My job at the zoo has been a blast since I started nearly 12 years ago, but I have to say it's even more fun now that I have kids of my own. Instead of planning fun events for "kids," I'm planning fun events for MY kids. So much cooler. It hasn't really changed what I do, it's just a bit more fun for me. (I'm so relieved that I didn't have some giant lightbulb moment after having my own kids — "OH! So THAT's what kids like!")
It first hit me last August when I was planning a first birthday party for Samudra, the Asian Elephant. I planned what toddlers would think was fun, based on what my toddlers thought was fun: cupcakes & bouncy houses! It was a blast for me, and my kids -- along with thousands of other kids -- got to celebrate right along with the elephant. Here's more on Sam.
So next Wednesday, we are having a Penguin Parade. The penguins are moving into a temporary home while we make significant improvements to their water filtration system. The parade is a way of letting people know where to find the penguins for the next 6 months or so, but it's also just a fun celebration that we're able to do such important upgrades. As a way of inviting kids to "be" penguins and participate in the parade, we're making little penguin hand puppets. It seemed liked a good idea, but now I have my own little test subjects, so we tested out the craft.
Good news! It works! The kids loved it, although the black bags I ordered are less than great. But it works.
Also, The Boy-child thought one of the eyeballs should go on the belly, and The Girl-child thought the beak should face sideways instead of pointing down. Whatevs!
Here are the deets on the Penguin Parade, in case you'd like to join us!