Activity: Biome Boxes Game
- A selection of small plastic animal figures, four or more small bowls or boxes, paper, scissors, pencil, tape, salad tongs
- 30 minutes or more
- Life science: animal habitats; Social studies: understanding biomes
You can get your child thinking about biomes by playing this game with your toy animal figures. Use your child's existing collection of small plastic animals or purchase new animals for the game. You will need animals belonging to several different biomes (habitats), which might include grasslands, rainforest, marsh, arctic, deciduous forest, desert, ocean and so forth. You will need to have an equal number of animal figures for each selected biome.
Here are a few biome sets to get you started:
- Deciduous forest—deer, wolf, bear, squirrel
- Grasslands—elephant, lion, zebra, giraffe
- Arctic—polar bear, walrus, reindeer, seal
- Rainforest—chimpanzee, gorilla, hippo, parrot
If you are unsure of the biome of any of the animals in your child's collection, looking up the information together before the game provides a valuable learning opportunity. Talk with your child about the biomes to which all of the animal figures belong. If necessary, write them down to use as a reference during the game.
- Label bowls or boxes with the names of the biomes represented by your animals.
- Each player selects a biome box. Any extras are placed in the center.
- Jumble all the animals into a large, unlabeled box, bag or hat.
- Starting with the youngest player, children take turns using the salad tongs to draw an animal from the hat, and then place it in the appropriate biome box.
- The winner is the first to receive all of the animals belonging to his or her chosen biome.
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