Learning Opportunities with Safari Ltd Toobs

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In the Pond, we love Safari Toobs, and we find many reasons to use them on our schooling.  Toobs are rectangular prisms filled with 6-12 animals, people, or objects.  They can be found at Michaels Craft store, in other brick-and-mortar stores, and on Amazon.  The hand-painted, detailed, tiny figurines are engaging to kids, fit in their hands well, and excite their imaginations.

The easiest way to use Safari toob animals is in sensory bins or pretend play.  Almost every one of our weekly units has had (or could have had) a corresponding Safari toob.  Here's a few that we've done:
- river animals
- shark tank
- turtles
- frog
- zoo animals
- dinosaurs
- fairies
- ocean

We have dabbled in Montessori method a little bit.  One thing that is common in those circles is "3-part cards."  They are two sets of "flashcards."  One set is the control and contains a picture and a label and the other set is separated into the pictures and the labels (together they make the 3-parts).  In the simplest form, the cards can be used for matching objects to pictures or control cards to pictures.  When the child gets older and can read, s/he could start matching the label to the picture, using the control card to check his/her work.  The 3-part cards could also be used in spelling or sentence writing.  I'm a bit addicted to making 3-part cards:
- mammal skulls
- New York City
- USA symbols
- horses
- backyard birds
- Galapagos animals
- river animals
- Australian animals
- desert animals and mini matches
- dinosaur skulls
- North American animals and sorting mat
- zoo animals

I'm not the only one crazy about Safari Toobs.  Check out these other ideas from around the web:
- felt small world play for arctic animals
- free grammar labels for coral reef toob
- world landmarks matching cards
- birdseed playdough
- community helpers sort
- insect matching cards
- exploring continents
- venn diagram sort
- continent bag/box
                                                        - spelling

I store my safari toob animals in crystal lite containers, which I buy just for the container.  I write the name of the toob and the number of figurines on the lid, so I can make sure that all the pieces get put away at the end of play.  All the containers are nestled in a plastic bin.  We're adding new toobs and new ideas all the time here at the pond.  Stop by often.

Safari Ltd doesn't know I exist and did not pay me for this review.


  1. Fun! Thank you for stopping by the Learn & Play Link Up. This post is featured on Christian Montessori Network this week!

  2. Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing it.


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