Zoo Activities

The last couple of weeks, we’ve had some lovely weather (a stark contrast to much of the country, I know!), leading to a couple of zoo outings with friends!  So, this former college zoology lab instructor and high school biology teacher thought it would be perfect to do some “zoo” themed activities while we were there.
It all started by packing a fun zoo-themed snack lunch!
After a morning of animal encounters–some favorites like the giraffes and monkeys,

 

we found a great place to eat and do some zoo-themed learning!

I made folders with a few different activities:
     – Z is for zoo coloring pages 
     – Counting cards & an elephant sequencing page 

– and an animal counting & classifying activity that I made:
(*Note: I tried multiple times to upload this to my box account as a free download for you, but with the pictures, the file size was too big, as it’s 4 pages. So, if you’d like a copy, feel free to email me)
I brought Do A Dot markers for both of the kids. Next to each animal, we put one stamp for each number we saw. We saw a lot of monkeys!

Then, we had them “classify” the animals based on their textures–we were so pleasantly surprised at how well the kids did with this! After just asking them for a couple of the animals, we didn’t even need to list the choices anymore! Once we would say an animal, they would call out “soft” or “feathers”, etc.

We ended the activity with a question prompt: “My favorite animal at the zoo today was the __________, because ________”. Big Brother developed a new obsession while we were there–“howard monkeys” (aka howler monkeys). So, his read, “My favorite animal at the zoo today was the howard monkey because he is just funny and funny. He jumps and swings all over the place”. 

And, one learning tool I would have never thought until we got there, is the zoo map! If your zoo map has pictures on it, even your pre-reader can “read” it! After having a look at the map, Big Brother was able to tell us some of the animals we didn’t see!! And now, we’re all looking forward to our next trip!
What are your favorite zoo-themed activities with little ones?

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