The Things We Learn at the Zoo

Today we went to Southwick's Zoo.  We stayed at the zoo for 5 and a half hours!  They loved it.  It was a wonderful day filled with learning!

We saw every animal there, sat through a bird show, a trained dog show and an animal show.  We went on a train ride through the elk forest and saw elk, swans, wild turkeys, ducks and herons.

They got to touch and pet a snake, a rabbit, goats, deer, and deer antlers.

We heard so many animal noises, many we'd never heard before like prairie dogs.

  • They learned that flamingos are pink because of their diet
  • That the peregrine falcon is the fastest flier
  • That macaws and parrots are becoming endangered due to illegal pet trade and that only 1 out of 10 birds even survive the trip once captured.  
  • We discussed the differences between turtles and tortoises
  • The differences between dromedaries and camels,
  • Looked at the fur patterns of all the big cats. 
  • They also learned about animal enrichment at the zoo along with tons of other animals facts. 

Petting the bunny before he goes inside for the night

I figured this would end up being a real short blog with lots of pictures and one short video since our whole day consisted of the zoo and everything animal related.

I knew we learned a lot of science today.

But then I realized  a trip to the zoo incorporates so much more.

  • We read a lot today; mainly all the signs about all the animals we saw. 
  •  We learned geography by talking about the maps on each sign on the different countries (like Madagascar; "That's a real place?  Wow, that is a tiny island."), they quizzed each other on reading the zoo map on the way home & gave each other directions to follow to find various places on the map so they were developing map reading skills.  
  • They even did math!  When they realized it was 16 tickets to ride the train and I said that was for all 4 of us Ian almost immediately said that's 4 each.... he did division in his head, quickly and accurately!  
  • We talked about the cost of the ride bracelets versus the cost of the ticket packs and discussed the cost of all the animal feeding opportunities, the souvenirs and the panning for gems that they were disappointed not to do today.  We ended up talking about budgets and money management.  
  • We definitely covered physical education with all the walking and the balancing on curbs, jumping off benches and boulders and all that other climbing stuff kids manage to find no matter where you go. 
 I think the only subject we didn't cover today was art!  Not bad for a field trip to the zoo to learn about animals.

Ian pets a snake; he wants one as pet and was glad to hear they're easy to take care of!

Dog show


  1. I was so excited when I went to the Stone Zoo I actually heard a lion roar! It was amazing!!! Zoo's are such a great trip! #explorerkids

    1. Stone zoo is on our list to visit; hopefully this year. We just love zoo's.

  2. Zoos can be controversial but I have fond memories of my trips to them over the years both as a child and adult. I love how you really detail the learning and as we home-educate I am going to use you as an inspiration on that score #ExplorerKids

    1. I know they can be but I find most zoos around here really treat the animals well and it's such a great way for kids to learn about animals they would never know about otherwise. I'm more than happy to be your inspiration.

  3. Your children are learning so much from all of these experiences - keep up the great work with all these educational trips. Sarah #ExplorerKids

  4. Aww... how lovely! I don't even know the differences between turtles and tortoises; nor the differences between dromedaries and camels. Very interesting. The dog show looks great. They are so cute! My friend used to have a snake as pet but then one night, it went on a walk about! Yikes!

    Thank you very much for linking up with us on #ExplorerKids

    1. Yeah my step sister had a snake too when she moved into her first apartment and it got loose... I refused to visit. Ick! They're fine behind glass or in a cage but not anywhere that they might be able to get at me.


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