Friday, May 20, 2016

Let's design a zoo! (And our 15+ favorite zoo books!)

Are you looking for an easy, open-ended prompt to encourage children's play and creativity?  How about a building challenge?  We've designed and built playdough and rock houses , cardboard bridgesboats from recycled materials, and super hero hideouts.  Today, we're designing and building a zoo!

Designing a Zoo with Kids!


Designing a zoo with kids- Great STEAM project for kids of all ages, plus our 15+ favorite zoo books


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Designing a zoo is such an intriguing challenge.  There are so many facets that go into building and running a fun (and safe!) zoo.  We enjoyed this creative exercise because it was easy to set up, open-ended, and offered us a joint space to create together.

The Invitation:

I offered my son an assortment of materials like plastic animals, pipe cleaners, plastic cups, chalk, and his nature collection (shells, acorns, and pine cones).  I wanted the activity to be as enticing and inviting as possible.  Here's what our creative table looked like:


Designing a zoo with kids- Great STEAM project for kids of all ages, plus our 15+ favorite zoo books

The Challenge:

Then, I issued him the challenge to create his own zoo.   I placed the materials out in the morning and left them out all day so that he could go back and build/draw whenever inspiration hit.

Designing a zoo with kids- Great STEAM project for kids of all ages, plus our 15+ favorite zoo books


The Discussion:

As he created, we talked about ideas like:

- What certain animals eat
- Where certain animals live
- Which animals are considered dangerous
- Whether certain animals could live together
- Why it's important to have a bathroom for people

Designing a zoo with kids- Great STEAM project for kids of all ages, plus our 15+ favorite zoo books


It was really neat to see how the zoo developed over time and to hear my son's thoughts.  Kids really are so imaginative and thoughtful, aren't they?

I hope you try this activity out with your kiddos too!  And if you're looking for some great picture books to go along with this activity, here are

Our 15+ Favorite Zoo Themed Books






More Preschool Zoo Activities

Looking for more fun zoo crafts and activities for preschoolers?  Check out the links below from our favorite preschool-loving bloggers!!


Happy creating, friends!

Designing a zoo with kids- Great STEAM project for kids of all ages, plus our 15+ favorite zoo books


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