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Free the animals

What you need

Some small animal toys (if you don’t have animals, this could easily be substituted with other small toys or figures), sticky tape (masking tape is ideal and will not damage doors/walls).


Fine motor skills will be developed as well as your child’s ability to solve problems and think critically. This experience builds on a similar concept to the unpacking boxes experience they may have previously enjoyed.

The experience

You will need to set up an area where your child can easily access the small toys. For babies who are beginning to stand up, this is an ideal opportunity to strengthen their legs – set up this experience on a vertical surface such as the back of a door or on a wall. For older children, provide an extra challenge by placing the objects a little higher and encouraging them to reach and stand on tiptoes. For babies not yet walking, this can also be set up on the floor for them to explore during tummy time or from a sitting position. 

Stick the toys using a piece of tape to secure them to your chosen surface. Your child will have to peel the tape off and free the animals! For children with more developed fine motor skills, you could try placing multiple pieces of tape over the animals. 

If you have a garden space, older children may enjoy running around to find the trapped animals, hidden in different places such as slightly up a tree, under a climbing frame or on a window frame. If enjoying indoors, try sticking the animals to the underside of tables, behind pieces of furniture or hidden behind other objects such as plants. Children aged around 2 years old will enjoy the added challenge of hunting for the animals. You could add a competitive element and time them to see how fast they can free the animals; this can then provide the opportunity to enjoy over again, as they try to beat their score!