Animal magic

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By Sally Grayearly years practitioner and writer

Make your safari project a roaring success with these activities all about wild animals

Elephant © Tim Flach/

Activities in this article:

  1. Animal tracks
  2. Number safari
  3. Tall giraffe, long snake

1. Animal tracks

Learn about animal footprints and have fun making your own

Physical Development

Using Equipment and Materials

Development matters: demonstrate increasing skill and control in the use of mark-making implements (30-50 months); manipulate materials to achieve a planned effect (40-60+ months).

Early Learning Goal: handle tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.

Group size: small groups.

What you need

Download and enlarge the ‘Animal tracks’ Activity sheet 3 ; finger paints and small trays of paint; dough; wet sand.

What to do

Look at the animal tracks on the activity sheet and talk about which animals might have made them. Explain that you are going to make tracks and prints of your own.

Ask children how they might do this, for example making imprints in sand, pressing hands and fingers into dough, printing with paint. Provide wet sand, dough and paints and allow children time to explore the materials. They may like to make prints with a range of objects, such as small toys, toy animals and vehicles.


Let children choose a medium to work with and decide whether they would like to make prints of their own fingers and hands or use objects.

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