A Visit to the Zoo - In Black and White


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One of my favorite things to do with my kiddos on a nice day is head over to the Detroit Zoo. We keep a membership so we can visit as often as we like. And I'll tell you, the membership is well worth the purchase. It gives us the freedom to see whatever we like for as long as we like with no pressure to attempt getting it all in with one visit. 

We slow down and watch the animals we choose to visit each time we go. We find somewhere to sit and talk about what we see, trying to learn something new each time. We also take the time to chit chat with volunteers as we're able. They are always full of information and fun stories that make our time there even more rich. 

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On this day, we spent a lot of time in the Polk Penguin Conservation Center. Little curious faces stand up against glass walls and just watch in wonder. On this day, my middle girl was hanging with me and reading all the facts about penguins. She loves to read while watching them swim through the water.

My kiddos also thought the 2 penguins hanging together are either siblings or besties. The conversation between the 3 of them of "Well...it's PROBABLY" assumptions was adorable. I ask a few leading questions to get their mind thinking a bit differently, trying to encourage them to make more observations and ask more questions.
                                            
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We happened to catch a man feeding the gorillas. We had a case of the belly laughs as we watched this one gorilla, in particular. He was not amused with the man feeding. He wanted his food tossed directly to him...he was not going to budge and go get food for himself. 

We also came across some nesting peacocks. This male was sitting with 3 other females. He kept a close eye on us while the kiddos were making their guesses about who was sitting on top of eggs and how many eggs there may be getting ready to hatch.

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From counting frogs in Amphibiville to watching ducks walk on water...er...ice...while crossing the boardwalk, my kiddos make a lot of stops. I often hear the words, "Wait. Stop. Look!". And so we all stop to see what someone has discovered. They learn through being free to stop and observe and also through play. They found masks in the gift shop and chose one to try on based on the thought-line of, "If I could be an animal today, I would be a...". Of course, my youngest is a tiger. That suits her perfectly.

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When we stop to eat some lunch, we sit somewhere with an open space for running. Running around is a must. On this day, they each found a stick and became king or queen of that little hill behind them. Things like this is why I always say "I'm taking my zoo to the zoo today". (ha!)

And always, before we go home, no matter how hot it is...we MUST stop in at the reptile house. My kiddos are so intrigued by reptiles of all shapes, sizes, and species. Some of them make my kiddos nervous but some of them captivate them in a way that makes them want to stay and watch a bit longer. This is the hardest "yes" for me to give. Sometimes it gets SO hot in there and it's a pretty popular spot for people to visit. Also, the habitats are very close together which makes us feel pressured to keep moving for the sake of others behind us. This is why my kiddos like to visit often, though. They don't like feeling rushed. They want to see it all so they keep going back to look closely at something different each time.



What is your local zoo like? Do you visit often? I'd love to hear about it. Talk to me in the comments! Maybe we'll travel out to visit your spot sometime.

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