With the beautiful warm weather this week, we decided that a trip to the Calgary Zoo was the perfect outing. We currently have season passes to the Zoo and so we have been quite a few times. I wanted this outing to be more educational than just strolling around and looking at the animals, so I created some Zoo Bingo sheets for the kids. The kids always carry their own backpacks filled with a water bottle, snacks or lunch, etc. and we added in the bingo sheet on a clipboard, with a pen.
I made two versions, so that all my children could work on them confidently. The first is for older children that can read and features phrases like “Animal that is taller than you”, “Arctic Animal” or “Cold Blooded Animal”. The second features pictures of the Zoo animals and is for children who are still leaning to read. I did some research on the zoo’s website and chose animals that were specific to the Calgary Zoo so that all the pictures/phrases were relevant.
Once we arrived at the Zoo we set some ‘rules’, such as you must be at the animal to mark it off (no rushing through and just filling it in) and we decided on a prize for the end of our outing. The boys’ heads were buzzing with all the options … a stuffed animal from the gift shop, extra time at the park, ice cream, a burger from Peter’s. Oh the possibilities! We settled on ice cream, got out the clipboards and got started. They had so much fun searching for animals to mark off and reading the signs to learn more about them. I laughed as my littlest little commented on the Meerkat’s habitat and how large she though it was, I didn’t even realize she knew that term!? It was interesting to see how each boy had chosen different animals for each space and how much information they were soaking in. Some of our favorite stops were at the Gorillas, one of which is pregnant and the kids are very excited to come back and see the baby soon. My littlest has a thing for Flamingos, probably because they’re pink. She gets so excited and could watch them all day! My oldest, who is an avid reader, told her all about why Flamingos are pink, while we watched them eat their lunch.
As our outing was coming to an end the boys were feeling frustrated as they only needed one square, “Baby Animal” to finish off a few Zingos (they thought we should change the name from Zoo Bingo to Zingo, and they kept yelling Zingo every time they got a line). They were kicking themselves for not marking it off when we were at the Giraffes, as there was a cute little dude there. As we walked through the penguin exhibit, my oldest noticed a penguin hanging out in the back that didn’t look like the others. I clued in that it was a baby penguin and told him to go chat with the zoo keeper to see what she could tell him about the penguin. He came back with his eyes lit up and exclaimed it’s a BABY! We learned that the little penguin keeps his fluffy brown feathers for a year and can’t swim. Since he can’t swim his parents have to bring him all his food. That is his mother hanging out beside him in the picture below. We all had a good laugh because we though he was so giant compared to his mother, until we realized he was standing on a rock.
We finished off with our prize, ice cream, and chatted about our outing. They learned so much and enjoyed themselves while doing it. Needless to say Zoo Bingo or Zingo as my kids now call it, was a huge hit!
You can grab a free printable of Zoo Bingo to use the next time you go to the zoo!!
Click here for Zoo Bingo with Pictures
Click here for Zoo Bingo with Words