These FREE safari animals printable stick puppets are really simple for little ones to make. Just print onto card, colour, cut out and stick onto a craft stick! There are six animals included in this set: giraffe, lion, zebra, hippo, rhino and gorilla.
Of course, no safari would be complete without an elephant, crocodile or monkey – you can find those animals in our free Jungle Animals Stick Puppets set!
You can use the stick puppets to teach vocabulary, act out simple dialogues or plays, or as an easy arts and crafts activity. They also go really well with the book Rumble in the Jungle!
Don’t forget to check out our other fun JUNGLE & SAFARI ANIMALS resources – see the end of the post for more.
How you can use the safari animals printable stick puppets in class:
- You can use the stick puppets instead of flashcards to teach children the names of the animals. Prepare a set of stick puppets before class. Depending on the age and level of your students you may want to use all of the animals, or choose to use less. For durability you may also like to laminate them (tip: for the craft stick to adhere better to a laminated surface, stick a strip of double sided sticky tape to the laminated card before applying glue)
- Show the children the stick puppets one by one. Teach them the name of each animal and ask them to do an action or sound for that animal. For example: giraffe (stretch arms over head), lion (roar), rhino (put hand on forehead to make a horn shape), hippo (roll – as if rolling in mud), gorilla (thump chest with two hands), zebra (gallop using hands, or clip-clop sound).
- Have children make their own puppets. They can make all six animals (print page 2 of the download), or choose to make only one. I have also included pages with multiple copies of each animal, so if you want all your kids to make lions, for example, you need only print that page.
- Play a simple game. Make sure each child has a stick puppet then say the colour of one of the animals, for example “I’m black and white!” Encourage the child or children with the zebra to move the puppet up and down. Repeat with the other animals. Depending on the age and level of your kids you can make this game more complicated by saying, for example “I’ve got big teeth!” (lion), or “I’ve got a long neck!” (giraffe)
- Encourage children to make their animal puppets “talk” to each other. One idea is to sit in a circle with the children and use the hippo stick puppet to say, for example, “Hallo, Zebra!” to the puppet of the child sitting next to you. That child makes his or her puppet reply “Hallo, Hippo!” to your puppet. They then turn to the child next to them and do the same, all around the circle. You can make the language/dialogues as simple or as complicated as you like, depending on the age and level of your kids. For example “Hallo, Zebra, how are you?” “I’m fine, thanks, Hippo!” or “Hallo, Giraffe! Do you like leaves?” “Yes, I do!”
More JUNGLE & SAFARI ANIMALS resources:
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This is a free printable, but please read our FAQ for full info about how you can use our materials.