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Have fun with your kids - that's what it's all about. If you're looking for fun places to go in Rochester, NY (ROC), awesome
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Backyard Summer Camp: Animals Week

Backyard Summer Camp...Camp Mom...Keeping Them Busy...whatever you call it, this series is designed to provide some ideas to keep you and the kids busy with games, crafts, and field trips all focused around a theme for the week. These are a starting point; you and your kids can use your imagination and creativity to come up with your own ideas.

This week's theme is animals because almost every kid loves animals. Have fun with these suggestions, and coming up with your own!

By the way, in case you've missed them, be sure to check out Wacky Sports WeekUnder the Sea WeekOuter Space WeekIn Our Neighborhood WeekDinosaur WeekMessy Stuff Week, and Games Week, too. Enjoy.

Animals Week

Active Play
  • Animal Moves - take turns naming an animal, then everyone acts like that animal and makes that animal’s noise
  • Backyard Safari - make a list with two columns; in the first column, ask the child(ren) to name all the animals you typically see in your backyard (or at the park, etc.) such as chipmunks, squirrels, deer, birds, etc.  Leave the second column blank to tally the number of each animal you see on your “safari.”  
  • Feed the Animals/Bean Bag Toss – print a coloring page with a picture of your child’s favorite animal; secure to an empty cardboard box and cut a hole over/near the mouth; give your child a bean bag (or other soft object) as the “food” for the animal to throw into the animal’s mouth. Be sure the hole is large enough for the beanbag. 
  • Zookeeper Says – Just like Simon Says, except the caller says things such as , “The Zookeeper says hop like a bunny,” “The zookeeper says walk like a crab,” or, “The Zookeeper says slither like a snake.” 
  • Animal Obstacle Course – set up an obstacle course outside where kids can go over, under, around, and through anything you have on hand; the catch is that they must crawl on all fours, hop, or slither through the course. 

Backyard Safari (at the park)
Animal Obstacle Course
Quiet Play
  • Pinecone Bird Feeders (Materials: pinecones, bird seed, peanut butter – or substitute seed butter for any allergies, plastic knives or spoons, string to hang the bird feeder)
  • Popsicle Stick Animal Craft (Materials: craft sticks, paint, googly eyes, buttons for noses, glue, craft feathers, pipe cleaners, etc.) 
  • Make animal sock puppets & have a puppet show
  • Toilet Paper-Tube Farm Animals – paint toilet paper tubes and decorate with pipe cleaners, buttons, pom poms, shape stickers, markers, etc. to make your own farm. 
  • Animal Tracks Painting – dip plastic toy animals into paint and make tracks across the paper; add background scenery with paint, markers, or crayons 
  • Draw an Animal - Clip magazine photos of animal faces; adhere to paper and ask the child(ren) to draw the rest of the picture 
  • Watch animal videos on http://www.sandiegozoo.org/videos
  • Play animal games online 
  • Make LEGO animals
  • Read stories about animals
  • Write a story together about what it would be like to have your favorite animal as a pet. Let kids illustrate.

Making LEGO Duplo Animals
More LEGO Duplo Animals
Field Trips
  • Visit a zoo (Rochester Area: Seneca Park Zoo, or day trip to Buffalo Zoo or Syracuse Zoo)
  • Visit your local humane society (Rochester Area: visit the barn, the walking trail of farm animals, and the domestic animals inside Lollypop Farm in Fairport, NY)
  • Visit an animal sanctuary (Rochester Area: check out Wild Wings at Mendon Ponds Park in Honeoye Falls, NY: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, or Friday)
  • Visit a local farm (Rochester Area: say, “Hi!” to the animals at Wickham Farms in Penfield, NY: Tuesday = $2 specials on mini golf; Friday = story time at 11 a.m.)
  • Feed some animals (Rochester Area: feed the chickens, deer, sheep, goats, alpaca, pony, donkey, and rabbits at Powers Farm Market in Pittsford, NY)
  • Go to the library for books about your favorite animals: The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen, The Underpants Zoo by Brian Sendelback, Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, If You Give A…series by Laura Numeroff, the Pigeon books or Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems, or the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney
Feeding goats at
Powers Farm Market
The lions at Seneca Park Zoo!
We hope you have fun with your own Animals Week this summer. Be sure to Post a Comment and let us know what activities you did. As always, thanks for reading!

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