Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary
Description: Wild Ways Stacking Wooden Animals comes in a set of two, including 10 stacking elephants and 10 stacking monkeys. The materials are of high quality and have fun, colorful patterns. Your learner can use them to build towers, create unusual structures by combining the two animals in interesting ways, or talk about patterns. It’s a fun toy that allows for a broad range of activities.
Skills & Modifications: No modifications were necessary for these materials. If you have a learner with very poor motor skills, they may not be able to use these materials effectively.
Imitation Skills – These are fun toys to practice higher order imitation. I build a tower by placing the elephants in a specific way, then have my learner imitate the structure I’ve made. This requires positioning the elephant in the specific way that I have, (i.e., upside-down). The same activity can be completed with the monkeys.
Motor Skills – Building a tower does require your learner to use a pincer grasp. To build some structures, your learner may be required to use to hands in order to keep the tower balanced until a new elephant or monkey has been added to make the structure balance on its own. Many of my learners with autism require prompts to use both hands to better complete a task, so introducing tasks which naturally encourage the use of both hands is beneficial.
Matching – This set of blocks also allows for practice of higher order matching skills. As seen in the picture below, the learner can match a monkey and an elephant by pattern. This may require them to turn over an animal to find the pattern. It’s a fun way to improve matching skills!
Peer Play/Taking Turns – If your learner is motivated by the materials, this could be a great activity for peer play. With one learner, we used these blocks for playing with his sibling. Each kid took turns stacking the animals to try to build a structure. It was a great opportunity for engaging in appropriate play with an activity both learners enjoyed.
Pros: I love the patterns and bright colors. Many of my young learners are motivated by animals, so I appreciate materials that are fun and engaging and allow for me to practice important skills.
Cost: $29.95 You should invest in this game if: you have a learner who is highly motivated by building or animals, are seeking interesting materials for working on fine motor skills, or are looking for unique materials for identifying colors and patterns.
ABLLS: B9, B12, D20, K5, Z5, Z25
VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 2, Motor Imitation 5
Wild Ways Stacking Animals were provided to me for free by the company MindWare to write about here. This did not influence my opinions on the game. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.