Welcome to the first post of my contribution to the Modern Dad. If you don’t know me, I am the wife of the Modern Dad. Many people call me Mrs. Dunnigan, as I was a 2nd grade teacher for 7 years before my current career switch to motherhood, but I am often found inside the school sharing my talents. My passion for teaching is still alive and well, but sometimes I need a creative outlet to share my ideas. So we decided to add TEACHER TIME to the blog. My posts will strictly be educational. Activities that you can do together with your children through literature, field trips or just fun center type games to educate even the smallest of kids.
If you are like me, you have spent your seasons visiting the zoo. Let’s be honest, we go weekly and sometimes more. My son is a year and has been going since he was 6 weeks old. His love for animals is unreal and he loves watching the animals. One day I was people watching and noticed several moms who, like me, make going out a habit, but how can you make going to the zoo an educational activity?
You’re in luck! I went a little crazy. I have activities for toddlers, elementary and even older kids. I am dying for my son to be old enough to be able to enjoy them, but for now we will just observe the animals and talk about their colors, shapes and size.
- Colors- this activity sheet could be used for a number of things but for this activity have your child look for animals that are those specific colors. For example: Jane sees a flamingo. She knows it is pink. She can then draw a flamingo in the pink box. Who doesn’t love carrying a clipboard? Your child will feel so important as they investigate the animals at the zoo.
- I Spy- this activity sheet can be used to color or circle the animals as they see them at the zoo. Great for younger kids because their fine motor skills aren’t developed yet and it saves you time from having to do it for them.
- BINGO- this activity sheet is just as it sounds. Look for the animals and cross them out when you see them. Maybe you reward your child with a fruit snack when they get Bingo.
- Blank Bingo- this activity sheet is great for older kids or especially for us zoo goers. Have your child/children fill in the boxes with the animals at the zoo. As they find them they can cross them out and if you want to make it more difficult they can switch boards with a friend.
- Animal Report- this activity sheet is for after the zoo or if you need a place to sit and rest. The child can write about their favorite animal and tell about its habitat, food, and features.
- A-Zoo- this activity sheet is for finding animals that begin with each letter of the alphabet. This will make the kids read the plaques and pay attention to smaller details that are usually just passed by.
- Where in the world are these animals from?- this activity sheet has a map of the world and children are to find animals from each of the continents. Most exhibits have plaques that contain name, habitat and diet for each animal. Your child will start to pay attention to details and gain a greater love for animals.
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with my creative explosion but really am excited to hear and see the educational experiences that can take place with a simple activity sheet. Happy Zoodling!