Animal Gross Motor Play (Mixed Age Play)

This game couldn’t be simpler to set up and is great fun for as many children you have lying around! Winking smile Any age (once walking), any ability, anywhere! We opted for the great outdoors but it would also suit a birthday party or play date – anywhere with mixed age/like age children.  We had 3.9 year old J, 1.11 year old E and just 1 year old G.

Mixed Age Animal Fun20

To make the game, all I needed was an empty box (I used a nappy box), some paper, a printer (or artistic person) and some tape.

Mixed Age Animal Fun0

For each face of the box, I printed off an animal.  I chose a gorilla, a horse, a butterfly, a rabbit, a snake and a hen.  I chose these for the variations of their movements and sounds they make…

Mixed Age Animal Fun 2

Once I’d printed off the animals, I stuck one to each side of the box; rather like a large animal die.  There is no reason you couldn’t draw the animals, it was just quicker this way!

Mixed Age Animal Fun

To play the game, I explained that they needed to roll the die and whatever animal was facing up, they had to move and make the noise in the style of that animal!  All of this allowed for a fun gross motor workout, exercise in the fresh air, early phonics skills for little E and G… making everyday sounds is the first stage to phonics and LOTS of FUN!  We had galloping horses…

Mixed Age Animal Fun3

… slithering snakes…

Mixed Age Animal Fun4

… hopping rabbits…Mixed Age Animal Fun7

… gorillas who beat their chests…

Mixed Age Animal Fun11

…  strutting hens and fluttering butterflies!

Mixed Age Animal Fun10

As well as the ‘acting like animals’ to workout their gross motor skills and co-ordination, so too did the rolling of the die! Little E was hilarious trying to roll it when it was almost as big as her!

Mixed Age Animal Fun5

For the younger children, it is also a great opportunity to rehearse recognition of the animals.  Using new words, expanding their speech and language whilst having fun is by far the most powerful way to help your child use their words!

Mixed Age Animal Fun6

J exercised his whole body when rolling the die, creating new ways to roll it each time!

Mixed Age Animal Fun8

Sometimes getting a little too creative! Winking smile

Mixed Age Animal Fun19

Other fabulous learning opportunities for children of all ages here is the chance to either lead or follow…

Mixed Age Animal Fun12

… and exercising his oral muscles for clearer speech when making the sounds the animals make!

Mixed Age Animal Fun13

I adore the photo below, G has just started walking more confidently and was desperate to get stuck in! A valuable exercise is just letting her walk on different surfaces etc but she also got involved and copied the moves J and E were doing! Look at her butterfly arm!! Bless her!

Mixed Age Animal Fun15

Finally, as with all group activities, the fact there was only one die, meant they had to take turns and share! NOT an easy concept for young children! Admittedly as with all mixed age groups, J tended to take the lead and steal a few (ok, several) turns!! However, practise, rehearsal and plenty of play dates means that they will eventually share and even one day remind each other that, ‘sharing is caring!’  Until then, the top dog will always be the one with the extra experience! Ha! Just look at E’s face as little G is approaching! Hilarious!!

Mixed Age Animal Fun17


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s