We’ve had a membership to the Oakland Zoo for over three years now. We visit frequently, as it is a beautiful place to run around, with a great Children’s Zoo for the kids. And what better way for a child to see, in relatively close and safe proximity, wild animals from around the world. Usually when we visit the zoo, I ask my son what animals he would like to see that day, and that’s what we do.
I noticed a few years ago on the zoo website that they have Scavenger Hunt Sheets available to download, but my son was still too young to enjoy them. I believe four is a great age to begin this activity, at least for my son. I know plenty of other kids who are younger who would probably love this. I can imagine this would be even more fun for older kids.
Here’s a list of the sheets currently available:
- Amazing Animals Scavenger Hunt
- Animal Behavior Scavenger Hunt
- Animal Adaptations Scavenger Hunt
- Life Scavenger Hunt
- Conservation Scavenger Hunt
- Habitats Adaptations Scavenger Hunt
- Career Scavenger Hunt
What a great way to make a visit to the zoo more fun, interactive, and educational!
Today, I decided to try out the Amazing Animals Scavenger Hunt. The sheet included search activities, like find…
- An animal covered with scales…
- An animal that can hide in the trees…
- An animal that feeds its baby milk…
- A mammal that can fly…
In all, the sheet listed thirteen animals to find. I wasn’t sure if the activity would hold my son’s attention for the entire list. But he did a pretty good job! He was getting a bit distracted in the middle, so we enjoyed some playtime in the Children’s Zoo section…
The Lily Pad Hop is always a favorite! But then, when my son was ready, we got back to finding the items on our list. When I asked him to find “an animal that feed its baby milk”, he immediately yelled “goats!” So off to the petting zoo we went…
We ultimately found ten of the thirteen items on the list. I didn’t feel like going on the Outback Express Adventure Train today, so we were unable to find “an animal that carries its baby in a pouch” or “a bird with feathers that can’t fly.” And I was a bit confused about “an animal without eyelids.” Perhaps they meant for us to find a snake? But I believe snakes have clear eyelids, not “no” eyelids. Something to do some research about. Throughout the scavenger hunt, we had some great discussions about the characteristics of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Fun outing!
Does your local zoo provide scavenger hunt lists? Check out their website. If not, the lists provided by the Oakland Zoo could be used on visits to other zoos, making modifications as necessary. Or you could create your own!
- Our Favorite Bay Area Petting Zoos (anaturemom.com)
what a coincidence, we are planning to go to the oakland zoo tomorrow for the first time! thanks for posting this.
Have fun! It should be a beautiful, warm day in Oakland.