Saturday, October 5, 2013

Zoo Tots

Our zoo offers all sorts of classes and camps for kids throughout the year.  Once they are 3 (and potty trained) they can do a class called Zoo Kids.  It's sort of set up like a preschool type of class, but it is only once a week and each session runs 4 weeks.  The classes are 3 hours and they do all sorts of activities, have a snack, make a craft, and get to touch and see an animal in their class.  I had Little Man do this the summer right before he started preschool and it was a great way to prepare him for what was to come.  Around that same time they started something called Zoo tots.  We were past that point, so I didn't pay too much attention to it.

Fast forward to now and I have a tot!  One who loves animals, too.  So I looked into it.  Each class is an hour long and costs $10 whether you have a zoo membership or not.  A guardian has to stay and do the class with the kiddo.  You don't have to sign up for a massive amount of classes either. I liked that, since our schedule seems to be filling up quickly as it is.

I figured we'd give it a shot. I looked at the list of topics, checked out our calendar, and selected one that was Animals A to Z.  We went last Wednesday, and Olivia enjoyed herself.

Each class has the same sort of set up.  At first it was just a free play while the other students arrived.

The teacher did a little intro, had the kids pick up the toys, and then had them introduce themselves.

We talked a little about the theme, and she read a book that went along with it.

Next, it was time for our visitor.  We got to see an armadillo--which I thought was funny since we just moved from Texas.
They gave some facts about the animal and then let each kid touch it.
Olivia was super excited and couldn't wait her turn.  Then when it was her turn she got all shy, so I had to help her out some.

After each kid got to touch it and had a good hand wash, they put it in a bucket and let them check it out in there.  Then it was time to say good bye to our friend.

The teacher then did a little game/demonstration with stuffed animals and tried to find one to match each letter of the alphabet.  Oh, and we sang our ABC's too.

Next up was craft time!  A was for armadillo, and B was for bear!

Then it was time for our walk.  Each class ends with a walk to check out an animal or two.
Thankfully, we got to see the few that Olivia had specifically asked me that we see before we even got there.  She wanted to see the elephants, tigers and lions.

This is Hank.  I think he's new to our zoo??  One of the workers said he is one of the largest elephants in the world.  He stayed his distance, but we also got to see the 4 year old elephant inside.  It was closer.

We also saw the rhino and the sun bear.  We walked past the tigers, but they weren't out.

Our last stop on our walk was to see the lions. The male lion was sleeping right up by the fence.

Overall, I liked the class.  Olivia is starting to be a handful at times, so that is never fun.  But on the same hand, that is why she needs to get out and have these social experiences.  We will definitely try out more.  I am not going to be signing us up for one class a week, but it will be a nice filler during the colder months when we are looking for a reason to get out of the house.

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