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Hooray for Active Play - Safari Ltd®

Hooray for Active Play

Are you all feeling antsy yet? Whether it’s a school break, weekend, or just an evening at home…most caregivers feel a bit of pressure to get kids off screens and actively playing. Let us help you get those kiddos up and moving with some dynamic activities! It seems that so much of the day is spent in sedentary pursuits. We wanted to provide a few engaging ways to combine movement and play to sneak in some bonding and exercise with the littles.

Race and Stack Relay

Add a playful element, such as Safari Ltd. figurines and stacking, to amp up a classic relay race. You can use figurines of graduating size or of the same size (for more of a challenge).  Many people like to stack animals of a similar theme, but it’s also fun to mix and match. Who knows, a Wolf Dragon could be a great base for a Hippo.


The idea is to add some physical activity to a fun stacking game. The animal figurines will be stacked one on top of the other by carefully balancing each one. When stacking, the largest and sturdiest figurine is generally placed on the bottom to serve as the base. Smaller figurines are slowly and methodically added one on top of the other (with the smallest being on top).

Place animals in a large pile (or you can also equally divide them up by participants).

Option 1: Participants can grab one animal at a time and run it over to a stacking station to add to their animal stack. This game can be done as a relay team with each participant waiting for their team mate to add an animal to the stack before they run over to add the next one.

Option 2: Who can make the highest stack

Option 3: Participants work on the same stack together. They will take turns adding animals and trying to avoid causing the stack to fall.

Recommended toys for stacking:


Move It, Move It (3 play options)

It's time to move and groove! Grab a Safari Ltd. animal TOOB or a variety of larger figurines and get moving! The idea is to replicate a chosen animal’s dynamic movements through fun active play. For example: an elephant would maybe do high knee stomping or swinging an arm (trunk) back and forth, bird would call for you to do rapid arm circles or arm flapping, a snake would involve slithering, etc.


Animal Charades

Secretly choose an animal from a container and “act” it out for friends or family members to guess which animal you are. Have fun, move your body, and generate some laughs! TOOB® figurines or  Good Luck Minis® make nice options for this game.

Animal Dance Off



  1. This is a “dance” contest of sorts. Each player will close their eyes and choose an animal out of a container.
  2. Turn on some music and have the participants “dance” (move) like their chosen animals.
  3. The best “dance” moves wins.

Wild Obstacles



  1. Gather animals and determine obstacles to match the type of movements that the various animals are best known for doing:
  1. Set up and label the obstacles (with words and/or drawing of the matching animals).
  2. Place animals in a container.
  3. Participants will choose one animal at a time and then go complete the obstacle that matches the chosen figurine. This can be a timed activity, a race, or simply an exercise circuit. One example is for each participant to see how many animal obstacles they can complete within a certain amount of time.


Day at the Zoo/Farm (3 play options)

Do your little animal lovers like to go to the zoo or farm? Here are three ways to have a fun-filled day of playing zoo keeper or farmer.

Animal Round Up

This is game is an exciting combo of pretend play and tag. One person will be the Zoo Keeper (or farmer) while the other participants are the escaped animals.



The “animal” participants will run while holding an animal figure. The person that is “it” is the zoo keeper. The zoo keeper has to “catch” or tag the animal participants.

  1. Define animal enclosures by drawing with chalk on sidewalk/driveway, draw on pieces of paper, build with blocks or boxes, tape off areas, or small rugs or towels. Label each enclosure with animal name (optional).
  1. The “animal” participants will run while holding an animal figure. The person that is “it” is the zoo keeper (or farmer). The zoo keeper (or farmer) has to catch the animals.
  1. When the “animal” is tagged by the zoo keeper, they will take their animal figurine and put it in the appropriate zoo or farm enclosure.

Speed Feed

How fast can you deliver “food” to the animals at your zoo?



  1. Set each animal in their enclosure or designated spot.
  2. Set up the food away from animal enclosures.
  3. Decide if the game will be a timed game (beating a certain time) or a race between participants(who can deliver food to all animals the fastest).
  4. Challenge the participants to quickly deliver “food” (blocks, grass, or whatever you choose to represent animal food) to each animal. Food should be delivered within a certain amount of time or as a racing competition.
  5. This game can be done by foot or with ride on toys (bikes, trikes, with wagons, etc.)

*This can be adapted to be a simple delivery game by taking out the timed or racing element.

**This game can also be a sorting experience. Food types (vegetation vs “meat”) can be delivered to appropriate animal (herbivore vs. carnivore).

Animal Wash

Water play makes everything more fun!



  1. Get the animals dirty with mud or washable paint (mix paint with shaving cream for easier clean up).
  2. Divide the dirty animals up equally amongst participants.
  3. Let each participant choose their cleaning method (spray bottle, water gun, water balloon, or sponge). You could also only have one type available for all.
  4. Challenge the participants to completely clean all of their animals as quickly as possible.
  5. The first one to clean all of their animals first wins.

*This can be adapted to be a simple animal washing activity by taking out competition element.


Additional resources:

Click here for additional active play ideas!

Click here to discover some additional active play toys and games.

Click here for outdoor toys.


Play is the ultimate way to bond with the special kids in your life. Adding in physical movement is a bonus for boosting mood, getting exercise, increasing engagement, and encouraging more fun!


We’d love to see other ways that you actively play with Safari Ltd. toys! Tag us on social media post with @safariltd to have a chance to be featured in our stories or in a post.


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