Cub Club at Perth Zoo
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The Perth Zoo was a favourite of my daughters (and let's be honest, mine) up until she turned about 6 and was no longer mesmerised by the diving penguins, or the nightmare-inducing yet entirely motionless crocodile. But never fear, I have a second child, and as he approaches two, he is getting into prime time zoo time. Thank goodness.
As a rambunctious twenty-month old that tore around the local gymba-kids class destroying the 'garden balancing beam' and attempting to catch smaller kids with the associated butterfly net, I was incredibly doubtful that he would last an entire session at cub club without me losing my mind. I was, however, mostly wrong.
I booked our session time for 10:15, giving me enough time to do school drop-off for my daughter, find parking at the zoo, grab a coffee, and meander around the zoo grounds for half an hour or so before it started. This was an ideal amount of time for my son, who enjoyed seeing about 2 animals before he requested never-ending snacks. The early mornings are usually pretty quiet, except for the odd school group, and I enjoy letting my son roam free in what I find to be an exceptionally beautiful zoo.
We usually wander over to the front of the zoo, where Cub Club is held, just before 10:15 and wait for the doors to open. Cub club is a perfect set-up for small kids with even smaller attention spans. The wonderful educator, Jessica, welcomes the kids and gives them all name tags, before leading everyone through a very short morning song and acknowledgement of country. There's a quick introduction to an animal, with a few educational facts (who knew that giraffes have to splay their legs uncomfortably far apart in order to have a drink? Well, now you do too), then it's on to the variety of laid out activities.
My favourite aspect of Cub Club was how laid back the approach was. Here's an activity, have a go, or don't, whatever you're feeling like on the day. Here are a few examples of the activities that get set up:
1. A play dough station where kids can make different animals (or blobs... let's be honest) adding natural materials, like leaves, gum nuts or sticks, to really complete that organic straight from the bush look.
2. A transport station full of different trucks and cars (a regular favourite of my sons - animals be damned).
3. A vet station including real stethoscopes and wooden medical equipment, with different toy animals with a variety of ailments - think a crocodile with missing teeth or a hyena with a sprained ankle.
4. Painting station with natural paint brushes - I was grateful for this station as I'd been putting off painting with my son for a good twelve months, so it's always wonderful when someone else can deal with clean up.
5. An outdoor exploration area where the kids can use the pretend binoculars to scout out the toy birds or snakes hanging from the trees
The activities change up every week, with some being more consistent than others. But essentially it's 45 minutes of free play for your little ones. There's no pressure to create a beautiful piece of art, or name twelve quick facts about wombats bums (did you know they poo in cubes? Now you do).
After a good chunk of time spent on activities, where Jessica walks around and engages with the kids, it's back to the cushions for the last round of songs with some musical instruments, and to high-five the zoo puppets - Kaya and Kevin.
Whilst my daughter loved A to Zoo and I'll likely look into that for my son in another year or so, for the time being, with him being able to focus on an activity for approximately 3.5 seconds, Cub Club is wonderful to meander around in.
There is a fixed cost per term, with eight sessions included. The age recommendation is 1 - 2.5 years olds, and though you don't have to be a zoo member, if you're not, you will need to pay for entry each and every time... eg. become a member. If you're looking for a quick activity that includes animals, crafts and music, with a stress-free amount of loose structure, cub clubs is likely for you.
Find out more about Cub Club at the Perth Zoo on their website: link here
57771 - 2022-12-02 12:22:49