Reading animal books with tamariki can be a fun and interactive way to teach them about different creatures. It helps develop a positive attitude towards reading and learning. It’s a fun, simple activity that will promote early language learning.

Why do it?

  • Small children find animals, and the noises animals make, interesting.
  • Sharing a book about animals can be an interactive game when whānau make the animal noises for the toddler.
  • Having fun when book sharing will help a toddler have a positive attitude towards books and reading.

How to do it

You'll need an animal book .

  • Rent one from the library or get crafty and make your own paper or an old notebook. 
  • Make sure any staples are well taped over to avoid any sharp ends piercing skin. 
  • Cut animal pictures from old magazines or draw them yourself.
  • When sharing the animal book with a toddler, make the noises each animal makes.
  • After plenty of repetitions, see if the toddler can make the animal sounds. However, don’t make it a test if they’re unsure — just answer the question yourself.
  • Keep the activity playful and fun.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Ngā kararehe Animals
Hair, shaggy
E rua ngā waewae Two legs
E whā ngā waewae Four legs
To jump or leap
He aha te tangi o tēnei kararehe? What noise does this animal make?
Bark like a dog
Squeak or squawk like a bird or animal
He aha tāna kai o tēnei kararehe? What does this animal eat?
He pai ki ā koe te pānui pukapuka? Do you like to read books?