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As the temperatures begin to warm up, many families are utilizing their zoo membership! If you are one of those families, you don’t want to miss these engaging and educational activities for kids at the zoo.
As you begin fleshing out your preschool zoo theme activities, you can teach your little ones more about animals and their habitats. You can focus on their unique features and characteristics.
The activities described below are perfect for kids ages 3-7, but they can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Educational Activities for Kids at the Zoo
When you get ready to take a trip to the zoo, there are so many activities you can incorporate to maximize the fun and the learning.
You can read books about your child’s favorite zoo animals, you can print out some zoo-themed worksheets, or you can watch a Kratt’s Creatures video about an animal that lives at the zoo.
Whatever you choose, your little ones will love each of the activities below and you’ll love how much they’ll learn about animals around the world.
Zoo Scavenger Hunt
I love turning our zoo trips into fun scavenger hunts with my littles. We look for specific animals or look for animal characteristics.
They love carrying their scavenger hunt page on a colorful clipboard and marking off what they see as we make our way through the animal habitats.
I’ve created five printable zoo scavenger hunt pages that you can use with the whole family.
Color Pictures of the Animals
Before your trip to the zoo, have your child color a picture of their favorite zoo animal or the animal they hope to see. Or, wait until after your trip to the zoo to have them color a picture of the animal that was their favorite.
You can use one of the zoo animal coloring pages I’ve created, or you can do an internet search to find one that grabs your child’s interest.
Practice Animal Sounds
Chances are that you will not hear all of your child’s favorite zoo animal make noise. They may be asleep, behind glass, or just too far away.
If that’s the case, you can quiz your preschoolers about the sounds each animal makes. If they don’t know, this is the perfect time to teach them.
Make a Scrapbook
Take lots of pictures. Better yet… let your child take pictures. Then print out the pictures and make a scrapbook with your preschoolers.
Let them practice writing the name of the animal at the bottom of the page. They can add animal stickers to the pages to decorate them, as well.
BOOKS ABOUT ZOO ANIMALS
Below, I’ve featured just a handful of preschool books about zoo animals that will help your preschoolers learn more about the animals that live in a zoo.
You should be able to find them at your local library or bookstore. If you can’t find them locally, you can click each image cover to purchase them on Amazon.
Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.
How the Zebra Got Its Stripes – As a group of African animals hang out at the local watering hole, they share funny stories about how the zebra got its stripes. At the end of the book, fun facts explain why zebras really have stripes.
Zoo Animals – As children page through this beautiful book, they will learn the names of many animals they meet at the zoo! Each page offers a short description of the featured animal and its habitat.
Zoo Animals Ideas for Kids
Add some plastic zoo animal figures to your pretend play area for kids to explore. They’ll have so much fun using them to act out zoo books or other imaginative play scenarios.
Read Do You Know Hank the Hippo, and let your preschoolers act out the story with an adorable crocheted hippo toy.
Set up a zoo animals sensory bin with this kit! Filled with a mixture of textures, bright and vibrant colors, this kit will let your little one explore for hours.
What’s your preschooler’s favorite thing to do at the zoo?