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This game assumes that your child has at least some stuffed animals. The stuffed animals become the zoo animals, and you set them up in their "cages." You can use the furniture for the different areas of the zoo--i.e., a couch could be the primate house, a chair could hold reptiles, etc. When I looked at my son's stuffed animals I found quite a few that would work for a zoo: giraffe, elephant, monkey, bear, panda, koala, seal, snake, rabbit, horse. With your child, you can either play "A Visit to the Zoo" or "Zookeeper." For "A Visit to the Zoo," you can take turns pretending to observe the animals in their "cages" while the other makes the animal move around or perform. If your child has already been to a real zoo, you can make this game a re-enactment of their visit there, with your child talking about what he/she saw. If your child has not been to a real zoo, you can use this game to talk about what a zoo is, what it is like, and perhaps plan a visit to one for a future date. For the "Zookeeper" game, you and your child can pretend to be the zookeepers and/or trainers who care for the animals. Once you play this game once with your child, he/she will be able to play it alone or with siblings/friends the next time around.
Contributed by Jennifer Spieler