Benefits of Zoos for preschoolers: Education, Family Bonding & More
Zoos are proof for children that the animals they see in their favorite cartoon shows exist outside the TV, too.
When was your child’s last trip to the zoo? Remember the unparalleled excitement they felt, when they saw an animal they had never seen before? Or the unbridled joy that came from catching a glimpse of that Bengal Tiger for the third time? No matter how many times you take them there, that sense of charm and magic afforded by the zoo, never quite fades for children.
In this blog post, you will learn all about the Benefits of Zoos, including Educational Benefits of Zoos that will make you want to start planning that next zoo visit, right away!
The Benefits of Zoos
Here is why you should not waste any time, when planning your next trip to the zoo. We are guessing that the advantages of zoos enlisted beneath, will make that zoo visit with your kids, one of your top priorities.
Enhanced Language Development
When children walk around the zoo, they are introduced to different words and concepts. These go a long way in improving their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Tip: To take this educational benefit a few notches higher, you might want to indulge in some pretty solid dialogue with them, labeling every animal and encouraging questions.
Sharpens their Academic Skills
Clearly one of the most important educational benefits of zoos is getting children to imbibe a deeper sense of knowledge about things that they might already be learning about, in school. Note: Even if you’re not actively involved in a conversation with your children, they will learn loads by simply walking around and exploring by themselves.
It Promotes Family Bonding
When was the last time your whole family did something fun together? And we’re not talking about going out for a meal here! A trip to the zoo affords a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to bond together. When you say ‘Look! There’s a giraffe!’, the entire family joins in the excitement. Certainly one of the greatest advantages of zoos, this one.
It Encourages Environmental Awareness
Another one of those important Educational Benefits of Zoos, is their fostering in children a keen sense of awareness of the environment they live in. When they visit a zoo and see their favorite animals, they realize just how important it is to take care of the environment. Moreover, zoos also teach children about things like conservation and animal care.
Getting even ‘More’ Up Close and Personal
If seeing a tiger up close in the space it inhabits in the zoo is not enough, how about feeding baby tigers milk? There are zoos in the world where you can pet a whole range of animals, from endearing bunny rabbits to large snakes that your children can wear around their necks like a necklace! This gets them even closer to the animals, and their appreciation for nature in general increases by leaps and bounds.
Good old Exercise and Fresh Air
Exercise and fresh air play a vital role in the development of children. It’s all the more essential that they get plenty of these, considering the times we live in. Times where most children are glued to their screens for inordinate periods of time. Besides the freedom all that open space in a zoo offers kids, a lot of zoos even have playgrounds and climbing structures. These keep your children even more physically active.
Developing a Sense of Empathy
When children visit zoos, it provides them the opportunity to see different animals in the natural environments they live in. This helps them understand that they, too, are living beings very much like us, and that they have special needs to survive. It helps children cultivate a sense of empathy for animals. In the long run, this helps them become kinder, more compassionate members of society.
Special Events and Activities
It might be a really good idea to check out the schedule of the zoo you are planning to take your family to, a few days prior to your visit. This is because there might be a special activity the day right after your intended visit date, and you might want to reschedule accordingly. Things like night-time programs that help kids see how animals behave at night, and days dedicated to specific animals.
Cultivating a Sense of Discipline
The last thing you want is your child screaming ‘Hey, Lion!’ at a lion sleeping peacefully in its enclosure. Children have to be taught that the animals in zoos have to be respected, even though they are confined in cages. Apart from not disturbing animals, this also means that they cannot feed the animals or litter around the area. They will take this sense of discipline they cultivate in the zoo, back home as well.
An Increased Sense of Self-Awareness
One of the key factors in the development of children lies in their ability to be self-aware and keep themselves safe. When you take your child to the zoo, you are giving them the opportunity to push their boundaries and explore new environments. That too, while remaining in a safe space. That sense of trepidation they get when approaching ferocious animals is natural. Gradually, they will move past their fears.
Just when you thought they couldn’t get any more Education out of visiting zoos, there’s more! Many zoos offer educational programs. These include camps that help kids become more aware of animal behavior and conservation. These programs offer a structured, hands-on learning environment for kids and even adults. Packed with things like stories, crafts and activities, these programs are great at instilling the knowledge of animals in your children.
We at EuroKids give a big thumbs up to those zoo visits. We believe that a trip to the zoo is not only important for helping children learn about different animals, it helps them bust several myths associated with animals, too. Like, ‘All wild animals are cruel’, or ‘All parrots are green.’