One of the things I love about Texas is the crazy winters. Two weeks ago we had two days of highs in the mid-80s and the kids had a blast learning about maps and following directions, all while pretending to be Dora and Deigo on an “Animal Rescue Mission”. This was such a simple activity and yet variations kept them active most of the afternoon. All you need to begin is a collection of toy or stuffed animals a few sheets of paper and markers and whatever dress-up accessories your kids could want to make the event more “real” to them. My kiddos put their backpacks on (thanks Scabs for helping us decorate them so I can tell them apart) and carried a mini magna-doodle and a pretend cell phone (as the field journals). My youngest preschooler even got a toy to be her “star pack”. I drew maps up for them of the “events” they had to accomplish in order to rescue the animals and they had a blast.
In Dora all the episodes have the kids remember three things and do them in a certain order to complete the “mission”. I would put the “tasks” on the map and the kids had to use creativity and deductive reasoning to figure out where the “tasks” were and how to complete them. Some of the things we had our kids do:
- Crawl under a bridge (aka table)
- Collect 12 baby bird eggs (aka leaves)
- Swing from Monkey Trees (aka through the bottom of their bunk beds)
- Canoe through Alligator lake (aka take the wagon across the yard).
- Look out for swiper (their baby sister)
- Hide in the cave (a closet, a corner, etc)
- Climb the tallest mountain (we happen to have a mountain in our backyard)
…be creative there are hundreds of variations you can come up with! Hope your kids have as much fun problem solving as mine have!
Updated: Here is another “animal game” featuring my “Deigo” rescuing a snake .