What better place to visit during spring break than Lincoln Park Zoo? For the last two weeks, kids from 4-year-olds to fourth graders joined us at the zoo on a Spring Break Safari exploring the wildlife and wild habitats of Africa.
Participants see and smell the meerkats on their Use-Your-Senses Safari.
The programs were geared towards different age groups, each with a special topic of inquiry.
Use-Your-Senses Safari gave 4- and 5-year-olds the opportunity to experience Africa by using their built-in observation tools (a.k.a. their senses).
Kids sniffed around for an aardvark, felt the smooth scales of a Kenyan sand boa and listened to the calls of masked lovebirds. Using all their senses, kids discovered interesting new things about the amazing animals that call Africa home.
First–second graders make hats and binoculars to bring on their adventure.
First and second graders went on a different African Adventure, traveling around the zoo to experience various African habitats, from swamp to jungle to savanna. Kids collected data on how monkeys like the black-and-white colobus monkey live in trees of African jungles.
At Regenstein African Journey a close examination of crocodile and pygmy hippo skulls—as well as observing these animals in their zoo exhibits—let kids discover features that help some animals live in an African swamp. At the end of the day, kids put their African habitat knowledge to the test by using recycled materials to build a habitat for an African animal.
Kid scientists mimic zoo researchers in Africa by performing mock dog vaccinations.
Scientists on Safari gave third and fourth graders the chance to learn about research projects Lincoln Park Zoo scientists conduct in Africa. The kids found out there’s a lot to learn from clues that animals leave behind, such as footprints, fur and feces.
Zoo researcher Anna Czupryna joined the kids to talk about her work with the Serengeti Health Initiative. Anna helped the kids simulate a dog vaccination day, just like those she facilitates in villages in Tanzania, helping wild animal populations in Serengeti National Park to stay healthy. To wrap up the day, kids conducted their own study by observing the behavior of Allen’s swamp monkeys, a species native to central Africa.
Spring Break Safari was a blast! But now we’re making plans for our next big educational adventures at Lincoln Park Zoo by gearing up for Junior Zookeepers, a special program for third-–fourth graders who want to get a snapshot of animal care at the zoo. Want to bring the whole family for fun at the zoo? We will soon be opening registration for Sleep Under the Skyscrapers: Outdoor Campouts. Stay tuned!
Jaclyn Peterson is Lincoln Park Zoo's manager of public programs.
Spring Break Safari Slideshow
See all the photos of the fun! From spotting klipspringers to leading mock vaccination campaigns in the Serengeti, 4-year-olds to fourth graders made the most of their spring break at Lincoln Park Zoo.