Fun and Educational Ideas for Toob Animals

You know the Toob animals, the ones that strangely enough, come in a tube? If you child is anything like mine, they love those little animals! Toobs are great because of the variety of packs available making them great for learning tools. Shhh don’t tell the kids!
We are also a big fan of the Schleich toys, which are generally bigger but beautifully made. If you happen to have a kid who is into Knights then I have a selection of posts HERE


Anyway, back to Toob animals, we have used them for matching with card, learning about continents, different species of penguins, making foot prints… to name but a few!
As I know so many kids love these little toys, I thought a handy round up post of ways to use them would be good…

Fun and Educational Ideas for Toob Animals

You can learn whilst having fun!

1. Classification

You can do this with different types of animals. You just need to make a couple of labels, one for each category you are using. I recommend starting by talking about the categories, for example, vertebrates and non-vertebrates. Talk about the difference, maybe watch a video or read a book about it and then introduce the work to the shelf.
Basic category ideas:
Vertebrates / Non-vertebrates
Live on: land /water / both
Mammals / birds / fish /reptiles /amphibians
Can swim / fly
Animals that live in water: fish / mammal / bird
What do they eat: carnivore / herbivore / omnivore
Of course there are many categories and as your child devours the information you may find yourself going deeper and deeper into class, order, family and species!
Sometimes your child might come up with their own ideas, like animals that like/dislike the snow, animals that can/can’t climb trees or animals that can walk on two legs and those who can’t.
You can even play a guessing game as an extension. You put the animals into two groups (don’t tell what the classification is) and the child tries to guess. Then switch and let the child try.
Another extension would be to draw a venn diagram to place the animals in, some animals can swim and walk on land or some eat plants and animals. It makes a nice introduction to venn diagrams as well as animal classification.

2. Continent Study

In Montessori children study about each continent, using animals is a great way to get them interested. Placing animals on a map, researching about animal habitat, find out about unusual animals has always been a big hit in our house.
There is a good collection of free animals cards HERE not made specifically for Toob but there is some cross-over.

3. Matching

This can be done really simply in the same way you introduce 3 part cards. Once the child has mastered the animal with the image, if the child is ready the match the toy with the word. An extension of this would be to make a little book, drawing a picture of the animal and writing it’s name.

Free cards: If you have my Montessori Inspired Activities For pre-schoolers book, there are a number of free card sets with the download available in the book.

Here are some more animal toob free cards (check out the sites because they have a lot of other printables available)
Farm animals from Natural Beach Living
Animals of Australia from Imagine Our Life
Coral Reefs from Pinay Homeschooler
Backyard birds form In Our Pond

I also have a set of Galapagos cards HERE

Of course, you can also make your own cards by taking photos of the items in your Toob and then use my free Make Your Own Montessori 3 Part Cards Course!


Fun and Educational Ideas for Toob Animals (1)

4. Sensory Fun

Playdoh has to be one of those worldwide sensory experiences that most children love. You can use the toob animals to make tracks in the playdoh. Which animals have similar tracks? Which are different? Why?
You could take this a step further and make plaster casts of the imprints.
Sensory bins are also popular, fill a box with sand, rice, dried pasta or just plain old water. Add some toob animals and anything else that might fit with the theme of the toob and let your child use their imagination. There is no specific outcome, just playing is the learning experience.

The Mystery Bag. My boy is now 10 and he still loves playing this! Gat a small cloth bag, sneak one toy into it, the child then puts his or her hand in the bag and tried to guess what it is. Simple game but lots of fun and can be played easily with mixed ages.
A great one for the summer if freezing animals in water in a tupperware box. Excavating them is a fun way to keep cool!

5. Free Play

Not everything we provide our kids with should have a specific learning outcome. I am a big believer that free play should be a big chunk of our kids day, they don’t need to be kept busy all the time and they should be allowed to get bored. Just letting your kids do whatever they want (within reason of course) with the toys will build their imagination and allow them to experiment, both of which are great learning skills.

  • I have found lines of toys right on the edge of the bench, Ebi-kuns self challenge was to line them up as close to the edge as possible.
  • I have also seen him use the scales and weighing the different animals, trying to see which ones were the same.
  • More than once a selection of animals have died when he has done the volcano experiment! Aghhh lava.

Other Toobs Available!

I have only talked about animal Toobs here but there are so many available from African villages to dinosaur fossils, to Around The World landmarks (which I secretly have my eye on!) I’m sure whatever your child is into right now, there is a Toob set for them to fall in love with!
Now, over to you… Does your child like Toob toys? How does he/she use them? share in the comments.

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