Fun DIY Animal Trivia Game Your Whole Family Will Love

Make your own animal trivia game for family game night!

By now you've probably seen Finding Dory and you know that an octopus has three hearts. And if your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE everything to do with animals and are always ready to learn new interesting facts about animals. So when I received a copy of a new book filled with amazing animal facts I knew my kids would be fascinated with it. I decided we should make a fun animal trivia game out of it so we can enjoy the book over and over again!

Make your own animal trivia game for family game night! This super fun DIY game is great for the whole family - with variations for kids of all ages. Animal lovers will have so much fun with this game - it's great for learning animal facts too!

I received a copy of the book in this post for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.

The Book

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Safstrom sounds pretty daunting, but it is actually a really fun, accessible book filled with interesting bits of animal trivia. Covering over 50 animals in all, the book is filled with lovely black and white illustrations and a couple of facts about each featured animal. Things like:

A crocodile can survive without food for three years!

A blue whale's heart is as big as a car.

Koala bears have two thumbs.

The illustrations are really great but be forewarned - my almost 4 year olds thought it was a coloring book at first, so don't leave it unattended around little ones.

The text is whimsical and accessible for all ages, and the facts are interesting for both kids and adults. There is more than one fact about how animals use the bathroom, so my boys were in stitches over those. Did you know that penguin poop in parts of Antartica can be seen from space?

But there are also a lot of sweet tidbits, like the fact that sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't drift away from each other (awwww!). All in all, it's a really fun little book and it made the perfect basis for our Animal Trivia Game. It's super simple to put together and you can play many different ways!

DIY Animal Trivia Game

Instead of just reading The Illustrated Compendium of Animal Facts with my boys, I thought we would make the book more interactive and create a game for our next family game night. The set up is really simple. Here's what you need:

The book has an index in the front that lists all the different animals and their page numbers (55 total). Take your craft sticks and using the index, write the names of each animal in the book, one on each stick.

I happened to have some cute snakeskin washi tape on hand so I added a strip around the top of each stick too - this is optional but it makes a nice way to mark the top of each stick.

When you've finished all the animals, place the sticks in a cup and invite your family to play! Depending on your kids' ages, you can try any of these variations.

For Little Kids

Invite each child to pick a stick. If they can, have them read which animal is on the stick they've chosen (or help them read it). Then using the index of the book, look up and read one fact about that animal to them. Take turns until all of the sticks are done! 

My boys loved this simple version of the game. After you've played several times, you can move on the the next level. As your child chooses an animal stick, invite them to tell you a fact about that animal. See how much they have learned about the different animals in the book!

For Older Kids (or even Adults)

Older kids or adults can have fun with this version of the game. Each player takes a turn choosing a stick. The player to their left picks a fact about that animal in the book, and decides whether to read it correctly or change it up a bit. They then read the "fact" and ask the player with the stick if it's true or false.

For example, if you've picked "octopus," the player to your left may say, "True or False - an octopus has 4 hearts." False! (Finding Dory, remember). Keep track of how many correct answers each person gets and the player with the most wins! 

You can also turn each fact into a question, such as "How many hearts does an octopus have?" Be creative and have fun with it! You can vary the questions any way you'd like - it's a great party game or a fun way to start conversation at the family dinner table. Enjoy!

PS - when you're done, you'll want to store your sticks so you can play again. A clean, empty peanut butter jar works great for this! 

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