We’re starting homeschool next week. Whoa.

So that’s what is on my mind this week and that’s what I will posting about much of this week before taking a little break next week!

Here we go…
Top Ten {Tuesday}If your family is like ours, you’ve been to the zoo a million and one times this summer. And the kids never get bored of it. Ever.

But as the kids get older, I see what a learning experience the zoo can be each and every time we go! And as we move into our homeschool year, this is moving even more to the forefront of my thinking.

So next time you go to the zoo, try one of these…

Top Ten Ways to Learn at the Zoo!

1. Animal Alphabet

Take a piece of paper with each letter of the alphabet on it. As you walk around the zoo, fill in the animal names next to the letter they begin with and see how many you can fill up! Here is an American Alligator to get you started!

2. Just How Big Are They?

I’ve always thought it was hard to know just how big certain animals really are, so I love when the kids can get right up close to an animal – or model of one – to see how the animal compares to themselves!

If they can’t get up close, take along a tape measure and measure out the length or height of the animal next to your kiddo!

3. Diet Detective!

We had so much fun watching the polar bear eat a watermelon the last time we were at the zoo! Take a second to ask your kids their guesses as to what each animals eats, then look for a sign to tell you or write down the animal names and look it up when you get home!

4. Animal Estimation

This is a simple math game. Ask you kids to guess approximately how many animals your zoo houses before you go in. Then, keep a tally as you walk around and see how close they are! Check with a zookeeper at the end to check your answers!

5. Art with the Animals

Such beautiful scenes to be found at the zoo, like the one above we saw at our zoo’s aquarium. Take along a pad of paper for each kid and some colored pencils and let them to sit down by a favorite animal to draw! That is some awesome inspiration!

6. Homes and Habitats

Where does a tiger live in the wild? What kind of home does a beaver live in? Where in the world does the monkey live? Many zoos have great replications of the natural homes and habitats of each animal. Talk about the unique ones and WHY each animal lives in each kind of home and/or habitat.

7. Super Senses

Several of the zoos we have been to offer lots of hand-on opportunities for the kids, so not only are they visually stimulated, but through touch as well. How about engaging their other senses as well? What are they hearing? Smelling? {Ok, maybe not tasting…} This will open up a whole new world to them!

8. Collecting Colors

This would be great for the younger ones! Take a piece of paper with each color scribbled on it, then write down the animals as your child points out the colors on them! Simple!

9. Reading Practice

Signs, signs everywhere at the zoo! When the kiddos want to know more, ask them to read the sign!

10. Animal Story Superstars!

Oh, this is SO fun! Camp out by a unique animal. Talk about the animal’s habitat, diet, activities, etc. Then ask your children to make up a story about the animal! You could start a story to demonstrate if they are nervous – make it silly, engaging, FUN!

If you have older children, they might enjoy writing out their story before sharing it with the rest of the family. Creative writing at it’s best!


You don’t have to TELL your kids this is learning time. It’s just between you and me 🙂