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Zoo Scavenger Hunt Printables and Book Lists

The zoo is one of those places I really enjoy visiting when the weather is nice, therefore it often becomes a fun spring/summer excursion with my children. And because of the nicer weather, more animals tend to be out, and we can often see new baby animals too!

HHM Zoo Scavenger Hunt Printables


When heading off to a place like the zoo or a museum, it can be helpful to have an activity on hand to keep the children busy and interested. Scavenger hunts are a great way to do this! They keep the kids paying attention, asking questions, and eager to see each thing in anticipation of checking off another item on the list.

Zoo Scavenger Hunt for Younger Children

I have created this FREE, fun, and colorful (also prints well in black and white), Zoo Scavenger Hunt Printable for young children. Simply print it out, read the list with your children so they’ll know what to look for, and circle or mark out the items on the list as you see them. Have fun with it and enjoy looking for each item and discussing them as you go!

FREE Zoo Scavenger Hunt Printable from Hip Homeschool Moms

For More In-Depth Fun and Learning with Younger Children

If you want to get a little more in-depth with your learning at the zoo, you may print out on card stock some photos of animals you will find at the zoo you are visiting. Have your children find the animals and write some facts about them on the backs of the cards. Or take large lined notecards and print the names of the animals on the unlined sides.

When you get to the zoo, hand the cards to your children and start your scavenger hunt fun.

When they find each animal, they can take a photo of it. This can later be printed at home and glued over the name you wrote on the unlined side of the card.

Then they can write the information they learned on the lined side of the card.

After printing and gluing the photos at home, you can hole punch and use string to create a book of the animals they found and learned about at the zoo!

Scavenger Hunt Fun for Older Children

The next Zoo Scavenger Hunt Printable is for older children or even tweens and teens. You can play along with your children, or you can even make it a friendly competition! This would also be fun as a youth activity for students from your church or other group (like a homeschool group or group of friends). You can make rules (or not!), see which person or team can find all of the items on the list the fastest, or just have fun walking around the zoo together and looking for and discussing the animals and other things on the list.

I’ve done similar scavenger hunts with our church’s youth group. We divided the students into teams (with each team having at least one adult for supervision and safety) and had each team take a picture of each item on the list. You can have the students pose in the pictures and have the adults take the photos, or you can take the pictures of the items without the students in the pictures. Either way works, but we found that it was more fun to have the students in the photos! The teams were awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places as they returned to the starting/finishing point. It was lots of fun looking at the photos together!

HHM Zoo Scavenger Hunt

Zoo Related Books

The fun doesn’t have to stop once you leave the zoo! There are lots and lots of great books for children of various ages that relate to the zoo. I’ve listed just a few of them below.

For Preschoolers:

Dear Zoo: A Lift-the Flap Book by Rod Campbell

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Curious George Goes to the Zoo by Margret and H.A. Rey

Going to the Zoo by Tom Paxton

For Children:

If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss

Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

Wild About Books by Judy Sierra

My Visit to the Zoo by Aliki

Older Children and Tweens:

The Secret Zoo by by Bryan Chick

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Who Pooped in the Zoo? San Diego Zoo: Exploring the Weirdest, Wackiest, Grossest, and Most Surprising Facts About Zoo Poop  by Caroline Patterson

We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee

About the author


Heidi lives in upstate New York where the winters are long & cold, but where she truly appreciates the lack of extreme weather such as tsunamis and hurricanes! Her house is filled up with her loving husband of 17 years, 3 busy children, & 2 dogs (Muffin & Oscar). Homeschooling started out as a trial run with a child beginning 2nd grade, & almost 9 years later has become a lifestyle which brings great joy. You can often find her behind her camera, or working something out in Photoshop. With 3 children homeschooling multiple ages is the norm in their house. You can find her writing at on her own blog, Starts At Eight where she often focuses on homeschooling high school, elementary unit studies, and books/reading.

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