Animal Transformations

Two young boys using their imagination to create animal impressions

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to demonstrates use of creativity and imagination.

Materials Needed:

  • None

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction, 2 or more participants/players.


  1. Determine the playing space and set boundaries as needed. For example: the living room is the area to play but you may not go into the kitchen, this area is “out of bounds.”
  2. Brainstorm a list of different animals, reptiles, or insects with your child.
  3. Have your child pretend to fall asleep in the playing space. Tell them you are going to count to three. When you get to three they can “wake up” and will be “transformed” into one of the animals on your list.
  4. Announce an animal and count to three. (“When I say three, you will be an elephant.”)
  5. As your child “wakes up”, encourage them show you how the animal moves and sounds. (“How does an elephant move? Are they heavy or light? What does it sound like?”)
  6. Allow your new “animal” to explore, reminding them to stay in the bounds previously set. After a few minutes ask your child to “fall back to sleep” to get ready to become a new animal. Continue transforming until your child lets you know they are done.
  7. When you are ready to end the game, have your child “fall asleep,” count to three, and have them wake up as their human self.

Extensions: Ask your child to show you what the animal would look like or feel in various situations. For example: “Show me how the cat plays with a toy.” “Show me how the mouse feels if it saw a cat.” Create paper masks for one or more animal or draw pictures of your animals.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Two young boys using their imagination to create animal impressions