It’s no secret that young children love animals. And my daughter is no exception.
My husband and I have been taking her to visit the zoo since she was only a couple of months old. Over time, she learned to act out the animals through zoo yoga poses for kids before she could speak the names. She also pointed out her favorite zoo animals in books. Now, she’s five and still loves to talk about, act out, and read about zoo animals.
Recently, we went to a zoo that is near our house west of Boston. To get ready for our trip, we brought out zoo animal books, picked out zoo animal figurines, and practiced our zoo animal poses. We enjoyed our day at the zoo together as a family!
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Zoo Books for Kids
Here are a few zoo books that we enjoy before and after going to the zoo:
Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo by Karma Wilson and Doug Cushman
Animal Strike at the Zoo. It’s True! by Karma Wilson and Margaret Spengler
Wild About Books by Judy Sierra and Marc Brown
Z Is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet by Marie and Roland Smith, and Henry Cole
The Wheels on the Bus: A Read-along Sing-along Trip to the Zoo by Jeanne Willis and Adam Stower
On the Loose in Boston by Sage Stossel
Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo by John Lithgow and Leeza Hernandez
My Visit to the Zoo by Aliki
A Day at a Zoo by Sarah Harrison
ABC Zoo by Rod Campbell
The View at the Zoo by Kathleen Long Bostrom and Guy Francis
5 Zoo Yoga Poses for Kids
After gathering our zoo animal books together, we chose five animals that appeared in the books to act out through yoga poses for kids. Try the five yoga poses below with your children. These are suggested yoga poses, and you can certainly change or adapt according to your child’s interest, age, and enthusiasm. What other zoo animals could they pretend to be?
1. Elephant – Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend
From standing, step your feet hip-width apart, bend your upper body, clasp your hands together, and sway your arms like the trunk of an elephant.
2. Crocodile – Plank Pose
Come down to a plank on your hands and toes like a crocodile.
3. Bear – Bear Walk or Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Come back to hands and feet in an upside-down V shape then walk like a bear.
4. Tiger – Cat Pose
Come down to all fours, tuck your chin into your chest, and round your back like a tiger.
5. Hippo – Child’s Pose
Come to sitting back on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body, and take a few deep breaths.
Pretend you are a hippo resting in the water.
Watch the Zoo Animals Yoga Poses Video
Purchase your Zoo Animals Yoga Cards for Kids
Learn about zoo animals through simple yoga poses!
Pretend to be a giraffe, elephant, and gorilla! Download these 52 zoo animal digital yoga cards to learn through movement in your home, classroom, or studio. Includes an Index Card, Pose Instructions, 20 Yoga Pose Cards, and 20 matching Zoo Animal cards. The yoga kids are multicultural from seven countries. Age group: Toddlers to Early Primary, Ages 3 to 8.
Download the digital Zoo Animals Yoga Cards for Kids PDF Download.
Download the Zoo Animals Yoga Poster
Purchase Justine and Joey at the Zoo yoga book
Visit and experience the animals with Justine and Joey at the Zoo.
Join Justine and her brother, Joey, as they experience all the zoo has to offer. Kids will engage with this book as they watch the characters feed a giraffe, pose like a lion, and eat ice cream! This zoo yoga book includes a list of 14 kids yoga poses and a parent-teacher guide. Ages 4+.
Purchase Justine and Joey at the Zoo here.
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Visit Zoo Animals
Not only can you practice these fun zoo animal yoga poses at home, but try them at the zoo! And make up the poses as you go along. What pose could you do for this anteater that we saw at the zoo?!
Spanish Language Activities for Zoo Animals
We were excited to find a sign with the English and Spanish translations of zoo animals at the zoo yesterday. This post is part of our Learn Spanish and Kids Yoga through Books series co-hosted by Spanish Playground. Check out her article on Spanish zoo animals activities with printable zoo animal cards, zoo story ideas, zoo songs, and zoo websites.