Little children often recognize a rhinoceros right away, with its armor-covered body and big horns. If your preschooler has taken a liking to this massive mammal, you can encourage his curiosity by setting up a few activities related to the rhino. By keeping the activities varied and fun, you can give your little one some memorable ways to celebrate his favorite critter.
You can make learning about rhinos creative by giving your little one a few rhinoceros-themed crafts to do. Afterward, you can hang up the crafts to display them around the house, and to remind your preschooler about these interesting creatures. A couple of great and easy-to-put-together ideas are making a paper-plate rhino by gluing on foam triangles for horns and drawing on features with crayons, or cutting and taping a paper-towel tube into a horn and painting it gray so that your child can pretend to be a real rhino. Think outside of the box, and try to imagine what a rhino looks like. Then piece together craft supplies and household materials that could be used to create one.
See a Real Rhino
Nothing shows a preschooler how magnificent and amazing a rhinoceros is than seeing one in person. Although you could take your tyke to the zoo and just look at the rhinos in an exhibit, make your child's experience more up-close and personal by signing up for a special feeding demonstration. Most zoos around the country schedule feeding demonstrations with the animals and allow visitors to watch the animals eat. Although you and your child will still be a safe distance from the animal, she will definitely get to see how large the creature looks from a much closer point than usual.
Is your little one very musical? Does he always sing kid songs around the house? Use this thirst for song to teach him about the rhinoceros. Start by singing the songs out loud yourself so that your child can learn the words. Pretty soon, you will begin to hear rhino tunes all throughout the day. Try "The Rhino Song" by Big Green Rabbit for an educational ditty, and "Rhinoceros Tap" by Sandra Boynton for something silly and fun.
Interactive Rhinoceros Story Time
Reading offers your preschooler knowledge about a rhinoceros that you may not think of or know to tell your child. Pick out books that are written for a young child with lots of pictures, such as "My Rhinoceros" by Jon Agee, "Remy the Rhino Learns Patience" by Andy McGuire, and "Diana and Her Rhinoceros" by Edward Ardizzone. You can make story time more interactive by getting out finger puppets, making sure that one of the puppets is a rhinoceros, and pretending that the rhino is reading the book to your child. Or allow your child to hold a rhinoceros stuffed animal while you read to feel more connected to the creature.