Dear Zoo

What is Dear Zoo about?


Young children will love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent – a monkey, a lion and even an elephant! But will they ever manage to send the perfect pet?

With bright, bold artwork, a catchy refrain and a whole host of favourite animals, Dear Zoo is a must for every child’s bookshelf – and the thick card pages, chunky cased cover and sturdy flaps make it perfect for small hands.


Week 1

For our first week of Easy Peasy Pods reading Dear Zoo the mums and babies at our session made some lift the flap picture boards. We began our session by reading Dear Zoo, which was enjoyed by all, the babies especially loved lifting all the flaps in the book to look at the different animals! We continued this idea in to our activity by making our own lift the flap picture boards. The parents used some pictures of common animals that may be found in a zoo such as elephants and zebras. These were then covered with a liftable layer which we then stuck a print of the relevant animals skin pattern/markings on to help the babies identify each animal.

The parents enjoyed the session and found it quite rewarding making a different activity for their little ones to enjoy. The babies also enjoyed getting involved by playing with the paper and looking at the different pictures. The lift the flap board was made to help the babies develop their motor skills and encouraging them to learn about different animals and be able to identify and name them via their markings as they get older.

We look forward to continuing with Dear Zoo and learning more about lots of different animals.


Weeks 2 & 3

For weeks 2 and 3 of reading Dear Zoo we have been making salt dough animal prints. We started our sessions by reading the book with the parents and babies again which they greatly enjoyed. The little ones are really enjoying peeking through the flaps and looking at all the different animals.

For our activity we made up some salt dough and used this to make tracks of different animal foot prints. The parents also used this opportunity to make casts of their little ones hands and feet for keepsake memories. We continued this activity in to week 3 as the parents enjoyed it so much and some unfortunately missed out on doing this in week 2.

The little ones really enjoyed the messy play aspect of making the salt dough and getting their hands and feet stuck in; this was a great activity to encourage sensory play.

In week 4 we will be decorating our salt dough castings and making pictures of our favourite animals from Dear Zoo.


Week 4

For this week in Easy Peasy Pods we have been celebrating world book day.

We have been continuing reading Dear Zoo which our parents and babies are still enjoying. We read through the book again exploring which animals the zoo has been sending to try and find the perfect pet!

For our activity we spent some time decorating the salt dough castings that were made in previous weeks and also painted pictures of our favourite animals.

The parents and little ones had fun getting messy with the paint and enjoyed doing some arts and crafts. After decorating the salt dough castings we then used handprints to make a lion’s mane and painted in the lions face.

Next week we will be enjoying some messy play activities whilst learning more about the different habitats that some animals may live in


Week 5

We have been exploring Dear Zoo through messy play to learn more about different animal habitats.

Using various items found in the home we made our own zoo and used different materials such as breakfast cereals, angel delight, broccoli etc. to create areas for our zoo recreating some habitats that animals may live in in the wild. We had broccoli trees, angel delight mud, rice crispie sand, a watering hole and much more.

The little ones certainly enjoyed getting messy and exploring the different textures, tastes and smells of the various items. Messy play is a great way to encourage children to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as well as developing their senses and encouraging interaction with other children as well their parents.


Week 6

This week has been our final week of reading Dear Zoo in Easy Peasy Pods.

We have really enjoyed reading this book with the little ones and found it to be a fun, stimulating book for them to read. The various lift the flap sections of the book helped to keep the young ones engaged by finding the hidden animal pictures which also worked on developing their motor skills, which are coming along well now.

For our final activity we spent some time stamping and painting pictures of our favourite zoo animals. We had a number of blank print outs of different zoo animals such as monkeys, lions and giraffes which the parents and babies had fun painting different colours. We used sponges to help paint our pictures and even cut these in to different stencil shapes such as spots for the giraffes. This was a fun sensory activity for the babies to engage in, helping them not only explore the different colours of paint but also the different textures from the paint and sponges.


Activity Cards