How to Make the Most of a Zoo Field Trip
A zoo field trip can be a wonderful learning experience. The key is to plan a trip that works learning into the day. Whether that means practicing basic skills or making time to see shows, you can make the most of a zoo field trip.
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1. Go on a Zoo Field Trip on a WeekdayIf you want the zoo field trip to go smoothly, and want the chance to work learning into the day, you want to go on a weekday. During the weekend, the zoo will be filled with families and it can be stressful. Not only do you not get enough time to enjoy each exhibit, but it can be impossible to get a child to stop and focus when so much is going on.
2. Practice Basic SkillsThroughout the visit, practice basic math and reading skills. Ask how many monkeys are in the monkey cage or ask what signs say. Limit the questions to one per exhibit so that your child doesn’t catch on that you’re trying to turn this into a learning experience.
3. Teach Fun FactsAnother great thing to do at some of the exhibits is to teach a fun fact. For example, you might teach her that lions are from Africa. At the end of the day, on the way home, ask her questions to see how much she remembers.
4. Make Time for ShowsThe shows are a wonderful way to learn during a zoo field trip. Check the schedule before heading to the zoo so that you know where to be at what time. It might be a show where they feed the seals and talk about neat facts or a demonstration at the lion habitat. If you don’t have time to see all the shows, go to the ones that interest your child the most. Children are more likely to learn when they are interested.
5. Ask QuestionsLast, but not least, look for zookeepers that will answer your child’s questions. Just try to limit the amount of questions so that you’re not taking up too much time of the personnel. If you like, you can ask your son the questions he wants to ask before you go so that he learns the most important things on his list. A trip to the zoo can be a wonderful learning experience. Not only can children learn more about the animals they love, but it’s a great way to practice basic math and reading skills as well. You might also enjoy:
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A lot of zoos have Docents or specific volunteers to answer questions. The zoo I worked at had Just Ask carts with artifacts for people to touch & talk about.