The Zoo Tomorrow and Today
I know it is hard enough to plan enough activities to keep the kids occupied during school holidays, but don’t forget to keep some ideas back for the odd days when school is closed for inschool staff training sessions. These pop up at annoyingly regular intervals nowadays (of course, naturally I approve of our teachers getting up to date training), but it means taking days off work and organising something that will keep the kids happy.
Fortunately, I have a trusty stand-by that I am willing to share with others. It’s actually pretty obvious, but it works all the time: the good, old-fashioned zoo.
Actually zoos nowadays are not old-fashioned at all. Gone are the days when all you could do was traipse around small, smelly cages. Instead, zoos try to get young people (and us adults, too) involved in caring for the animals, as well as teaching us all about the species.
There are interactive games that educate you about wildlife while you play; there are plenty of electronic information points; and opportunities such as naming an ant in an anthill or throwing a fish to a penguin will delight children of all ages.
A good zoo, such as London Zoo in Regent’s Park, has such a great range of animals that even fussy kids who declare that they are not actually interested in seeing the animals will always find something to amuse and entertain them, or to wonder at. The sight of elephants spraying each other with water, or baboons thrusting their blue bottoms at you, will make even the most sceptical and cynical child laugh, and no one can look at the muscular power of a lion or tiger without being impressed.
Then there the houses that might make kids give a happy scream of horror: the insect houses with their giant spiders or the reptile houses with the evil-looking crocodiles.
The zoo is my advice for keeping the kids occupied, and trust me, it works.
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