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English for Babies: Animals

Note to parents: Learn English with your baby. All underlined words are explained in Wordchecker below.

Read and Listen: New Words

dog, cow, bird, monkey, cat

  1. dog (doggie)
  2. cat (kitty)
  3. monkey
  4. cow
  5. bird (birdie)

On my lap

  1. Put the baby on your lap.
  2. Listen to the new words.
  3. Point at the picture on the screen.
  4. Repeat using your voice.
  5. Ask your baby to point to an animal as you say a word.
  6. Ask your baby a question:
    Where's the dog?
    Where's the cow?

  7. Tell the baby the answer:
    There's the cow.
    There's the bird.

  8. Show excitement when he points.
    Clap your hands and say:
    That's right!
    That's the monkey.
    Good job!

Song, Rhyme or Story time

Moo Cow

baby cow

There once was a little cow. His name was Baby Moo. Baby Moo was learning how to talk. At first he sounded like a dog!

"Woof Woof," he said.

The cows laughed. "You sound like a dog," they said. "Go play in the dog house."

Baby Moo went to see the dog. He tried to talk.

"Meow" he said.

The dog laughed. "Are you a cat?" the dog asked. "Go play with the cat."

Baby Moo went into the farm house. He tried to moo.

"Tweet tweet," said Baby Moo.

The cat laughed at the cow. "You sound like a bird," the cat said. "Can you fly, too?"

Baby moo didn't know where to go. He couldn't fly. He went outside and looked up at the baby birds in the tree. He didn't try to moo. He didn't want the birds to laugh at him.

That night Baby Moo had a dream. He dreamed he saw Mama Moo.

"Moo," he said to her.

"Moo to you too!" Mama Moo said. It wasn't a dream after all.


Animal Sounds

Babies and toddlers often make animal sounds before they say the words. Animal sounds are usually different in every language. Teaching the English ones helps babies and children learn pronunciation.

Listen to the five animal sounds from your New Words list.

Animal Peek-a-Boo

You can play Animal Peek-a-Boo when your baby is feeling playful in the bath, crib, or high chair. Choose a toy animal from the list and get ready to play. Use puppets, plastic toys, or homemade animals. Teach one animal a few days in a row.

  1. Hold an animal where the baby can't see it.
  2. Say: "Joey, where's the dog?"
  3. Repeat: "Joey, where's the dog?"
  4. Show the dog to your baby.
  5. Say:"Peek-a-woof!"
  6. Say: "Hi Dog!"
  7. Repeat the English animal sound:"Woof"

Bath time is a great time to play with your baby. Many animal toys can go in the bath even if they aren't "bath toys." If you don't have the five from our "first animals" list, choose five that you do have. Look up the English words in your dictionary if you don't know them. Visit EC's Young Learners section for More Animal Sounds

Safety Tip: Always keep your eyes on the baby. When your baby is in the bath or eating in her high chair, make sure it is the animal hiding, not you!

What's that sound?

Play this game after you have taught your baby three or more animals.

  1. Find an empty tissue box.
  2. Place the toy animals into the box.
  3. Let your baby shake the box.
  4. Say: "What's that sound?"
  5. Feel inside the box for an animal
  6. Make the animal sound of the one you pick. "Woof Woof"
  7. Show the animal to your baby.
  8. Say: "Dog." "It's a dog"
  9. Repeat until all of the animals are out of the box.
  10. Let your baby pull the animals out.
dream: a story you see in your head when you sleep
toddlers: older babies up to age 3
pronunciation: the proper sounds that form words
peek: look secretly
bath: place where you sit and clean your body
crib: bed for babies
puppet: toy animal or doll that has a hole for your hand to go in
dictionary: book of word meanings
tissue: a soft paper wipe, used for blowing one's nose
shake: hold and move up and down