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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fun and Educational Ideas for your visit to the Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo is fabuLOUs!  It just a really nice size, not too big to be overwhelming but big enough to have a nice variety of creatures and critters to see.  We love take little breaks for playtime at the playground or the splashpad in the summer.  I have been taking my children since we moved to Louisville and at each visit, they definitely learn something new.  As a parent, we can be teachers to our children on these zoo trips and help show them that zoos are not only places to see interesting animals, but to learn about what makes them so interesting.  We can teach them age-appropriate details about the animals diet, habitat, routines etc. adding to these details as they grow up.

The zoo website has a way to make this a little easier.  They have printable materials that you can take with you to aid in teaching your child and showing them that learning at the zoo can be just as fun as simply going there to play.  They have charts for observing behavior of the gorillas, seeking and finding different animals and categorizing them by how they move and lots of sheets with questions for different areas of the zoo.
Here are all of the educational printables:
http://www.louisvillezoo.org/education/materials/index.htm

Dress the kids up like zoologists, get them a clip board from the Dollar Tree and tie a pen/pencil to it.  Make it official!  Tell them it's there job to go and learn about the animals and report back.  Award them a little prize or treat after they finish it, or maybe let them pick what's for dinner! Maybe after checking these out, your children and you can work together to make your own zoologist charts for the zoo or siblings can make scavenger hunts for each other.  If you do it together, you know your children the best and you can make the activity suitable for their age and development.  Make your next trip to the zoo a little different!

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