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Following on from the November article “Putting the ‘A’ in STEM”, I thought we could start the New Year together with some creativity and roleplay to engage your little ones in learning with a little bit of magic! Don’t worry as we have done all the hard work and planning for you.

Are you ready for some fun as you take your little ones on a magical “Visit to the zoo” to meet animals from different countries? Think of all the opportunities to learn about their habitats and environment. How they move, sound, and what they eat – hopefully not us!

Building the excitement for your “Visit to the zoo”

Before you even embark on your adventure together, you can have so much fun building the excitement. Let the children know we are going to visit a zoo. Share everyone’s experiences of visiting a zoo and the animals you met.

Talk about, and look at images, and footage, of the different animals you might see on your “visit to the zoo”. What is their favourite and why?

Where is the nearest zoo or wildlife park to your setting or home? How long would it take to get there by train, bus, car, bicycle or foot? Luckily, you will have a super-fast Littlemagictrain. Best of all he is totally environmentally friendly as he runs on magic sprinkles – not a fossil fuel in sight!

What do we need to take with us to the zoo?

For me, the most important thing is to make sure we take water to keep hydrated and have a yummy picnic for lunch. My tummy rules my world!

Make sure we are in the right clothes for rain, snow, or hopefully glorious sunshine.

Don’t forget your trusty binoculars in case the animals are hiding. Pack a camera, tablet or mobile to take pictures of all the animals you see.

Emotions and feelings

How we will all feel seeing lots of different animals, spiders, and snakes? Are we excited or feeling a little bit nervous?

Already we have discussed healthy eating, appropriate clothing, technology and emotions – so much learning with imagination!
Don’t forget to ensure that you include sensory activities for your little ones. Think of all the fun with a zoo sensory bin with different textures of fur and feathers. Mud bath for the hippos and of course feeding the animals.

This is also an ideal way to learn about people in the community that help us and our pets. The animals in the zoo also have doctors, dentists, and dieticians. Have lots of fun brushing the tiger’s or very scary hippos’ teeth. Compare our cats and dogs to the big cats and wolves you will see in the zoo. What if a tiger really did come to tea?

What will I get?

Our “Visit to the zoo” adventure along with all the linked resources (all yours to keep) and access to 6 weeks of support. How can you resist?

Hop on board your ‘Discover your very own Littlemagictrain’ session followed by ‘Growing your Littlemagictrain’. Don’t worry, the sessions are short only 30 minutes long as we totally understand the demands on your time. After this, you will then have access, 24 hrs a day, to our vault of training videos linked to your ‘visit to the zoo’. This is open to all members of your team over the 6 weeks. What’s not to love?
What do I have to do?

Just email a big “Parenta, take me to the zoo” to the team at hello@littlemagictrain.com and we will get everything sorted for you.

See you soon x

Some STEM ideas that will work alongside your adventure but please don’t forget to add the ‘A’.

Early Science
Why do polar bears have big paws? Learn about snowshoes and why they work.
Wriggling snake experiment.
How do arctic animals stay warm – blubber?
Why is a flamingo pink and why do its feathers repel water?
Tiger’s eyes – why do they glow in the dark?

Early Engineering
Making homes for all the animals – polar bears to lions.
Build a doorway that is tall enough for the giraffe.
Building a bridge for the animals to walk under.
Create a pathway for all the animals to run on with places to hide.
Creating and making items to transport the animals and us to the zoo.
Loose parts - security (locking up) as we don’t want the animals to get lost.

Early Technology
Walkie-talkies for the zookeepers.
Create a code to feed the animals.
Animal scavenger hunt using the ipad/tablet/camera.
Giving the animals haircuts.
Cash till for the tickets.

Early Maths
Counting animals.
Sorting animals – footprints, spots, stripes etc.
Matching – mother/baby.
Making money, credit cards to pay for tickets.
Big and small animals.
Different patterns on snakes, tigers, zebra, giraffe, leopards – the list is endless.
Chopping up and measuring ingredients to feed the animals.

About the author:

Gina’s background was originally ballet, but she has spent the last 27 years teaching movement and dance in mainstream, early years and SEND settings as well as dance schools.

Whilst teaching, Gina found the time to has create the ‘Hi-5’ dance programme to run alongside the Australian Children’s TV series and the Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy for Hit Entertainment. 

Her proudest achievement to date is her baby Littlemagictrain.  She created this specifically to help children learn through make-believe, music and movement.  One of the highlights has been seeing Littlemagictrain delivered by Butlin’s famous Redcoats with the gorgeous ‘Bonnie Bear’ on the Skyline stage.

Gina has qualifications of teaching movement and dance from the Royal Ballet School, Trinity College and Royal Academy of Dance.

Use the code ‘PARENTA’ for a 20% discount on Littlemagictrain downloads from ‘Special Editions’, ‘Speech and Language Activities’, ‘Games’ and ‘Certificates’.

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