We are excited to bring you a guest post by Jo Linsdell, author of Out and About at the Zoo!
Children love animals and where better to learn about them than at the zoo. A family day out at the zoo is both fun and educational. Not to mention a way of creating some fantastic memories for you and your children to share.
Planning ahead offers several benefits:
• You can organize your day according to the zoo’s schedule. By checking out the zoo’s website in advance to can look up things like animal
feeding times and zoo-keeper talks.
• Some zoo’s offer money off coupons on the admission price or special family deals for pre-ordered tickets from their website.
• You can print off a copy of the zoo map and plan your route. Which animals are must-sees? Which do your children want to see most? You
can number the areas of the map in the order you plan to visit. It’s also a great way of teaching the children map reading skills. They can be in
charge of the map and keep track of where you are.
Build the excitement before the trip:
• Talk to your children about the animals you’re going to see. You can research some fun facts about them or for younger children, teach them
• Do some research about the zoo itself. When was the zoo built? How many animals does it home?
During your visit:
• Make sure you take lots of photo’s. They’ll be a great souvenir of your day out together and can also be used for crafts and zoo projects later.
• A lot of zoo’s have petting areas where children can get up close to the tamer animals. They’ll love being able to touch them and might even
be allowed to feed a few. These areas are usually well staffed so a zoo keeper will be around to supervise and offer information about the
• Organize a scavenger hunt for older children by making a list of animal attributes (reptile, carnivore etc…) in advance and get them to find one
animal for each on the list.
• Most exhibits usually have a fact file with information about each animal. Read it with the children as you watch the animals. Maybe even make it
into a quick quiz. Get the children to test your knowledge by asking you a question about the animal and they can check your answer from the fact file or vice versa.
A trip to the zoo is can be fun for the whole family and it’s perfect for stimulating activities. The kids will be more than happy to learn more and do
crafts and activities about the animals they’ve seen.
TIP: Prepare a packed lunch to take with you so you can avoid the long queues and save money.