Jun 1, 2011

A Trip to the Detroit Zoo - how to make the most out of your trip using baby signs.

A Trip to the Detroit Zoo - How to make the most out of your trip using baby signs.

The Detroit Zoo is a great learning experience for children of all ages. Make the most of your trip with your young child by following some of these great tips from My Smart Hands of Metro Detroit.
1. Before you go to the zoo, pick about two to four animals that you know your child will enjoy seeing. Below are a few grouping suggestions based on location in the Detroit Zoo.
- butterfly, bird [videos below] (Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, Aviary)
- frog, fish, duck (Amphibiville)
- horse, cow, sheep, pig, owl (Farm Animals)
- bear, giraffe, zebra (back of the park)

2. Teach your child the sign for the chosen animals. Repeat and sign the words often in a variety of contexts. Check out the Activity Idea Place for some great Zoo themed lesson plans for toddlers and preschool children.
- Read books that have pictures of the animals.
- Sing songs that contain the animals
- Show your child pictures of the animals
- Watch videos of the animals
3. Talk about your trip to the Detroit Zoo before you go. Talk about the animals you are going to see.
4. Enjoy the Zoo. Be sure to visit your chosen animals and show your child the sign for the animal, if they haven’t already made the sign themselves.
Other tips for the getting the most out of the Detroit Zoo from Metro Detroit Mommy
Bring snacks – Nothing can kill a pleasant day like hunger. Make sure you bring a variety of snacks and drinks for you and your child. The Zoo does offer a variety of foods at their concession stands, but it is much more convenient and less expensive to bring your own.
Bring your camera – Capture a few of those special moments at the zoo, but don’t become so obsessed with the perfect shot that you forget to have fun.
Apply sunscreen and wear a hat – Even on overcast days the sun can do damage. If you forget, the zoo sells a variety of hats and sunscreen at the gift shop.
Get a membership – If you live close enough, I highly recommend getting a membership. Having a Detroit Zoo membership allows you to feel more at ease each time you visit the zoo. You can visit an exhibit or two and take your time, not feeling the pressure to see the whole zoo all at once.
Plan your visit – If you are just visiting for one day or you have a membership, it is a good idea to have a general plan before you visit the Detroit Zoo. What animals do you want to see? Where are they in the park? If you are a Zoo member, a special entrance is available by the Ford Education Center on the south side of the zoo. This entrance is closer to the center of the park and allows for quicker entrance and exit of the zoo.
Let your children set your pace – Take the cues from the children what they want to see, how long they want to visit an exhibit and when it is time to rest, eat or even leave. Happy children mean happy parents!!!!
Finally be prepared for – the spraying frogs by Amphibiville and the playground near the Penguinarium. More likely than not, if your child spots either one of these attractions, they will want to stop and play. A change of clothes is a good idea, especially if you plan to visit Amphibiville at the beginning of your visit.
Have fun!!!!

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer: