Our family are frequent visitors to our local zoo. Living in Omaha, Nebraska, we are lucky to have one of the world’s best zoos, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. The kids are still quite young, so I try to keep our visits brief and efficient. We have lunch, visit a few attractions, then head home, and because we have a membership, we can go back and see the things we missed previously. Although we have not grown tired of going, I have been wondering how I can enhance the kids’ experience… you know, add some educational value (without them really knowing!).
I have seen many zoo passports over the last year and really love the idea of doing a fun scavenger hunt. I decided to make my own version. If you are a teacher, this will be a key addition to your next zoo field trip. A Zoo Passport will give kids a goal to focus on throughout their visit… and the competition to see who can check off the most, and the quickest, is an added bonus!
This version has 24 animals to find. I kept Omaha’s zoo in mind when I created this, so I know that every animal in the passport can be found there (the elephants are coming soon!). I cannot guarantee that all animals can be found in every zoo, but if your family travels a lot, you might be able to fill up your passport by visiting multiple zoos… which sounds like an awesome adventure! And even if that is not the case, the challenge of seeing how many you can find is fun by itself. UPDATE: The passport now comes with blank animal pages so that you can 1: Add additional animals to your passport or 2: Create a completely custom book with animals unique to your local zoo!
ZOO PASSPORT ANIMALS
I recently made improvements to the passports with teachers in mind. There are now two sizes: small and large. The small passport requires cutting but can easily be put together by older children. The large passport is just 8.5 x 11″ folded pages, so if you need to assemble a lot of books, this is a much simpler option! Also, teachers can now print black and white books, another bonus if you are making a large quantity!
To make the books, decide which size you want to make. Next, choose which color to make the cover: blue, orange, yellow, or white. Print the cover on white cardstock, if possible. The cardstock will help make the books sturdier (think about those windy days). Print the remaining pages back-to-back. If making the small passport, cut out all the pages. Next, fold each page in half, arrange the pages, then staple them together.
After the books have been assembled and secured, personalize your passports. Write your name, add your photo, or even draw a picture. Check off the animals you see and write the date. For younger kids, you can give them a sticker or use a stamp if the idea of a herd of Kindergartners running around with pencils sounds like a disaster! Also included is a page for notes and the blank animal pages I mentioned earlier. You can even add plain white paper so kids can draw their favorite animals. I actually love that idea, so don’t be surprised if the passport gets another update that includes some coloring pages!!
Ready to make your own?? Click the link below!
Elle has used her passport several times and has filled up her first book. I had to print a new one for our latest trip. I was a little worried that she would not be interested in doing another passport, but I was wrong… it is still an adventure to her. Plus, now we have blank pages to fill up. Omaha’s zoo has been working on some major renovations this last year, and many animals have been off display. We are really looking forward to this summer when all the construction will be finished. The zoo is amazing and worth the trip to Omaha to see! Don’t forget your passports!!