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Hide-and-seek with animals

What you need

  • Farm animal toys (if you do not have these available you can make them by drawing templates and cutting them out)
  • Tissue paper
  • Foil or materials to cover animals
  • A book of farm animals (if available) to associate the animals found with those in the book.


This experience will provide opportunities for using actions to promote language, developing  understanding of the concept of animals, as well as supporting your child’s physical development (body movements) and finding skills.

The experience

The aim is for your child to recognise a range of animals and associate them with the correct sounds. For children closer to 2-years-old, this can be further extended by exploring the differences in animals in terms of shape, patterns and colour. 

Use the materials such as foil to cover the animals. For older children, you may hide them in different places so they can go on a hunt to find them. For younger babies, they can be placed in front of them in an area where they can explore in a sitting position or during tummy time. 

As your child retrieves a new animal, say the name of the animal, encouraging them to repeat it back (older children will generally have developed this vocabulary, so you can work on describing the animal e.g. ‘it’s a brown cow!’) 

Once the animals have all been found, you can extend further. For babies, you may enjoy playing peek-a-boo with the different animals. E.g. ‘Where’s the cow?…Peek a boo! There he is!’ Covering and uncovering the animal each time. 

For children over 1-year-old, you may like to ask them to find a specific animal, e.g. ‘Where is the …’ and ask them to make the noise of the animal. You could also add further challenge by asking for them to identify specific features e.g. ‘Where is the pig’s tail?’ You could also sing a song: Old McDonald had a farm is a great song to sing together, incorporating the animal noises you will have practiced!