Ten zoo books & magazines for kids

To continue the zoo theme from the past couple of posts, we will share 10 children’s zoo books or magazines that we have read to our kids and enjoyed. These are probably all geared toward the preschool crowd, except the magazines may appeal to younger elementary-aged children. Below we have given a short review of each book, along with a key Bible verse that you can share and discuss with your children while reading with them.


1> Color Zoo // Bright and vivid colors and shapes make this the perfect book for babies and preschoolers. It is engaging and creative, using cutout shapes to form different animals. // “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him.” > Colossians 1:16

 2> Curious George Visits the Zoo // If your little ones like monkeys, then this might be the perfect book for them. In typical George fashion, he gets into a bit of mischief but actually ends up saving the day. // “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” > Deuteronomy 31:8

3> Put Me in the Zoo // This classic rhyming book is good for early readers and as a read-aloud for younger ones. // “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” > Ephesians 2:10

 4> Good Night, Gorilla //  The simple text and cute illustrations of this book are great for babies and toddlers and make it a bedtime favorite. (We also get lots of laughs when the mommy opens her eyes.) // “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar.” > Psalm 139:2

5> A Sick Day for Amos McGee // It’s a heartwarming story about friendship and caring for others. // “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” > Philippians 2:3-4

6> If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) // Inspire creativity and imagination with the fantastical story by Dr. Seuss. // “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” > Proverbs 16:9

7> Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? // The distinct Eric Carle-style of illustration can help teach babies and preschoolers their colors and animals. // “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” > Hebrews 4:13

8> National Geographic Kids // Not only do these magazines include stunning photography of various animals, but it also has educational articles, different activities and neat fact cards. // “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” > Hebrews 11:3

9> Zoobooks // Each monthly Zoobook magazine features a certain animal and gives interesting and valuable information. // “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” > Psalm 104:24

10> Our Day at the Zoo // Read about how some kids spend the day at the zoo imitating the animals. This is a local book created for the “Read for Adventure” partnership between the Oklahoma City Zoo and the Metropolitan Library System. If you check out this book from any of the 19 Metro Library locations, you can receive a FREE voucher for four to the Oklahoma City Zoo from the library staff. The program continues until March 31, 2018, and you can check out the book multiple times. // “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” > Ephesians 5:1

Field Trip Family is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Visit a world-class zoo from home

When you think of famous zoos, one of the ones you might think of is the San Diego Zoo. It is a world-renown zoo with a reputation for being one of the best in the world. I was fortunate enough to pay a visit with my little family a couple years ago before little sis came along. It was massive with miles of walking and plenty of animals.


We would definitely recommend a visit if you are ever in that area or planning a trip to San Diego with kids. However, even if you never have the opportunity to head that way, you can see a lot of what they have to offer through their amazing website and also their site for kids.

The kid’s site gives so much valuable information about various types of animals and features professional quality educational videos and live cams. These videos are hosted by knowledgeable zookeepers and provide interesting facts about the animals. If the videos aren’t enough, there are even interactive games and a section with crafts and activities, like learning how to draw an elephant or a panda. Another great section to check out on the site is the “Jobs at the Zoo” page, where kids can get a behind-the-scenes look at the people who help make zoos a reality.

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Ways to encourage learning at the zoo

If you have kids, then you will probably be visiting a zoo at some point in their childhood. Use your visit to the zoo as an opportunity to help them learn and discover more about animals and take advantage of the educational resources available.

Ways that you can engage in meaningful learning experiences with your children include:

  • Reading informational signs to them or having them read the signs
  • Talking about things they learned
  • Asking them to name their favorite animals
  • Doing a scavenger hunt
  • Letting them navigate the zoo with the map
  • Petting or feeding certain animals
  • Talking to a zookeeper or attending a zookeeper informational talk
  • Having them describe different animals in their own words
  • Talking about animal habitats and behaviors
  • Discussing animal diet and how it compares to our own diets
  • Journaling about their visit to the zoo
  • Checking the zoo website for any information about special events (i.e. Endangered Species Day, World Oceans Day, etc)

Right now until June 30, 2017, the Oklahoma City Zoo has a FREE scavenger safari for kids ages 3-11. Pick up the green scavenger safari card at Guest Services or the ZooFriends office and then set out to hunt for green signs at 8 different animal exhibits. Each sign contains information about conservation and how certain people are helping animals. There is also a symbol the kids will look for on the sign and match it to the one on the card that they can scratch off to reveal a letter. Once they have found all 8, they can return the card to the Safari Gift Shop for a prize!


We have also designed a FREE field trip guide printable that you can bring along on your next visit to the zoo. It includes a scavenger hunt, key vocabulary words that you can talk about throughout your field trip, a matching activity and more. The second page of the guide is the spiritual component and mini-devotional that highlights an attribute of God related to the zoo. You can download, share or print the guide below.


Why you should get a zoo membership

One of our favorite activities around our area is the Oklahoma City Zoo. We have been known to go almost weekly when the weather is nice, so a membership is invaluable to us and pays for itself in just a few visits. During the month of May, Mathis Brothers Furniture offers a special deal on annual zoo memberships.


This is a great deal since the family membership (includes 2 adults and 5 kids) is usually $70, so you save $21. Instead of getting the $49 family pass, my family just gets the Wildcard membership (includes one person and one guest) for $35, since it’s usually just me and the kids going during the work week and kids younger than 3 are free. The Wildcard is normally $50, so this is a saving of $15.

In order to take advantage of this deal, you have to go to the physical store at 3434 W. Reno, bypass all the salespeople and head straight to the back where they will have a tent and tables set up. They have iPads available where you enter your information and pay with a credit card, and then you get to pick out a stuffed animal for your little one (or yourself) and head out the door. The membership cards are mailed to you in a few weeks, but they also email you a temporary card to use immediately.

One huge perk of being a zoo member is the reciprocity program. Since the Oklahoma City Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, members can get free or discounted admission to other member zoos all around the country and one or two in Mexico and Canada. Here is a link to the participating zoos and benefits. They recommend calling ahead to whatever zoo you are planning to visit to confirm your benefits. From our experience, we have usually gotten half off admission to other zoos. We have used our pass at the Dallas Zoo, Memphis Zoo and Houston Zoo.

Other lesser known benefits of a membership at the Oklahoma City Zoo is that they’ll send you a quarterly magazine and an annual calendar, and you can get a 10% discount at zoo gift shops, concessions and classes.

Welcome to Field Trip Family

Hello and welcome! We are new around here and wanted to introduce ourselves. Field Trip Family is a blog resulting from years of hoping and wishing to start something where I can document and create. I had dabbled in the world of blogging before becoming a stay-at-home mom, and I loved it. Then, the baby came, and my time and energy started to fade and become redirected. We’ve since added another baby to the brood, but my desire to write and create never waned.

At this point in my life, our oldest daughter is entering into the elementary school years, and I don’t want to miss out on documenting and recording the many memories and experiences to come. We also want to capitalize on this time we have together as a family and bring more purpose and meaning to our everyday activities. We are hoping to share our adventures and experiences with others and encourage other families to also approach outings and travel with more intentionality.

If you want to read more about our purpose and guiding principles for the Field Trip Family, visit the About page.

C.S. Lewis


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