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Penguins and Puffins: Zoo Class With Brynn


Off to Class


After becoming a member at the amazing St. Louis zoo, I enrolled Brynnie and I in a class designed for three and four year olds on Penguins and Puffins.  We were both pretty excited as we headed off on a bitter cold day to meet the other 11 toddlers and their adult playmate to lear all about these amazing creatures.  Michael and I had been blessed to see penguins on the beach in The Faukland Islands and I’ve been enamored ever since.  I was looking forward to sharing my enthusiasm for these funny little tuxedoed animals.


We’re terminally timely.. what can I say

Yes.. we arrived a little early.  But that was fun.  We got to hang out in the education area at the zoo and admire the exhibits.


Arriving early leaves lots of time for photos…

Let the fun begin

I loved the way they had an activity all ready for the kids the minute we got into the classroom. Our assignment was to use the provided clay and make a penguin.  There were lots of plastic penguin toys on the table to use as our models.  I think that the parents enjoyed this activity as much as the kids.

This was a very well planned class…

No doubt most of the kids attend preschool, and the format of this class felt very familiar.  During circle time there was a stuffed penguin or puffin to keep little hands engaged while the teacher read a book about penguins with lots of opportunities for discussion.. preschool style.  Then the kids had the opportunity to select from a number of hands-on stations to learn and explore.  Since parents were along to guide the learning, the stations were fun, engaging, and meaningful.  The final classroom activity included a visit with four live animals.  I think the main emphasis was to give the kids and opportunity for close encounters with feathered friends.  No penguins.. but the kids really enjoyed getting to carefully touch a chicken. pigeon, and screech owl as well as bunny.

Penguin and Puffin Encounter

The exciting end to the class included a short walk to the Penguin and Puffin exhibit.  This exhibit has been closed for a long time due to zoo renovations, but the class had the opportunity to go into this wonderfully designed penguin and puffin home at the zoo.  Thanks to the glass tanks it was easy for even short little people to see the penguins swimming by gracefully.. hopping on the rocks.. preening.. and ‘talking’ to each other.  A zoo keeper joined the group to answer questions and we got to see the penguins get hand-fed their very fishy lunch.


I was so happy that grandpa got to join us on our trip to the penguin exhibit.  Not only did he bring our much need coats, but he’s very helpful for lifting our little scientist up for a better view.

Time Together

We had a really wonderful morning at the zoo.  The class was very good, but, of course, it was the time with Brynn that touched this grandma’s heart. It is so much fun to share adventures with her, watch her learn and grow.  She’s growing up so fast.  We’re all booked for a zoo insect adventure in May when we come back to St. Louis.  I can hardly wait.

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