Toddlers are naturally curious, and they learn by touch. They are also drawn to animals. It is important to teach them if and when they can touch an animal, and, if so, how to do it safely and with respect for the animal. Observing a child sticking their finger into an animal’s mouth, a common sight, serves as a perfect example. Brevard Zoo sees this need and has formulated Toddler Programs to fill that need.
Children, ages 2 and 3, are invited to bring a parent or caregiver to the zoo on Saturday morning for class. There are 6 classes in all, but participants are not pressured to attend all of them. The class runs from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and takes place in the Lagoon classroom, located inside the Animal Detective Academy. The academy can be found by entering the Paws On exhibit and veering to the right. The following classes and subjects are scheduled:
- September 11 & 25 – Reptiles and Amphibians
- October 9 & 23 – Birds and Fish
- November 6 & 20 – Mammals and Invertebrates
Cost per month is $30 for members and $40 for non-members.
Children are given the opportunity to learn the concept of opposites, using the examples from the animal world. They are given the chance to meet animals that are big and small, wet and dry, and more. Classes are held in the Nyami Nyami River Lodge from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The schedule is as follows:
- Tuesdays (ages 3 & 4) – September 7, 14, 21, and 21
- Wednesdays (ages 2 & 3) – September 8, 15, 22, and 29
The animal world provides many opportunities to learn about textures. Silly Skins gives children the chance to meet animals covered with feathers, fur, scales, and even slime! Silly Skin classes are held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Nyami Nyami River Lodge. Their schedule is as follows:
- Tuesdays (ages 3 & 4) – November 2, 9, 16, and 23
- Wednesdays (ages 2 & 3) – November 3, 10, 17, and 24
Cost per month for Animal Opposites and Silly Skins is $65 for zoo-members and $80 for non-members. Registration can be done by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (321-254-9453 Ex 219). Each toddler must be accompanied by an adult, and adults are reminded to be ready to get dirty. Children are always ready!
The zoo’s experienced staff will teach children about animals through crafts, activities, play centers, animal visitors, and tours throughout the zoo, The children will teach the adults how to get dirty and have a good time! More ideas on how to make learning fun for children can be found on the child’s pages of Space Coast Events Examiner, as well as related zoo articles suggested below. See also Space Coast Life for more events and shorter articles. Enjoy!