Fun Kids Craft
Make this Dear Zoo craft to play alongside the book or as an animal puppet craft on its own.
Time: 15 minutes
Age: Little kids to Big kids
Difficulty: Easy peasy
Discover the Dear Zoo book
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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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