We are using this wooden Montessori World Puzzle Map and animal figurines to explain the world's animals, empathizing that some animals live exclusively in one area: for example, a bunny never saw a cheetah or a lion. 🐅Tigers and a 🐼panda bear live exclusively in Asia, kangaroo in Australia 🇦🇺 and so forth. So, to make learning hands-on, Adrian sorted and placed all the animals under their respective continental habitats.
Adrian was first introduced to Schleich Animals (buy here) when he was eight months old (read a post here), and ever since, animal-related activities have been his favorite! Schleich is a German company founded in 1935, and all their toys bearing the Schleich-S tag are thoroughly tested by in-house experts at a German headquarters. Their toy-animals are hand-painted, highly detailed, and are all proportional to one another. The design of Schleich products and the creation of the required tools are done in-house in Germany. The production itself takes place at the company's German headquarters and in a number of production facilities in foreign countries (that is why you might see "Made in China" on some toys). Despite their foreign production, their figurines have been of a superior quality to any other I have seen on the market.
Today, while playing with his animal figurines, Adrian became worried that cheetah might eat a bunny or a lamby (one of his favorite animals). I explained that it is highly unlikely since these animals live on different continents. So, we placed all the animals under their respective continental habitats. "But the bunny can hop," said Adrian hopping like a bunny from North America to Europe to Africa, but then he realized that there is an ocean in between the continents and he felt much better.
African Animals (buy here).
Animals of Europe (buy here).
Animals of Asia (buy here).
We need more animals from Australia - so far we have a Kangaroo.
p.s. Although a polar bear has never seen a penguin since they live in opposite polar regions, we have grouped them together as the Polar Region Animals. (See here our ❄️Polar 🌎Regions Unit Study • 🎅🏻 🇦🇶Land 🌊Water 🌬Air.)
Adrian really enjoyed "sorting" all the animals according to their continental habitat. During this activity, we touched upon geography and zoology, and he learned the names and positioning of the continents, spacial relation of each, as well as names of animals residing on each continent.
Next, we will be discussing "Herbivores vs. Carnivores" - read a post here.