Guest Post - We've Been to the Zoo!

We recently went to the London Zoo for the first time, and the kids loved seeing all the animals and hearing about the interesting conservation projects they are involved in. While we were at the zoo we thought it would be fun to try and keep a record of the different animals that we spotted.  We used our animal Alphabet Challenge page for this.  

Looking for animals!
Looking for animals!

One of the interesting side discussions that followed was how there seems to be more animals starting with certain letters and almost none with other letters (S and R seemed popular but there were not many for W or Y)!

While we were at the zoo, the kids helped us navigate around it using the zoo map. So when we were back home we thought it might be fun to design our own zoo map. The kids had lots of great discussions about which animals should get grouped together. We decided that gazelle, giraffes, zebras and even rhinos could all go into one enclosure and possibly the hippos and elephants together because they like water and in the wild they tend to tolerate each other.

I downloaded a number of the animal scissor activity pages – we liked the African Savannah animals, Australian animals, Rainforest animals but you could also include the British Wildlife, fish and the minibeast pages (the younger kids might find these ones easier to cut out).

Cutting out zoo animals
Cutting out zoo animals

Creating their own zoo maps was such a fun activity. Both kids loved planning it and creating it – I have been informed that they want to make another one but this time they want to paint roads and buildings (wow love the sound of that). You could also try and create a zoo map using the Learn to draw Animals pages.

Creating his own zoo map using cut out figures
Creating his own zoo map using cut out figures

Learning about animals seems to be a never-ending topic for us and one that both my kids are always interested in. I have started printing out the animal fact finding pages for the kids to use.

The kids choose an animal and then we search through our selection of animal topic books to find details about that animal.  I love this as the kids are using the index at the back, and then finding the correct page, reading the information and determining what is relevant for their fact pages and what is not.

Working on a giraffe fact page
Working on a giraffe fact page

And for my youngest who is a more reluctant writer, it is proving to be a great activity as he is interested in the animals so he ends up being keen to write out some facts.

Completing the giraffe fact finding worksheet
Completing the giraffe fact finding worksheet

And if the kids are interested in learning how to spell some of the animal names we recommend the vocabulary matching cards.  My youngest has been using them as spelling cards and loves them as he can check for himself if he has spelled the words correctly.

African animal vocabulary matching cards
African animal vocabulary matching cards

There are so many animal themed worksheets that you could use after a zoo adventure. We particularly liked the Alphabetical order ones – both the worksheet and the sorting cards (linked in nicely with using the alphabetical challenge page while we were out at the zoo).

African animals alphabetical order
African animals alphabetical order

And as always a good word scramble or crossword always go well with any topic we cover.

African animals word scramble and crossword
African animals word scramble and crossword

Out and About with our Scavenger Hunts

This is a guest post from Shelly. Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 6 and 9. She blogs at ofamily learning together where she shares ideas on the different learning activities that they do including lots of hand-on Maths, arts and crafts and anything else that is part of their home educating lifestyle.

You can find more guest posts by Shelly, and a list of all our guest posts, here.

Guest Post - We've Been to the Zoo!
Wednesday, 13th June 2018

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