Love the Zoo
Zoo Trivia and Next Trip
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There are lots of ways to learn about the animals. Here are some ideas to get started.
- Explain some differences between warm-blooded animals, birds, reptiles, mammals and insects. Make sure to remind kids that they're animals too!
- Encourage younger children to make animal sounds. They can also practice saying all the animal names—from hippopotamus to porcupine and snow leopard.
- For older kids, plan a scavenger hunt before you get to the zoo. Write down a list of animal attributes (reptile, bird, herbivore, carnivore, etc.) and find one of each.
Here's some zoo trivia to help. There’s a lot more to be found online and at the zoo.
Did you know…
- Flamingos are pink because of the color of crustaceans that they eat.
- Jaguars could keep up with you on the highway, traveling up to 75 mph (114 km/hour).
- A giraffe is the tallest animal. Her tongue is 18 inches long and her neck is six feet long (2 meters).
- Lions sleep for 18 hours a day, similar to a newborn human.
- Hippopotamus teeth are tusk-like and made of ivory.
- Polar bears are the largest land carnivores in the world.
- The African elephant is the largest living land animal. It's a girls’ world: Elephants live in herds of females and offspring. The bachelor troops only visit to mate.
After your day at the zoo, consider “adopting” a particular animal if your child was really impressed with it. Many zoos have programs where a small donation will make you a proud adoptive parent (the animal stays in the zoo of course). Your family will often get special newsletters or magazines and your donation goes toward zoo programs. "Adopting an animal is a really popular gift," says Shipley. "It helps to teach the children to respect the animals and makes them aware."
Consider a zoo camp. Many zoos offer week-long day camps and some even have camping sleepovers. There’s nothing quite like sleeping with the lions!
Go to the library in search of animal books or do an Internet search to find out more—especially if your child was enthralled by one or two animals or a certain category of animals. Print off our animal printables too. Or, play online games.
Zoo talk: Share your favorite zoo story or tip in the Kaboose forums.