I am going to be visiting the zoo quite a bit this coming year and, ever the educator, was thinking of all of the opportunities there are when you go with children. I will list the zoos first and then activities you can consider doing while you are there or when you are back home.
Just click the name of the zoo or animal park and it will take you to the link of that particular site.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens– Hurry and plan your trip because zoo admission is half off until this Friday, March 8. The Zoo Babies are a huge hit in the spring (usually begins in April). Fiona the Hippo, another crowd pleaser who was born at the zoo is a now a 1000 pound toddler!
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, set on 22 acres, is not only a place where you can see animals, but you can also take in the Zoombezi Water Park, the Wilds, go to the aquarium and play golf. What a great day of fun!
Toledo Zoo you can see an underwater view of hippos at the Hippoquarium, the only exhibit of its kind in the world. There is an aquarium here at this zoo as well as the Pro Medica Museum of Natural History that will have interactive experiences for visitors.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has the largest collection of primates in the United States. It also has Amur Tigers that are on the endangered species list. Only 540 of them are known to exist in the wild.
African Safari Wildlife Park located in Port Clinton, Ohio is a drive-thru park that is open daily. Here you can see guanaco, sika deer, Scottish Highlander cattle, bongo and many other species. If you have little ones or elderly family and friends there is no need to get out of your car to enjoy the interesting and diverse species of animals the park has to offer.
Wagon Trails Animal Park is located in Northeastern Ohio on 60 acres. You get to have a safari experience where you ride in an open-air safari bus to see and feed the animals. It is featured in USA Today as one of the “10 Great Places for a North American Safari.”
The Lagoon Deer Park operates from Memorial Day through the beginning of November. You get to be up close and personal as you stroll through the park, feeding the animals by hand. You can also pet the animals if you like. If you like fishing, bring your poles and bait so you can do enjoy relaxing on the banks of their 4 their shaded lagoons. You can even pitch a tent on Friday and Saturday nights to enjoy night fishing.
So, what kinds of educational things can you do at the zoo? I am glad you asked!
- Where is the animal from?
- Locate that country/ region on a map. Color the country and learn about the habitat of the species. (Here is a map of the world.)
- How far is the country/ region from where you live?
- How much does the animal weigh at adulthood? How much is that more than you?
- What does the term endangered species mean? What does extinct mean? Further investigation- Were any of the animals you saw on the Endangered Species list?
- Have your son/daughter write a science report about their favorite animal they saw at the park.
- Sketch or draw and color the animals they liked the best.
- Study the various classifications of the species. Science- study the meaning of the Latin name. (example- hippopotamus- Greek- hippos- horse potamos- river)
- What kinds of jobs could you get by working at the zoo?
- What is the Latin name of your favorite animal you saw.?