As we’ve been working through the alphabet this past month with the August Alphabet Challenge, my mind has been reeling on all the fun ways we can learn through play and exploration!
A few weeks ago on our trip to the zoo, we walked through the gates and were consulting the map, the boys stated the first animal they wanted to see were the giraffes. Dylan, our 3-year old, asked me in his little chipmunk voice, “Mommy, what letter giraffe start with?” “G,” I responded. “Giraffe starts with ‘G’ which is perfect since today is our letter ‘g’ day!”
And then the light bulb went off… why not have learning fun at the zoo too! Thus the creation of the “A-Z Animal Hunt”! Print your animal hunt and take it with you. Have your child circle the animals they see, then color the animals once you get home. It’s hours of learning fun!
Get your A-Z Animal Hunt here! (We printed our sheets 2-sided on cardstock so they were sturdier and there weren’t multiple sheets.)
This Labor Day Weekend, we went back to the zoo with Grandma and Grandpa. I introduced this fun activity to the boys in the van on the way there. Once we got through the ticket gate, I gave the boys their animal hunt sheets and a crayon and they were thrilled! They couldn’t wait to find the animals on their sheet! (I took some extra sheets & crayons and handed them out to other parents with kids. Both the parents & the kiddos were super excited about this learning activity! Kids LOVE activities!)
The first thing we did was take a ride on the Motor Safari tram. The boys sat anxiously waiting to circle the animals they spotted. Unfortunately, we didn’t see too many from the tram, but that didn’t discourage the boys! We kept their papers and crayons handy in the stroller as we walked through the rest of the zoo. After every section (the primate house, the Big Cat section, the Great Bear Wilderness) we would get out our papers and the boys would get busy circling (which in Dylan’s case was more like coloring).
Even after an entire day at the zoo, lots of walking, and no naps, the boys were still tickled about their animal hunt pages! They studied them after we left and pointed out the animals we needed to see next time.
We are already looking forward to our next zoo trip and round of animal exploration! Hope you and your little ones can use this activity for more hands-on learning!
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