Written by Heather Kilway & Nikki Blakley
Are your little ones getting restless with the end of summer drawing near? Are they dragging their feet when you go shopping for new supplies? Do they complain of boredom, and NOTHING to do? Well we have a solution that is sure to get them excited about the new school season: an entire day of adorable animals in the Children’s Zoo enjoying THEIR OWN new school supplies!
This particular day will be focused on giving Back To School-related ENRICHMENT to some of our animals in the Children’s Zoo. Enrichment is anything new or different that we give to our animals to make their lives more fun, interesting, and to encourage natural behaviors. These things can be boxes, plastic toys, different plants, or even just new bedding. Enrichment is important for our animals’ welfare, and can also be really fun for our guests to watch too!
The Children’s Zoo keepers love to make painted enrichment just for fun, and in honor of HISD school starting on the 28th, we decided to make a special day out of Sunday August 20th and give our Children’s Zoo animals “back to school” themed enrichment! For several weeks, the keepers have been cutting cardboard, making paper mache, and painting with non-toxic tempera paint in their spare time to make cool new enrichment that our animals have not received before.
Below is a schedule of activities and the enrichment that will be given to which animals. So come with your cameras ready for adorable photo opportunities, and your minds sharp to learn some interesting stories about these animals!
9:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Naturally Wild Swap Shop “Draw Your Own”
Visit the Naturally Swap Shop and share with us what you’ve learned or loved at the Houston Zoo on our Back To School dry-erase board!
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Ocelot Exhibit “Artistic Ocelots”
Come see what our ocelots have painted on their window about school!
North American Porcupine Exhibit “Pencil’s Down”
Cody can’t wait to tear into those essays.
Swift Fox Exhibit “Lesson Of The Day”
Check out what our swift fox, Sookie, is learning today on her new chalk board!
Bobcat Exhibit “Teacher’s Pet”
Our bobcat has a special treat for her teacher, is that worm real?
Banded Mongoose Exhibit “Catch The Bus”
The mongoose are going to be late to school! Can they all fit on board?
Llama and Cow Arena “Farm Yard Art Class”
Can the llama’s and cow use giant paintbrushes? Probably not, but they sure love the bristles!
Naturally Wild Swap Shop “Spelling T-a-r-a-n-t-u-l-a”
We can’t leave out our smaller friends! See Blondie “sit” down for class!
And if you loved seeing all this cool enrichment, make sure you come back on September 16th for the zoo-wide enrichment day where all the different s