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You say you do it for your children and, meanwhile, enjoy them to the fullest! And is that the many zoos in Holland are beautiful, educational and especially in spring are full of new lives.

  • Admire the huge panda bears at the Ouwehands Dierenpark zoo.
  • Visit the Artis di Amsterdam zoo, the giardino zoo più antico dell'Olanda.
  • Go on safari and enjoy everything wild in Holland.

Spring is the ideal time to visit Holland with children. It's sunny again, the beaches are full of people and nature blooms again. As it happens in the many beautiful zoos of Holland, since there the animals also leave their dens. Some wake up from their hibernation and others leave the egg.

Artis in Amsterdam

As for example in Artis, located in Amsterdam, the oldest zoo in Holland. In addition to having a splendid aquarium, a planetarium and a zoological museum, in Artis there are countless animals that have young at this time. And if that were not enough, in spring you can do lots of things. From theater, music to attending talks. For both you and your children, it will be a party!

Birds, butterflies and fish

In addition to these large zoos there are also many specialized parks. Beautiful aquariums such as the Sea Life Scheveningen or the Zeeaquarium of Bergen aan Zee, the fantastic Harderwijk Dolphinarium and many bird and butterfly gardens with the most exceptional specimens. A whole series of fun excursions to go with the children, especially in spring.

Want to see how Holland blooms this spring? Book your ticket now in one of these zoos.

Activities prior to the visit to the zoo

  1. Encourage the group to write what they expect from their visit to the zoo.
  2. Discuss with the group their opinions about the existence of zoos and how the Barranquilla Zoo has changed over the years.
  3. Discuss with the group the topic What animals are good pets?
    • Ask students to point out some differences between pets and animals at the Barranquilla Zoo
    • Discuss with students why wild animals should not be used as pets.
  4. Show the group pictures of animals and do exercises on image retention in memory. Discuss certain observable characteristics in an animal.
  5. Show the group photographs, drawings and slides of different animals. Discuss certain characteristics that favor or limit the animal in certain situations.
  6. Gather pictures of animals. Group them according to different criteria, for example: species, habitat type, habits and behavior, etc.
  7. List animals from different ecosystems. Discuss with the group concepts such as adaptation, survival, extinction, risk, threat, etc.
  8. Request the preparation of journalistic notes on some animals of interest to students. Emphasize the causes that threaten or endanger them.
  9. Motivate writing in stories, poems, or imaginary stories about zoo animals.
  10. Discuss with the group the way in which zoo animals are cared for and by whom they are cared for.

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Where is the Madrid Zoo

He Madrid Aquarium Zoo is in the Cottage, in the southwest area of ​​the city. There is an entrance directly from the A-5, the Extremadura highway, at the exit of Madrid, at the height of Aluche. The sign has an elephant drawn, it has no loss. On this map you can see his situation and calculate your route to it:

Next to the zoo there is a large parking at the entrance (where there are usually many “gorrillas”, by the way), which makes it very accessible. In fact, there are a couple of lines of subway that have stations very close to the access to the zoo, so you don't even need to go in car.

How to plan a school visit to a Zoo

The visits of school groups to Zoologicals are intended to complement the educational activities of the classroom. These should broaden and encourage the interest of students in a particular unit of study. We offer a practical guide to plan a helpful visit.



Zoos have changed over time, both in their mission and in their presentation. They originated as recreational centers where a variety of animals, usually exotic, were exhibited in small unpleasant confinements, both for the animal and for the public and the visitor was little informed about the characteristics of each species. The current tendency is to present the animals in the most natural way possible, imitating the habitat or ecosystem from which they come, associated with the native flora and making the visitor feel that he is immersed in the animal's world.

However, the biggest change has taken place in the mission and objectives that Zoos now have, since they have gone from being recreational centers to becoming important organizations dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity through research and education.

Zoological research focuses mainly on topics such as nutrition, environmental enrichment, physiology, behavior, reproduction, conservation biology, the results of these investigations are applied to the management of wild populations, repopulation, reintroduction of individuals into their natural habitats, among others.

Environmental education in Zoos, is a unique and fascinating opportunity to teach about biodiversity, the uniqueness of each species, the wonderful adaptations that each one has, the important role that each one plays within the network of life and our own responsibility in the care and maintenance of the environment.

For Zoos, schools and colleges are a very important sector of the visiting public. For this reason, they dedicate great efforts to develop joint strategies that allow the Zoo to be a pillar of support for teachers in their work. The guided tour is one of those strategies that educational groups offer to school groups with the objective of complementing school activities and broadening and encouraging the interest of students in the unit of study pursued. Therefore, it is expected that teachers carefully plan these visits, in order to help them in this task, we present below suggestions adapted from the “Guide for Teachers” offered by the Cali Zoo Education Unit:

In this phase you must:

Schedule the visit in advance.

Search the Internet if the Zoo you plan to visit has
Web page where you can find valuable information (at the end of this document you will find a list of sites).
Check if the Zoo has an education department that can help you plan the visit.
Find out if discounts are granted to educational institutions.
Check the number of students recommended by each accompanying adult.
Investigate whether a teacher workshop is offered (prior to the visit).
Check if the Zoo offers support material for the visit.
If possible, visit the Zoo previously, document about the species displayed.
Find out if the guide service is offered.

Number of students per guide
Cost of the guide service.
How far in advance this service should be reserved.

Ask if tickets can be purchased in advance, in order to avoid delays on the day of the visit.
Inform students that no food or drinks should enter the Zoo.
Find out if the Zoo has a cafeteria service.

Price of the entredías.
Should these be booked in advance?

Inform students to wear comfortable clothes and free of elements that interfere with the proper development of the visit.
Confirm the visit with due anticipation.

In the classroom, before going to the Zoo You must:

Prepare and motivate students to make the most of the visit.
Identify what knowledge students have about the Zoo and the work it performs.
Find out what questions or concerns students have regarding the visit.
Explain to the students the objectives of the visit.
Explain the activities to be carried out before, during and after the visit. These activities should be exploratory, both educational and recreational, that stimulate curiosity and creativity.
Visit the websites of several Zoos (at the end of this document you will find a list of sites).
Promote research on the conservation of ecosystems.
Explain the rules of behavior in the Zoo and in public places.
Talk about topics related to wildlife, domestic, native, exotic and endemic.
Generate a debate on wildlife trafficking, endangered animals, bioindicators, destruction of natural habitats, animal plant relationship, etc.
If the Zoo you are going to visit has a Web page, it is very certain that you can find your map there, explain the route to the students.
If you have visited the Zoo before, recapitulate that experience.
Remind students that there are not only animals in the Zoo. In it you can find different varieties of plants and trees.
Explain to students whether they should work individually or in teams.

You should:

Ask the driver to stop the bus in the demarcated area for students to get off, then ask what area of ​​the parking lot the bus can locate. Set with the driver an hour of departure to wait for them in the same place, so they will not have to go through the parking lot and expose themselves to an accident.
Arrive at the box office with the exact number of students, teachers and companions. To avoid delays and confusion, have previously purchased tickets or the corresponding money on hand.
Remind students that the accompanying adult assigned to each group will be the leader and that they should stay with him.
If a workshop was requested as a complement to the visit, cancel the value and inform the manager that they are already in the Zoo.

During the visit it is important that students comply with some behavior standards. Expose them and explain your reason for being.

Avoid running and screaming. The purpose of the visit to the Zoo is to observe the animals in the most natural way possible, when they run and shout they scare them and they hide or act in an unnatural way.
Do not try to get the attention of animals by hitting the glass, this scares them. In the aquarium, for example, when hitting the glass, the noise inside the water is magnified and causes damage to the fish.
Deposit the trash in the toilets, so all visitors will find the park clean and pleasant.
Do not feed the animals. Each animal has a special diet, prepared by a professional nutritionist. The food offered by the public can make them sick and cause death.
Respect animals, some people throw objects at them to see them in action, we must understand that animals have their special behavior increasing their activity at certain times.
Take care of plants and gardens, they are part of the animals' environment and also a source of knowledge.
Respect the limits of the exhibits. Do not climb the walls or put your hands in the middle of the bars, it can be very dangerous.

During the tour you must

Communicate to the guides what you want to be emphasized, or if you want to go deeper into a specific species, or, if you want to hold a workshop, apply a questionnaire, or if you will personally guide your group.
Check that the purposes, goals and objectives defined for the visit are met.
Avoid assigning activities in which students must copy or transcribe information, preventing them from seeing the animals and enjoying the stay (example: copying scientific names, transcribing the text of the informational signs, copying the historical review of the Zoo, etc.).
Tour the park in its entirety when the student group attends for the first time.
Request that they focus on some topic when the student group has already visited the Zoo:

Recognition of groups of animals (mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish).
Types of animal feed.
Plant-animal ratio.
Different habitat of animals.
Conservation of habitats and ecosystems
The role of man in conservation biology.

Check that students spend their time carefully observing the movements of animals, food, characteristics, behaviors, flora, so that they can then interpret what has been seen and analyze the knowledge acquired.
Offer students the freedom and confidence to ask Zoo staff questions, they will be willing to resolve their concerns.

Some Zoos and Botanical Gardens offer their visitors the possibility of observing in their habitat one of the most attractive groups of insects for their color and flight. Before entering a butterfly garden, explain to your students that:

Butterflies are fragile and can be hurt, avoid catching and hitting them.
The butterflies feed on the nectar of the flowers and lay their eggs on the plants, do not start them or step on them, it can prevent them from reproducing.
You must close the doors so that they do not escape.
Glasses of puparians and showcases should be taken care of, it is better not to touch them.
The Butterfly Bodies are endowed with a series of interactive educational elements, allow their students to explore them and draw their own conclusions.

Once in the classroom, integrate and analyze the experiences and draw conclusions together with your students. This last stage aims to give coherence to the information collected, integrate knowledge and allow the achievement of learning objectives:

Talk to the students about their experiences (what they liked best, what they liked least, that they would improve at the Zoo, the favorite animal and why, etc.).
Create a space for debate and discussion about what was learned during the visit, not only about the animals but also about everything observed.
If the output had a specific topic, ask questions about it and allow them to get their own conclusions.
Ask them to make models, billboards, plays, puppets, among others. Use materials and teaching aids to make your classes interactive.
Conduct recreational workshops according to the objectives of the visit.

The recreational workshops are aimed at a practical experience and a moment of reflection or search from the approach to animals or plants. If possible, do the workshop at the site of the visit. Some zoos have suitable sites to carry them out.

When designing a workshop, ensure that the following objectives are achieved:

Educational. Through the activities the student expands his knowledge and obtains a new attitude that allows him to "Learn to Learn" and "Learn to Be".
Active. The protagonist is the student, not the teacher.
Playful. That generates pleasure and delight and does not become one more class.
Integrator. From various disciplines such as art, Spanish, social and natural sciences, etc.
Motivator That the student can develop his creative capacity and his own alternatives to face the problems.
Sensitizer By having a greater openness to other realities.
Environmental. This is a unique and fascinating opportunity to teach about biodiversity, the uniqueness of each species, the wonderful adaptations that each one has, the important role that each one plays within the network of life and our own responsibility in care and maintenance. of the environment
Socializer The workshop is developed as a group activity highlighting individual skills and abilities to accommodate an open plan for healthy competitiveness.

• Cali Zoo
• Barraquilla Zoo
• Santa Cruz Zoo (Cundinamarca)
• Matecaña Zoo (Pereira)

Article prepared by EDUTEKA with material taken from the "Guide for Teachers" offered by the Cali Zoo.
The Cali Zoo is a non-profit organization whose mission is “Promote the conservation of Colombian ecosystems through education and research through programs that stimulate a harmonious and sustainable relationship with nature. Currently, the Cali Zoo is a national and Latin American leader in research and education programs for nature conservation. He is a member of the Colombian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (ACOPAZOA) and of the Latin American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (ALPZA). The Cali Zoo Education Unit offers programs that complement the pedagogical work of educational institutions, Telefax 892 7474 Ext. 221.

Publication of this document in EDUTEKA: June 26, 2004.
Last modification of this document: June 26, 2004.

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