Friday, 17 August 2012

Zebras - Toddler crafts, activities and resources

My toddler son is fascinated by zebras. Zebras are members of the horse family. Their habitat is grasslands, savannah and some mountain regions, and they can be found from Northern Zimbabwe to the Sudan in East Africa. No two zebras are alike, as each has an individual pattern of stripes, like fingerprints. Although you would think that the stripes would make them a distinctive prey, it actually means that when they are together in a herd it is more difficult for predators to pick out individuals, particularly at night. The main predators for a zebra are lions and spotted hyenas, and zebras themselves eat mainly grass. Interestingly, despite their appearance, zebras are actually black with white stripes! You can find lots more zebra information here!

Zebra crafts

When learning letters, most children will learn that "Z is for Zebra", and here's a great way to re-inforce that by making a Z that looks like a zebra!

Here's a simple paper plate zebra craft, you can make holes in it too to transform into a zebra mask.

Even young toddlers can make a zebra handprint.

Finally it's easy for toddlers to decorate a zebra by providing them with a white horse outline and helping them to paint on black stripes!

Zebra activities

If you are using zebras to help a child learn about the letter Z then there are lots of letter Z activities here. There are also some printables, for example tracing sheets to help a child learn the letter.

If you want to see zebras, you don't need to venture as far as Africa as they are a staple of most zoos and safari parks.

You could use the zebra's stripes as an opportunity to teach young children about themselves and how they are different to others. Make prints of their fingerprints and compare them to each other. If you have a scanner you could scan them in and enlarge them so that you can have a proper look. An older toddler might be interested to learn about how we leave fingerprints behind when we touch something (which in our house can be easily illustrated by finding a nearby window or glass door!).

Zebra books

Zoe and Her Zebra (A Barefoot Board Book) - This book has absolutely beautiful illustrations and is a great introduction to the alphabet (and lots of exotic animals!)

Little Zebra (Noisy Jungle Babies) - Not only a book about zebras, but it makes a noise too

Baby Zebra (San Diego Zoo Animal Library) - Although aimed at slightly older children, this book will satisfy any thirst for zebra information!

How the Zebra Got Its Stripes (Little Golden Book) - Maybe not quite so scientific, but although lots of different theories are suggested it does end with some true facts!

Zebra toys

Schleich Zebra male - This is a really good quality zebra figurine which will withstand rough handling and would make a great toy to take out and about! 

Zebra Tabard - Kids Costume - One Size: 3-8 Years - A great costume if your older toddler (fits ages 3-8) would like to actually dress up as a zebra! 

Foam Zebra Mask - Or if a full costume is a bit too much, why not just try a zebra mask.

The Puppet Company Long-Sleeved Glove Puppets Zebra - Toddlers love puppets, and this zebra puppet is lovely.

Cuddlekins 30cm Zebra Plush Soft Toy - Finally, you can't beat a gorgeous soft cuddly toy zebra. gorgeous zebra cuddly toy.

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