Can you believe that Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell is 35 years old! I have very fond memories of the book as a child and it was one of the first stories we purchased for Adam. The lift-the-flap book has sold over 8 million copies worldwide since its publication in 1982.
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To celebrate, Macmillan Children’s Books have released a Dear Zoo35th Anniversary Slipcase Edition. This hardback edition comes with its own specially designed slipcase jacket. It makes a wonderful keepsake or gift to be treasured for years to come.
Feeling inspired by the 35th anniversary I decided to set Adam the challenge of creating his own Dear Zoo Small World. The small world would feature animals from the story and used items found around the house. Although I selected the majority of the resources, Adam could create what he wanted and ask for anything other materials.
Resources used in the Dear Zoo Small World
Items not pictured
Plastic animals featured in the story.
The giraffe, lion and elephant came from the ELC Happyland Zoo Playset whereas the monkey, frog and snake came from various bath squirter packs. Unfortunately we didn’t have a camel.
Two picture frames from PoundLand which had the glass removed.
How to make a Dear Zoo Small World
First Adam decided where each animal would live in the zoo. He reasoned that the elephant would need the most room and that the lion had to be kept away from the giraffe and the monkey. The frog could have three smaller sections so he could hop between each one.
Adam set about creating the elephant enclosure. He decided that as elephants were grey they needed lots of colour in their home. He tried to get the Coloured Lollipop Sticks to stand upright by themselves. This obviously didn’t work so I showed he how to place Play-Doh in the picture frame and then push the lollipop sticks into it. He chose a mixture of red and blue Play-Doh to keep with the colourful theme.
For the giraffe enclose he used yellow Play-Doh as the base “because giraffes are yellow” and then the Jumbo Yellow Drinking Straws because “they are tall and the giraffe is tall so he can see out of them”.
Adam decided that monkeys like long grass to play in so pushed the Grass Ball Point Pens into green Play-Doh. At the time of the activity Adam had no idea that the grass were actually pens. He was shocked the next day when I demonstrated how he could write with the pens.
For the lion enclosure Adam decided that the lion needed some rocks to sit on. He placed the Scrubbing Sponges in the middle and surrounded it with yellow Play-Doh. As the lion was “naughty and mean” he use the tall Round Wooden Sticks to complete his home.
Adam decided that as a snake does not move much then he didn’t need anything to keep him in the zoo. Instead he used Wooden Push Pins to make sure that people didn’t disturb the snake. The pins wouldn’t push into the frame so I cut Duck Cork Tape to place in the frame and he pushed the pins into that. Finally, Adam placed blue and clear glass pebbles in the frog enclosure as the frog would “like to swim and hop all day”.
Adam’s Dear Zoo Small World was complete.
The zoo remained in tact for a day whilst Adam got plastic figures to visit the zoo. However, it didn’t take him long before he decided that the animals wanted to live in different homes and he dismantled the zoo in order to build it again.
Disclaimer: We received the Dear Zoo 35th Anniversary Book to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Take a look at other amazing zoo inspired activities from our favourite bloggers:
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Editable Name Puzzles // Playdough to Plato
It’s a Zoo Graphing Game // Stay at Home Educator
Zoo Themed STEM Activity // Sara J Creations
Interactive Animal Alphabet Flashcards // Science Kiddo
Zoo Sight Word Book // Still Playing School
Zoo Small World Busy Box // Play and Learn Every Day
Zoo Animals: Tracing Lines // Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Letter and Number Matching Puzzles // The Simplified Classroom
Zoo Busy Box // Teach Me Mommy
Zoo Pom Pom Mats // Fairy Poppins
Invitation to Make Dear Zoo Small World // Adventures and Play
Zoo Themed Counting Clip Cards // Schooling a Monkey
Zoo Number Puzzles // The STEM Laboratory
Zoo First to 20 and First to 50 Math Game // A Dab of Glue Will Do
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