This Zoo dramatic play center helps kids engage in pretend play and learn about zoo animals. It’s suitable for kids in Pre-K, Preschool and Kindergarten, although I’m sure older children will love it too!
Why is dramatic play important?
Pretend play helps kids to learn about themselves, the world and how things work. Dramatic play centers also help to strengthen a child’s language development (e.g. expressive language, vocabulary), social skills and play skills. Children learn a lot through play!
Zoo Dramatic Play
I love this dramatic play center for teaching kids about animals! I created a few different areas to include such as a zoo, shop and vet clinic.
Shop – Here the kids can use play money to purchase a ticket or souvenir. They can also write their names on the check in log. After that they can begin to explore the different animal exhibits, which I’ve organized by habitat. For example, in the jungle safari area the kids can find animals such as a tiger and monkey. To make life easier, I included the animals that are commonly found in animal figurine sets.
Zoo Dramatic Play – Vet Clinic
One of my favorite features of this pack is the Vet Clinic! To set up this area you’ll just need a few basic props such as a toy monkey, bandages, first aid kid, empty travel sized bottles (to make the pretend medicine) and a patient bed. For the bed I just used an empty cat litter tray (new) and a piece of felt for a blanket.
In this area, the kids can complete the patient report, look at the X-ray printables and take care of any sick zoo animals.
Other Zoo Activities
There are lots of other activities that the kids can do too.
Map – They can draw a map of a zoo and then build it out of blocks.
Animal Spotting – Using pretend binoculars, the kids can spot all of the animals and check them off the list. To do this you can either scatter the corresponding animal photos or figurines around your dramatic play area.
Sort the Animals – You can place a few headings next to a basket of animal figurines. Then the kids can sort them into categories such as “Mammals” and “Reptiles”.
Animal Encounter – Here the kids can pretend to feed a monkey or hug a koala. I found this toy monkey a while ago from a zoo shop and the koala recently from Kmart (Australia).
I hope the kids enjoy this dramatic play pack! You can learn more about it below.
More Zoo Activities
Be sure to check out these FREE Pom Pom Mats too. If you scroll down to the bottom of the post you’ll find links to some other zoo themed freebies too.