by Rod Campbell

Find on Amazon here.

“Rod Campbell’s classic lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo has been a firm favorite with toddlers and parents alike ever since it was first published in 1982”

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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You will need

Free animal printables:

Other items:

  • Card – red and white
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wooden popsicles
  • Black Sharpie pen

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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Step 1: Print out the animals

Download and print out our FREE animal printables here:

They have illustrations of each of the animals in the ‘Dear Zoo’ book.

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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Step 2: Mount your printables onto card

Glue your printables onto a piece of card. This will make them stronger and sturdier.

Once the glue is dry cut out the outlines of each animal.

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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Step 3: Stick each animal onto a popsicle stick

Once you have mounted each animal picture onto card and cut around it, glue it onto a wooden popsicle stick.

You now have popsicle puppets for each animal that appears in the ‘Dear Zoo’ book.

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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Step 4: Cut out shapes for your delivery crate

Take a piece of red card.

Cut out a rectangle. Then cut two long strips from the same coloured card.

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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Step 5: Complete your animal crate

Draw vertical lines down your box with a black pen to make the wooden planks.

Then take your strips of red card and place them horizontally across the top and bottom of your box. Glue them down.

Finally cut a piece of white card to make the gift tag and write ‘FROM THE ZOO’ on it.

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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Step 6: Cut a slot near the top of your box

Using either a sharp knife or scissors cut a wide slot near the top of your wooden crate.

It should be big enough to fit your animal puppets through it.

Your zoo crate is ready. Which animal will they send first?

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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Step 7: Make the animals pop out of the box

Make your animals pop out of the box slot by inserting each popsicle animal puppet through the slot.

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Playing alongside the Dear Zoo story

If you have a copy of Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell you can read it and play with this craft at the same time.

Let children lift the flaps of this classic board book to see which animal the zoo sent. Find out why each one was sent back.

Read the book again but this time ask your child to place the right animal into their box and make it pop up as each animal appears in the book.

As they pop up you can ask:

What noise does each animal make? 

They could roar like a lion, ribbit like a frog and woof like a puppy. But what noise does a camel make?

Is it munch munch munch? Or you can search the internet together to find out.

What words can they think of to describe each animal?

You can help your child to think of some adjectives to describe each animal. The elephant can be described as wrinkly, wise or enormous.

The snake can be described as slithery, slimy and quick.

The puppy can be described as cute, fluffy and energetic.

Have fun thinking of different adjectives for each animal together.

Which ones wouldn’t make good pets and why?

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Dear zoo craft - make pop up animal puppets to learn about different animals
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Explore amazing adjectives

In the book ‘Dear Zoo’ almost all the animals are sent back. Each one is described by a different adjective.

The giraffe is too tall for example. What other words could you use to describe a giraffe? What colour is it? Is its neck short or long?

Describing words have a fancy name. They are called adjectives.

Reverse the story

Play a game with your child. Shout out an adjective and ask them to match it to the right animal in the story by popping up the popsicle puppet for that animal.

For example you could say ‘Which animal was too tall?‘ Your child should hold up the giraffe.

You can read the book a few times until they become familiar enough with the animals and adjectives to play this game.

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Explore different animals

This is a great craft to make just for fun, or as a way to explore different animals that you might find at your local zoo.

Children can play around with the sounds they make, what they look like, what they eat, and what characteristics they have.

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