Your homeschool field trip to the zoo can be awesome with a little planning and my 4 favorite tips. A homeschool field trip to the zoo is the perfect opportunity to learn about biology, zoology, geography, and even botany.
If you’re planning a zoo trip with your homeschool family this year, don’t hesitate to count it as a field trip. A zoo is a wonderful place for your homeschoolers to learn and there are simple steps you can take to make the trip even more fun and educational. Keep reading to discover my favorite 4 ways to make your homeschool field trip to the zoo awesome.
Why a trip to the zoo makes a perfect homeschool field trip
Zoo excursions totally count as homeschool field trips! With a little planning and preparation, you can learn about a variety of subjects during your homeschool field trip to the zoo.
Learning about how animals move, their natural habitats, and their unique diets is a fantastic way to begin teaching your homeschoolers about biology, zoology, and ecosystems. Then, extend the lesson to learn about world geography and botany.
Many zoos offer special shows, programs, and behind-the-scenes tours for low or no cost. For example, zoos often offer special camps and classes. On our trips to zoos, we have participated in feeding tropical birds, touching stingrays, and holding snakes.
There are always lots of demonstrations to see as well. The possibilities are endless when you take a field trip to the zoo!
Creating A Learning Environment On Your Homeschool Field Trip
One of my favorite things to do before we take a field trip is to request brochures from the places we will be visiting. Books and brochures about your local zoo are a fantastic way to get kids excited about all the things they’ll be experiencing on your homeschool field trip.
Read books about your child’s favorite zoo animals. Does your zoo have any new animal exhibits? If so, you may want to spend some time learning about the new animal before you visit.
Here are some of our favorite animal books:
First Animal Encyclopedia: A First Reference Guide to the AnimalsNational Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of AnimalsAnimals: A Visual Encyclopedia (Second Edition)Animal!An Anthology of Intriguing AnimalsThe Animal Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of Life on EarthThe Animal Book (Lonely Planet Kids)The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts!National Geographic Wild Animal Atlas: Earth’s Astonishing Animals and Where
Print the zoo map online before your trip to discover where your favorite animals are located. It’s a great way to map out your day at the zoo ahead of time. Plus, it will give homeschoolers a chance to discover and learn about some really cool unexpected animals and exhibits.
If you’re going to be traveling some distance to the zoo, you may want to consider watching a learning program along the way. Some of our favorites are the Secrets of the Zoo series on Disney Plus.
4 Ways To Make Your Homeschool Field Trip To The Zoo Awesome
Check out my top 4 ways to make your homeschool field trip to the zoo totally awesome! You can use these tips to make the day an extra special interest-led homeschool field trip adventure. Here’s how:
Let Your Child Take Pictures
Hand over the camera. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by all the things your kids capture on a homeschool field trip to the zoo. It’s a great opportunity to see the world through their eyes. Plus, it’s a fun way to encourage your homeschoolers to be more observant s they view each exhibit.
Also, as a mom, it’s sometimes tempting to follow our kids around with the camera throughout the field trip. I’d like to encourage you to take a break. There are all kinds of things you can’t see through the camera lens, so don’t try to orchestrate too many posed shots on your field trip.
As an added bonus, if your kids are taking the pictures, you’ll actually get to be in them. Now that’s a win for everyone.
Take Your Time
One of the easiest ways to make sure your homeschool field trip to the zoo is totally awesome is just to take your time. There’s no need to rush. Don’t feel like you need to see every single animal or show.
Trying to see and do everything in one visit can be overwhelming. If you live near the zoo, you might want to take advantage of seasonal tickets or passes that allow you to visit multiple times.
If you only see a few animals, that’s ok. You can consider your homeschool field trip to the zoo a success if your child is engaged and excited about the experience. Even if you only see four animals, that’s mission accomplished.
Don’t Force It To Be “School”
Have you been looking at all the colorful homeschool printables on Pinterest? We all do it. I’d like to encourage you to resist the urge to turn your homeschool field trip to the zoo into “school.”
I promise, learning will still happen and it will be amazing. However, worksheets before and after can make the field trip less fun. This is especially true if you have a child that hates field trips.
Instead of strolling through the zoo, clipboard in hand, consider putting the papers aside and engaging completely in all the wonderful things to see and do at the zoo with your homeschoolers. Afterward, talk about what you’ve seen and all the things you learned together.
Talk To The Zookeepers
Take time to talk to the zookeepers and other people who work there. They are incredibly knowledgeable and they get to interact with the animals on a regular basis.
Ask the zookeepers questions and you might be surprised by the answers. You might even get to see or do something most guests wouldn’t.
If you incorporate just a few of these awesome tips into your homeschool field trip to the zoo, I know you’ll have an amazing adventure filled with learning and fun. Comment below to let me know which zoo you’re planning a field trip to with your homeschoolers this year. Which animals are you most excited to see?