It’s Father Friday and we have a full day planned for those daddies looking to spend some quality time with their little ones this summer.
Our children learn from a book that a cow goes “Moo!” and a tiger goes “Rawr!” but why not let them see the stripes on a zebra and the arms of an orangutan for themselves. That’s right, today we’re going to the zoo!
What you’ll need: iPad, hat, sunscreen, extra water, lunch bag, sketchbook, crayons, walking shoes, swim suit and a towel.
Arrive at the zoo early as parking may fill up quickly during the summer. Make sure you have a map of the zoo and have located the kid friendly zones. As your little one discovers numerous animals for the first time be sure to repeat their names and take pictures and videos with your iPad (we’ll be using them later). Find at least one characteristic that they can associate the animal with. For example, the giraffe has spots and a long neck. The panda is black, white and furry.
Sit down with your child after lunchtime on one of the many benches throughout the zoo and have them draw pictures of animals in front of them. Visual repetition is key to stimulating their long-term memory.
(Check out the app ScrapPad by Album tArt on iTunes. ScrapPad allows you to create a scrapbook of photos and artwork from the day directly on your iPad. This will further aid your child’s memory and they’ll have fun decorating the pages too!)
For those really hot days, take your little one to the Kid’s Splash Area to cool off. There are many other fun activities held within the Zoo grounds, such as camel and pony riding, games, carousel rides, and the family theatre.
By the end of the day, your little one is pooped and ready to take a well-deserved nap on the car ride home. And daddy, you just had a successful, educational and fun filled day that your child will never forget. Good work dad!
—————————————————————————————————————————– A child looks up at the stars and wonders. A great father puts a child on his shoulders and helps them to grab a star. – Reed Markham, American Educator