Friday, March 28, 2014

Field Trips at the Zoo with Pre-k

     The zoo is a wonderful learning place for children because everything is visual and many of the displays offer hands-on activities.  Children can learn geography, math, vocabulary, science classifications and habits of animals, and beyond!  Below are just some ideas to do when you visit the zoo with your under Pre-k age group.  The best thing to do while at the zoo though is just to have fun with your child!
     My sons are almost three and five years old, and one of their favorite activities to do is to go to the zoo.  Upon entering the zoo, they are handed a map and magically, become animal explorers!  Our local zoo divides the animals from what continent or geographical region they originally came from.  This a great opportunity for your child to learn where these animals come from, and where they are in location to your region of the world.  Our zoo does a great job of showing a world map by every area and the area where that animal is from, is starred.

     One of their favorite questions is, "Mom, what do they like to eat?"  Again, the zoo has a their display board to show what they eat not only in words, but pictures so it easy for children to understand.  For example, some types of birds like to eat insects, worms and fish so the board would show a picture of each.

    In the children's play area at our zoo is an area where you can feed and brush goats.  Recently we were there and met a goat with horns, which made the boys think of the book, "The Three Billy Goats Gruff."  They were very excited to feed and pet what they called the biggest Billy Goat Gruff.
We were learning about secondary colors, so my husband had a great idea to have the boys tell us animals they found that were purple, orange, and green.  Here is a picture of what the boys found! (an orange tiger, purple fish and a green snake shedding his skin!)
Here are some other ideas or questions to ask while at the zoo:
  1. How many spots do you think the leopard has?  What color are the spots?
  2. What letter does that animal start with?
  3. Your child can learn how to use a map. (Coordinates, areas of the zoo)  Have them direct you what area to go to next based off of the zoo map.
  4. What do you think the bear likes to eat?
  5. What region do you think the deer lives in?
  6. What does the duck like better?  Water or the land?
  7. Which animal is bigger, smaller, more tall...
  8. What is your favorite animal? Why?
  9. Review colors of animals if you have children with you that are under the pre-k age. 
  10. How many animals do you see in this exhibit?
If you teach Creation in your homeschool, remark on how many animals were on Noah's Ark and which types.  What day did God create the animals?

Chances are if your children are anything like mine, they will be asking you a million questions once you get to the zoo!  What is your favorite spot at the zoo?  Can you think of anymore ideas or fun things to do with your children when you go to the zoo?  Leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you.





  1. I love zoos! Before moving here, we used to go to the San Francisco zoo. The Sacramento zoo is not as nice in comparison, but we've had a membership several years, as it's local, and a fun place to meet up with friends. Unfortunately, they "redefined" Family to mean 2 parents and 4 kids, so it's no longer cost effective for us to maintain a membership.

    1. Our zoo here in Florida is defined as a 2 parent and 4 child family also but we can add a guest pass for only $30 a year. Maybe you could see if they could do that at your zoo also so it is more cost effective for you and your family. It is such a blast to be at the zoo and see your children's imagination light up and see them learn! Thank you for commenting, Shecki!

  2. Oh we love the zoo! We haven't been to the zoo near us in awhile but went to Busch Gardens in Tampa for spring break last week and it was fantastic. Thanks for sharing with #smallvictoriessunday last week. Hope you've linked up again this week!

    1. Hi Tanya! Thanks for hosting the linky again this week. We were blessed with family zoo passes for Christmas so we try to get there as often as we can. Busch Gardens is so much fun and they have a lot of the animals out there also. I hope you and your family had a great time!