Animal Fun is an evidenced based program designed by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists from Curtin University’s health Sciences Faculty to improve the motor skills and social skills of young children aged 3-6 years.
Teachers were telling us that increasingly children were coming to school without the basic readiness skills required and that they were looking for a program that met the Early Years learning Framework and the National Quality Framework Outcomes – but that it had to be easy to implement, not need lots of expensive equipment and be engaging for the children.
Emeritus Professor Jan Piek came up with the idea of Animal Fun when she was on a road trip with her husband. Looking out the window of the car she saw a crow skipping alongside the road – and the idea was born. Most children love animals and enjoy pretend play – so if we were able to match core developmental skills to an animal movement the children could engage in pretend play whilst at the same time be practising these skills.
Jan got the team together and between them they focused on what were the core skills required by a young child to be a competent, confident participant in active play and the early years of formal schooling and they matched these skills with animal movements.
Jan then sought funding from Healthway to test if the program was indeed going to be effective. This lead to a 3 year randomised control research project.
Following the success of the research we were further assisted by the Mental Health Commission of Western Australia with funding to develop what was a small photocopied handbook into the pack of resources which include a Manual for teachers, a set of 97 laminated A5 Activity Cards and the Animal Fun@Home book for parents.
You can learn more about the contents of each of the resources here
In addition to the resources we are now offering supported programs where you can purchase sufficient resources to operate the program across classes/groups together with Professional Development training, follow up support and additional planning resources and templates. To order your supported program and to book a time for your professional development session click here
Want to learn more about how Animal Fun is of benefit to children? Click here