Animal Matching At The Zoo

by Melanie on July 15, 2013

20 Months Old


Since my sister left midway through last week and I didn’t get a chance to set up a new theme, we stretched out our ostrich activities for a second week. We continued playing with our African animal themed trays and sensory tub that I wrote about in the last post.

In addition to all that, we got to swing by the zoo AGAIN- this time with Dad!

I brought along a pencil box filled with plastic African animals (pictured above) so that Rocket could pick out the correct animals as we saw them at the zoo. We had so much fun with the animal matching activity and it helped to reinforce the names of all the African zoo animals.

Like last time, we focused on the African animals side of the zoo.


We got there early in hopes of seeing the animals at their most active, but the rhinos still preferred lounging in the shade.


I guess I can’t blame them… the sun was taking it out of me too and that shade did look relaxing!


The elephants were out and about. One of the elephants at our local zoo is Asian and the other is African.


The camels are always one of Rocket’s favorites to see and this day was no exception. The one on the far left was splashing around in a puddle of water.


Pointing at his toy lion while observing the lion and the lioness in their exhibit.


Holding the toy gorilla while watching the male gorilla pace back and forth.


It was a nice treat to see the gorillas in their outdoor area. Usually when we visit, they are hanging out inside.

We also saw many African animals that didn’t have matching toys in our pencil box. We saw bongos, addax antelopes, East African crowned cranes, and meerkats.


The meerkats were especially active! Did you know that meerkats perform very specific roles to keep their gangs running smoothly? These roles include the alphas who are responsible for breeding and populating the colony, babysitters who care for the young, watchmen aka sentries who keep a lookout for danger (the two pictured above), teachers who show the young the ropes of being a meerkat, and hunters who bring food back for the others. A lot can be learned by reading the signs at the zoo!

The highlight of our adventure at the zoo this week was definitely feeding giraffes!


Yum, yum!

The animal matching activity at the zoo sparked Rocket’s interest in his plastic African animals and he’s been carrying them around with him at home all week. He especially loves the giraffe and the camel.

I’m glad we extended Ostrich Week because we were able to spend some time with our trays in his actual schoolroom, which had become a guest room while my sister was in town, and we were able to include this animal matching activity at the zoo. Also, this way we had a chance to review our vocabulary with the tot school principal: Dad!

For more awesome tot school ideas, be sure to check out these wonderful link-ups:


See Vanessa Craft

Rainy Day Mum

Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas (link-up will resume in August)

No Time For Flash Cards

Living Montessori Now

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen July 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm

What a great way to make learning animals fun! Love it.


Melanie August 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Thanks Jen! It was a blast!


Buble November 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Well, we also love the zoo in our family. it is such a wonderful multi-sensory experience. You can see, smell, hear & touch plants & animals. It’s a great learning place- for everyone from little babies to really old.


Vee August 8, 2013 at 12:30 am

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Andrew A. Sailer October 12, 2013 at 1:16 am

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Tyra F. Gautreaux February 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm

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