San Diego, California - Kids and parents craving a dose of wildlife, learning-packed activities and a virtual visit to the zoo are in luck! Building on its educational resources for elementary school students, San Diego Zoo Global is rolling out 16 weeks of free online video programming suited for kids ages 7 to 11.
Homebound students can connect anytime for these half-hour virtual “funshops”: San Diego Zoo Global’s term for the unique, video-based learning modules that include trivia, arts and crafts, humor, and indoor and outdoor activities that can be done anywhere. Viewers will visit intriguing animals at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, as well as other zoos and aquariums around the world. Along the way, they’ll meet many wild and wacky characters and learn fascinating wildlife facts.
The new series was produced as part of San Diego Zoo Global’s “We’re Here Together” campaign, which has assembled a collection of digital resources to help wildlife lovers stay connected to educational resources during these unprecedented times.
“Inspiring the next generation to be great stewards of wildlife in the future is core to our mission,” said Paul A. Baribault, San Diego Zoo Global president/CEO. “We’ve long provided educational and learning resources for parents, teachers and animal lovers of all ages. Creating these additional offerings to further support the needs of parents and students right now is just one more thing we can do to support our greater community at this time.”
“A quarter of a million kids each year visit the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park,” said Victoria Garrison, director of education for both facilities. “With so much disruption to normal routines due to the pandemic, we felt this was a fun way to create continuity and connection with kids in this age group, ignite their curiosity and instill empathy for wildlife.”
“San Diego Zoo Kids Corner” is hosted by none other than Dr. Zoolittle, the Zoo’s zany, good-natured wildlife researcher. Dr. Z, as most call him, chats with Roberta, his digital Zebra pal, and calls on wildlife experts and other knowledgeable friends around the world for eye-opening insights. The program leads viewers through activities to engage their bodies and minds and inspire creativity and curiosity—while keeping the fun factor sky high.
Each episode brings a new theme, including habitats, animal locomotion, animal communications and animal families. In the first week’s topic, “Animal Builders,” viewers will come across creatures who design and construct their homes. They’ll visit busy birds making impressive nests at the San Diego Zoo’s Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks aviary, travel to Montana to witness Shiloh the baby beaver’s toothy techniques and gain a leafcutter ant’s-eye-view of all that’s required to construct their colony. Before the series is through, kids will gain new understanding of the natural world, participate in citizen science, create art, prepare wildlife-themed snacks, master animal-inspired dance moves and much more.