The kids started their Spring Break yesterday, and since the weather was finally nice enough to go outside, I decided to take them to the Fort Worth Zoo. According to USA Today‘s 10 Best Zoos, it is ranked #5 of the best zoos in North America. We already have annual passes, so even though it was a spur of the moment decision, the kids were excited to go. They are always excited to go to the zoo. No matter how many times we go, it never gets old. But this time I wanted to try something a little different.
Yesterday, we received our box of Usborne books from an online party I hosted about a week ago (I made video of all the books that we got. It’s long and I’m a mess, but I was so excited to get our books just in time for Spring Break), and one of the books in our Usborne haul was called Lifesize. I feel bad, because in the video I refer to it as our default book because the Lifesize Dinosaur book that I originally wanted to purchase was sold out. Well, I could not have been more wrong about the book and I am even more in love with it now that I’ve actually read it.
Before we went to the zoo, I got out the book and started reading it with the kids. You guys, it’s amazing!!! The book is all about lifesize animals or animal parts. It starts off with part of an elephant’s foot and shows the actual size of the elephant’s toenails. Then you compare the size of your toenail to it and can see how really big an elephant’s toenails are compared to your tiny toenails.
Each page has an actual lifesize animal or animal part. Some are huge, like the elephant’s toenail, and others are super tiny like a bee hummingbird. But wait…the best part is that some pages even have you hold it up to your body to make you see how it would look on you. Like kangaroo ears, a bengal tiger’s mouth or a toucan’s beak. So the kids hold the book up to the top of their head or the side of their face; it’s very interactive. The kids were totally engaged in reading it…which I love so much!!!
So after we finished reading the book, I told them that we were going to use the book like a scavenger hunt list. We’d walk around the zoo looking for the animals in our book (not all of them you’ll find at the zoo…like the giant 60 ft. squid) and take a picture next to the animal that we found.
This was seriously the best idea!!! The kids were so involved in finding the next animal to take a picture with, that there was hardly any fighting!!! They did complain about all the walking though because we had to find ALL of the animals at the zoo that were in our book.
So much fun! It brought new life to visiting the zoo for what seemed like the millionth time. I love that reading doesn’t have to just take place in a quiet library or in your favorite cozy chair, although I love those places, too. You can take your books and read anywhere…even the zoo!
The best was as we were getting ready to leave, my 7 year old said, “Mom, if I come to the zoo for a field trip, I want to bring this book with me.” And she may not realize it now, but she is already becoming a lifelong reader.
Photos from our Lifesize Day at the Zoo