The end of the Summer holidays brought the long-anticipated grand day out – our trip to the zoo. Getting our money’s worth, I’m seeing this as a starting point for many zoo-themed activities for weeks to come.
In preparation, we discussed what animals we might see, and researched a few facts about them. L was very interested in using the computer to find out that a cheetah runs faster than a car, a giraffe is taller than our house, a lion has the loudest roar. He was also pleased to print off his own laminated map of the zoo and pack his camera and binoculars.
N enjoyed looking at the website and making animal noises, playing a version of charades that involved much crawling on all fours and reminding her not to say “I’m being a lion” etc etc…
And to keep F involved, we read “That’s not My Lion” and got out a range of animal toys of varying textures for her to
chew and dribble on stimulate her sensory development.
Now, I was just as excited as the kids, and packed animal themed children’s songs for the car, laminated maps for everyone, purchased scrapbooks ready for photos of happy family day out – only to wobble when it was pouring with rain. We set out anyway, and I cheered up when L and n began singing “hairy sausages” to the tune of “Bare necessities”…Lesson Number One: Let go of Expectations and Enjoy these Times for What They Are, not What you Think They Should Be.
And we still had fun. In bucketloads (just like the rain!).
No structured plan for the day itself, except to have fun, enjoy the animals, answer questions as they came up, and explore – but most of all to enjoy a family day at the zoo. However, I did take along a brother in law who happened to spend a large portion of his life in Zambia, and worked as an actual safari guide, and a sister who is a fully qualified early years teacher (I knew I invited them for a reason!).
And here we are, enjoying the day for what it is…