Anyone out there intolerant to soy products???
We are very excited to be visiting the Taronga Zoo with my toddler’s best friend this week. We have been planning the visit for some time and over the past week we have had a lot of fun getting ready to get the most from the experience. If you are lucky enough to be visiting a Zoo or wildlife park here are some ideas to make the visit a whole lot more fun for even the very youngest toddler.
This toddler trick is perfect for any toddler.
What you need:
What to do:
Visiting a zoo is not a cheap exercise but we have found it to be definitely worth every cent for the experience. What it does mean, is that you do want to make sure that you get the most out of going – rather than just passively taking your toddler around the animals. So take half-an-hour out each day to engage in some zoo orientated activity:
1. Read about it! We have been lucky enough to have been given some great wild animal picture books (see our photos below). If you have something similar at home – great! If not, see if you can borrow from friends for a week OR borrow from your local library. Gather them together and put in a special box so you can access them easily…decorate the box with animal stickers, magazine pictures or similar if you have time. For older toddlers write the word “Zoo” in large letters on the box so they can start associating the word shape with the activity.
2. Sing about it! “We’re all going to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow”…make up your own song or take a listen to what we have found on You Tube!
3. Watch and learn! We have had a lot of fun finding zoo animal related links on the internet. We practiced making animal noises with the “Zoo Sounds” I phone app which is fantastic! I was also lucky enough to be given a Baby Einstein DVD World animals; I watched this the first time with my toddler but after that she has been more than happy to sit and watch this a couple of times by herself.
4. Act it out! Elephants are our favourite; my toddler imitates the trunk with her arm by her face and makes a credible elephant trumpet; Lions are also very popular with ‘claws’ up and going “Raaaaaar”; Crocodile’s big snappy jaws are easy to do; and since we have learnt to jump recently, bounding about like a kangaroo is also pretty popular. Monkey is the latest addition with hands tucked up under arms and making “whooo, whooo, whoo” noises. I guess I look pretty ridiculous doing it with her but she thinks it’s a lot of fun!!
5. We were fortunate enough to go to the Zoo a few months ago and that first trip taught us quite a bit:
a. It is very pushchair friendly and while my toddler liked to walk for a little bit (hand held under close supervision) it was great to be able to cover the distance between animals with ease.
b. Definitely take a good amount of snacks and drinks. It is thirsty work and while the cafés were great it was pretty busy and a hungry toddler is not generally equipped to wait in queues. There were plenty of picnic spots with fabulous views and this was a good way of keeping costs down.
c. Sunscreen and hats (take a couple, just in case you lose one); or if its wet a change of clothes can be a good idea too. There were changing facilities in most of the toilet blocks and a family area in the centre of the zoo.
d. Hand sanitizer is also a good idea; for both you and your toddler. Even in a pushchair they seem to want to touch everything so a touch of hand cleaning goes a long way (wipes can be used for this as well).
e. Pay attention to the animal feeding and demonstration times; watching them ‘do things’ is a lot more entertaining for your toddler than just seeing them in a static pose – so try to take in the elephants playing or the seals being fed as part of your overall experience. The children’s petting zoo area was also a big hit!!
This list is by no means complete. I would be really interested to hear other ideas that you may have that we can try out before our zoo visit at the end of this week. Please comment below and we will let you know how we go!