Going to the zoo can be the ultimate experience. As indicated by a leading Zoo association, 700 million people visit a zoo each year. 68% of these visitors are kids. Isn’t that surprising? That’s a lot of children!
Guess what? Zoos are very beneficial, especially for kids. Don’t believe us? Let’s find out what benefits the zoo has to offer our children.
1. Zoos Create a Bonding Experience
Most of us adults are busy throughout the day. A lot of us are either working, running businesses or taking care of the basic necessities for our kids. This makes it difficult for us to spend quality time with our kids. For some parents, finding time for a sit down dinner is a real privilege. Now, of course, we are aware that we cannot spend our whole days with them, and children start to feel a little more neglected. However, if we have a special event for them to look forward to, such as a Zoo, kids feel more excited. Plus, if you go with the whole family together, this includes cousins, uncles, and aunts, they can have the ultimate bonding experience with their family.
2. Respect for Wild-Life and Love for Animals
Most kids naturally love animals. The closer they are to them, the more caring and affectionate they will become. Just watch your children go “Aww…” when they see their furry friends.
Although kids love approaching most animals, it is not always safe. During the trip to the zoo, kids will also learn that you can’t safely approach all animals. The barriers will help teach this lesson. Safe interaction with animals should be discussed. This lesson could also apply to household pets such as dogs. For example, you can discuss when and how to safely approach dogs that are not a part of your family.
3. Decrease Screen Time and Increase Outside Play
As reflected in this study, over 42% of kids between the ages of 4 through 14 spend over 30 hours a week on their phones. That is a lot of time. Now, if your child is spending over 30 hours of their week watching something they cannot learn anything from, they may have developmental issues at an early age. Research indicates that children who have language delay can have problems as adults, in terms of academics.
With all of the screen time they barely step out to play anymore or have fun. An article by Onya Life said that children are spending more and more time inside rather than playing outside. This was not the case with past generations.
Even if we do take the children out, it is to the mall, or restaurant, or any place that is not really “outdoors.” Zoos, on the other hand, can be a thriving experience. For example, children can feel the heat in the summer and have an ice cream cone while watching monkeys swing around. The feeling is different than any other in the world. Once kids start to spend time outside, they will realize that spending time outside is lots of fun and they may start spending more time outside.
There is a lot of physical movement involved in visiting the zoo. Some zoos have play areas, walking paths, places to climb and much more. If they go to the zoo after a long holiday, such as Thanksgiving, they will need to burn off those calories after eating an elaborate meal. So, not only is the zoo an educational and learning trip, it is also a great way to trick your kids into some outdoor exercise.
In general, spending time outside is beneficial for kids. Some of the benefits are explained in this article, Studies Explain Why Playing May Help Kids Fight Coronavirus.
4. Zoos Can Help With Analytical Thinking
According to pop sugar, children ask about 288 questions in a day. Yes, we know, most of them are repeated over and over again. Now, at zoos they have a new environment to interact with and explore.
They learn the differences between animals, learn to name species, and much more. This sparks their intellectual powers and also improves the way they talk. You or the zoo guide can teach the children many things related to the zoo.
They can discover the difference between mammals, reptiles, birds, and others. If your child is old enough, you could tell them about their natural habitats and ways of natural living and what kind of food they eat. Maybe they would not be able to remember all of this, but they would learn a few new words and would be able to use them in the future.
5. Increases Use of Senses
At the zoo, all their senses are triggered—sight, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting too.
The kids get to see a variety of different colors and patterns of the animals. They also get to hear all of the different sounds of the animals. My kids enjoy imitating the sounds of the animals. It is enjoyable to watch. Good or bad, they also smell the animals and sometimes their poop. At some zoos, there are also opportunities to touch the animals. As far as taste, zoos have some of the best popcorn and ice cream. As the kids use their senses, there is a sense of enjoyment.
Visiting Zoo During Coronavirus
It is understandable that you may be hesitant to visit the zoo during the Coronavirus pandemic. The zoos that have re-opened in South Florida must follow the CDC guidelines or they risk being closed by regulatory agencies.
Even with these increased guidelines, it is understandable you may be still hesitant to visit a zoo. There are some drive-through zoos that may be make you feel more comfortable. This way, the only person that you may interact with is the person that you pay to enter.
From family bonding and learning to respect wild life, zoos are a great place for kids to go. In case you haven’t been there in a while, you should plan your next tour. Surely, you would be able to revive old memories and also create some new ones. The world is not a limited experience, there is so much to find out, and zoos are like having unlimited supply to nature and its offspring, in just one place. There are so many different kinds of zoos as well. Start searching for a zoo near you that include social distancing guidelines and have Som Fun!