Thursday, 6 February 2014

Zoo Fun! Treasure hunts for toddlers and kids (Free printables)

We went to Chester Zoo today, one of my favourite places that I first enjoyed over thirty years ago and that my children still enjoy today :) It was actually the first time we'd taken Tai!
As the boys are enjoying treasure trails so much at the moment, especially ones with riddles, I thought I'd make them one in case they'd like to do one as we went round. They loved it! Sprout thought his favourite was going to be the lions but when he solved the fish clue and went in the aquarium he was so excited with every single fish, plant, turtle, and salamander!

If you'd like to print the zoo treasure trail off to use yourself feel free! (Yeah yeah I know, half of them don't scan, or rhyme, or use real words, hey ho it was eleven at night and the kids liked them anyway ;) ) Here's how it went today...

What am I? Treasure Trail
Find me, and take a photo!

This mammal has a big long nose,
And ears that flap wherever it goes.
Its big and heavy, and likes the water,
I bet there's mud in its living quarter!

Indian, Javan, Sumatran, white or black,
I sometimes have a little bird on my back.
A horn on my nose, either one or two,
And you can buy paper that's made from my poo.

I'm a mammal, but I fly like a bird,
I use echolocation, you may have heard.
Pipistrelle, horseshoe, vampire or Brandt,
Some eat nectar, some fruit, some mosquitoes or ants!

(No photography in the bat cave, but the Livingstone's fruit bats were *huge*. Sprout was in awe and we went back twice to see them again.)

I'm a great big teddy, but not Winnie the Pooh,
I'm brown and hairy, eat animals and plants too.
But the unique thing about me is the pattern on my face,
It look like I have a pair of glasses in place!

(It's a spectacled bear, if you were wondering!)

My coat is all stripy, but I evolved from a horse,
We were found across Africa, sometimes raced on a course.
Marty is one of us, who was friends with Alex.
I'm a herbivore, and my legs can do strong kicks.

(Honestly, he's there just over that hill!)

I'm a carnivore, a predator,
I'm found in Africa, but less than before.
My coat looks like it's been splattered with paint.
Our endangered population is getting quite faint.

(Painted Dogs, dontcha know.)

I start as a caterpillar, hatching from an egg,
I eat and eat, then to pupal stage I segue,
Inside my cocoon I metamorphosise,
Then with beautiful wings, into the air I arise!

Long of neck and blotchy of skin,
This mammal is so tall and thin.
It eats the leaves from the tops of the trees,
And, contrary to myth, it can sneeze!

Red, yellow, green or blue,
Our vibrant colours are a warning to you:
We're poisonous! Don't eat! Be smart!
But our toxin's often used on the head of a dart.

Ninety seven percent the same DNA
As you, the human looking at us today.
We're great apes from Asia, with auburn fur
We're endangered now, not as many as there were.

Well, at this point sadly my camera ran out of battery, so the rest of the photos are linked from the zoo's own website :)

I'm the longest species of snake in the world,
In my terrarium you might find me curled.
I eat mammals, and sometimes birds,
And I'm oviparous, do you know that word?

You know me as Nemo, I have orange streaks,
I live in an anemone in our symbiotic clique.
I can be male or female, and spawn at full moon,
I'm so much more than they show in the cartoon!

I'm a bird but I do not fly,
I have wings that you'll see as I swim by.
I'm from the Antarctic, I'm white and black,
We each keep warm at the centre of the pack.

I'm the biggest cat, with the longest canine teeth,
Stripy and top of the food chain, with most species underneath.
We used to be widespread, but now we're not,
We've been killed by man, and our habitat is dwindling a lot.

The males have a mane. The females hunt for food,
And while they're off hunting, the males watch the brood.
They compete with hyenas and take their kills.
Pride members have certain roles and skills.

 I also put a much simpler, picture based toddler treasure hunt together for Moppet, she was really pleased to have her very own and enjoyed putting the 'tick' in the box when she found each animal :)

Chester Zoo was actually really lovely today. We haven't been in two or three years because last time we went the enclosures were looking shabby and we felt uncomfortable continuing to support it. It's improved by a huge measure now though, the enclosures once again look supportive of the animals and the staff were now friendly and helpful. All three kids had a really great time. I hope the zoo continues to be able to carry out all the conservation work they do, we'll definitely be going back again now :)

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