We’ve had a bear theme going on at home. We have some animal replicas that include accurate detail, down to the claws. I made a tray for my boys to play with making footprints.
-3 of our Safari Ltd. bear replicas (we used these because the paw prints are actual models of the real thing)
– 2 magnifying glasses (1 for both kids)
My preschooler went right into investigative mode. He made footprints with each animal, noting that he could see the claw marks in the playdough, and comparing the marks made by each animal. He then got out the magnifying glass and investigated the actual claws on the bears.
My toddler had fun picking the bears up and smashing the legs into the playdough. His prints weren’t clear, but he loved making them! He thought it was the coolest thing that the bear in his hand was making a mark on the playdough.
This wound up being an activity that we could all do together, with each boy easily modifying the activity to their own interests and age.