A roaring good time for your grandchildren
For parents with small children, Covid-19 has made life both harder and easier. Gone are the pressures of playdates and scheduling naps around outings. But for many, those have been replaced by long, lonely days at home. Mom and Dad are frazzled, the kids have cabin fever, and everyone is in need of a break from the monotony.
One of the ways I’ve tried to make things a little easier for my family is with “virtual field trips”. The trip to the art museum and the virtual summer vacation were both a big hit, so this time I sent them on a virtual trip to the zoo.
Once again, I looked for items that would do more than provide a few moments of fun and then add to the clutter. Here’s what I included:
They both got Zookeeper shirts, which quickly became a favorite piece of clothing. I got these, but there are other fun styles available.
This Paint by Sticker Zoo Animals book was a little advanced for my 2 and 4 year-old grands, so it needed adult help. Though they’ve got excellent fine motor skills, the stickers were too small to place very precisely, and neither of them can recognize double-digit numbers reliably. Still, they both loved watching the picture emerge as a parent helped them. After completing the image of the giraffe, my grandson used it as an inspiration piece to draw his own giraffe.
Because books are never considered clutter by my librarian daughter-in-law, I got three fun ones. The View at the Zoo is a delightful tale with a fun twist. Both kids loved searching for the monkey throughout the book. Search the Zoo, Find the Animals is more than a search and find book—it’s filled with animal facts geared towards young children. For older kids, I’d recommend Zoology for Kids, which is filled with information and hands on activities. I also sent Eric Carle’s 1,2,3 to the Zoo.
And of course, what is a trip to the zoo without animals? This set of animals comes with a play mat printed to look like a zoo. The animals are well sized for small hands, and I was very impressed that the mat was made of felt rather than vinyl. Everything fits neatly in the included carrying case. They played with the animals for hours.
I also found a couple of fun activities on the Pre-K Pages website that can be printed and sent. This “matching eyes” activity is a great early-learning game, and the “roll and move” game will have everyone monkeying around in no time!
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