We love this book and my little guy just got his very own copy of it for his birthday. While my baby girl napped today, we tried out a few fun book-related activities.
- copy of book, Is Your Mama a Llama by Deborah Guarino
- animal matching cards
We came up with several different games using the set of animal cards that I made.
First, we read the book and then went through it a second time and talked about each animal. Next, I found pictures of each animal (baby/mama) on Google images and we printed them out. Lastly, we looked at each image and I wrote the name of the animal on the bottom of the card... then it was game time!
These games were pretty simple but were awesome for working on a variety of skills:
- listening comprehension
- vocabulary building
- creating sentences/ expanding on phrases
- making I-spy descriptive statements
- identifying similarities/differences
Game 1: Matching Mamas and Babies
Lay out all the cards around the room on the floor (or table). Have child match the mama with the baby animal and set the pairs in a specific place. Practice learning names of animals (ie. calf for baby cow)
Game 2: Sorting Mamas and Babies
Write "mama" on one white paper and "baby" on another white paper. Place each category on a separate side of the room. Spread animal cards all over the room. Have child sort animal cards into the two categories. You could also come up with other categories to sort with: animals with wings/animals with legs, animals that live on land/animals that live in the water, etc.
Game 3: I Spy
Lay the cards all over the floor. I started off with only the mama cards. I said an "I spy" statement and then my son had to try and locate which card I was talking about. For example, "I spy an animal that has a pocket in the front" (kangaroo). He would then find the card and either make the sound that the animal made... or act like the animal. For the kangaroo he jumped all around the room (see picture below) and then brought me the kangaroo animal card.
I Spy was one of his favorite games. Once I took several turns telling him I Spy statements, then we changed jobs and he told me what to look for and I tried to find the correct animal. It was a really good exercise for him to have to come up with descriptive statements about each animal (without giving me the answer). I loved his descriptions and was surprised at how well he did! He wanted to play I Spy for the next hour.
Game 4: Charades
An easy transition from the I Spy game is to start a game of charades. Have the animal cards on hand to hand to the child. Have the child make sounds like the animal card he picks or act like the animal and try and guess which animal he is trying to be. This game is even more fun with a larger group. If kids are older and like to draw, this could also transition into a pictionary game...
or even a playdoh pictionary game (kids sculpt an animal and you guess which one).
There are several other fun activities to do with this book here and here (some of which are mentioned above). I loved the idea of making a picture frame to house a photo of you and your child together (child & mama). Maybe we'll try it another day.
We ended our activity time by watching Scholastic's "Is Your Mama a Llama" video on YouTube. After watching the video my son was much more capable of sequencing the story and answering WH questions regarding the specific story details.
What other fun activities do you like to do along with this book?