Animal Fun

Animal Fun is a play-based program fostering kids' social skills through positive imaginary play experiences and educator training.

Program details

  • Priority area: Communication (language development), wellbeing (social and emotional)
  • Primary audience: Educators
  • Delivery mode: Resources (books, kits, manuals), Group training, Online
  • Strength of evidence: Level 5 Promising research evidence
  • AEDC sub-domains:
    • Emotional maturity anxious and fearful behaviour
    • Emotional maturity aggressive behaviour
    • Emotional maturity hyperactivity and inattentive behaviour
    • Social competence responsibility and respect
    • Language and cognitive development basic literacy
    • Communication skills and general knowledge communication and general knowledge
  • Item cost: Variable

Program description

Animal Fun is a play-based program designed to improve the health and wellbeing of young children. The program aims to promote social skill development by providing positive imaginary play experiences where children have the opportunity to engage socially with peers and other trusted adults.

The program consists of physical resources and a series of training options for educators.

The training program provide an overview of current research, content knowledge, and skills for ways to embed social-emotional learning within an imaginary play space.

Animal Fun’s resources enhance educators’ capacity to engage children in playful, imaginary, and purposeful activities by providing them with a clear, easy-to-implement framework. The program aims to promote self-regulation, self-esteem, language and vocabulary, listening skills, ability to follow instructions, problem solving skills, planning and sequencing skills and general health and wellbeing.

Detailed cost

  • Self-paced online e-learning course: $45 per person (excluding GST)
  • Online professional development workshop (2 hours): $50 per person with a minimum of 10 participants (excluding GST)
  • Face-to-face workshop delivered at the service (1.5 hours): $55 per person or $550 (excluding GST) if less than 10 participants.

Half day $1,000 (excluding GST) or full day $2,000 (excluding GST) in person workshops can also be arranged for a more in-depth review of the research, each of the activities within the program, program planning and guidance regarding evaluation.

Pack of Animal Fun resources: $315 per class (excluding GST). Includes:

  • one manual
  • a set of 97 activity cards
  • the Animal Fun @ Home book
  • a pack of How Are You Feeling Today? Cards, and
  • the Scope and Sequence book.

A minimum one pack of resources plus one of the training options is required for implementation of this program.

There is no additional cost to cover travel if the training workshops are on one of the scheduled dates. Costs of up to $2500 may need to be considered if a request is made for a date outside the scheduled travel dates. Please contact the provider to discuss this option.

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: teachers and support educators.
  • Program/practice descriptions and details: to implement the program, educators need to invest in the physical resources and attend at least one of the training options to ensure understanding of the program and to promote confidence for implementation.
  • Program adaptability: one public online workshop is scheduled each term, advertised on the Animal Fun website. Alternatively, workshops can be delivered on demand on a date and time suitable for individual services.
  • Staffing: backfill for staffing may need to be considered but face-to-face and online workshops can be organised for after hours or on weekends at no additional cost. The minimum time commitment for the support training is 1.5-2 hours for the e-learning and online workshops and 2.5 hours to half-day for the face-to-face workshops.
  • Tools and systems: a computer and access to internet is needed if participating in online workshops.

VEYLDF alignment

Item uses these practice principles

  • Reflective practice
  • Partnerships with families
  • High expectations for every child
  • Respectful relationships and responsive engagement

Item responds to these sub-outcomes

  • Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing
  • Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.

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