Monday, July 22, 2019

The Pajama Zoo Parade

I picked up  The Pajama Zoo Parade after falling down a rabbit hole of "if you like this book, you might like this one..." and I am so glad I did!  The illustrations are super sweet and the story follows the alphabet through a cast of pajama clad zoo animals as they make their way to bedtime.

 There were SO MANY zoo animals in the book we decided to make a few of our own and turn them into shakers/tambourines like you could use in a parade.  I had a pack of chinet dessert size plates so we searched Pinterest for some inspiration, picked our animals and got out the acrylic paints and got to work.

The kids were all busy at school camps so we had to break this project up into a couple of different days and so we let the plates all dry overnight and then the next day got to work on decorating.  

We filled them with a handful of macaroni, stapled them all together and then had fun playing with them

It felt like a true shame to throw them in a bag until the next time they want to play so instead I strung them up on the mantle using string and hair clips and I LOVE how fun it is!

They worked hard on these little guys and I love having them on display.

This was a really creative project and it was fun to see them decide what materials to use, mix paints, problem solve and then get to show off their final products.  I don't have a ton of pictures of them actually piecing them together because I was busy helping, manning the glue gun and stapling :)

I loved this craft idea because it's so versatile... you could make them one sided (ours were double sided since they had macaroni in them), you could fill them with bells or beads and see what kind of different sounds you can make, you could make them with full sized plates instead of small and you can create whatever animals your kids are excited about.

Here are a few of the supplies we used, as well as a few other zoo-related books :)

Since we were talking about animals that live in the zoo I got out all of our toob animals, sorted through them to see what I had and then made a checklist for the kids to work through.  I left it pretty open ended as far as materials they could use and encouraged them to each complete individual components and then put it together into one big zoo... and after that I just let them go for it!

Things got MESSY (which I knew would happen!) but they played cooperatively for a couple of hours and it was fun to hear them think critically and creatively and figure out some group work dynamics :) 

They were SO EXCITED to show me and Dave the zoo and as they went through their checklist we were blown away by the ingenuity and creativity...

Here's the monkey enclosure complete with zipline...

... penguin habitat with icebergs (that's styrofoam from a printer that was delivered earlier that day - so convenient! hahaha)...

... elephants in the middle of a tram track...

... and you can't even see the polar bears in all the snow :)

Pandas with Duplo bamboo...

... hippos in actual pools complete with waterfall...

... rhinos in an enclosure strong enough to hold them...

... bridges over the alligators so people can look down into the pools...

... and a whole area with separate enclosures for the big cats.

They absolutely LOVED doing this and I'll for sure be creating more project checklists like this for them in the future.

I felt like we had the zoo activities covered but needed something pajama related so I created these printable pages with blank pj shirts and pants and then wrote math problems on the shirts and answers on the shorts.  Each kid had a different page (with age-appropriate problems) and they colored the shirt and corresponding shorts the same color once they solved the problem.


We decided to watch Zootopia and made a pretty delicious "snack mix" to share while we watched...

We mixed the following together but obviously this is TOTALLY customizable... I feel like the only non-negotiables are the animal crackers :)

- 2 cups popcorn
- 2 cups pretzels
- 1 cup animal crackers
- 1 cup chocolate animal crackers
- 1 cup goldfish crackers
- 1 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup M&Ms

My kids LOVED this and we're going to make it again and put it in baggies to take on our road trip because YUM!

Happy Monday!!!

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  1. SO IMPRESSED. So creative, so fun, and SO IMPRESSED.

  2. What a FUN Family Book Club idea! I'm super impressed with your kids' abilities to whip up an animal from paper plates! Those look REALLY GOOD!

  3. I love how creative you are with all of the activities! The book looks like a lot of fun an I will have to recommend it to my mom friends.

  4. You may have just made our Family Book Club selection for Summer 2020 ; ) We have done this for the past 3 summers and I always love the thematic reading activities and special snack/meal. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is so awesome! Your kids were super creative with the zoo that they built and the snack mix looks delicious.

  6. You are seriously the MOST creative. Love you and your blog.
    My only *unlike* is that I don't have kids to do with with! ;)

    1. You could TOTALLY make some animals for yourself :) hahaha

  7. This is ahhhmazing! Totally stealing this. Do you have the blank pajama page available as a printable by chance?

  8. Super creative and cute! What a fun way for the kids to spend their day!

  9. You are creating such wonderful memories with your children. I love the creativity!!

    1. Thank you! Anything to encourage some creative play!

  10. Your family book clubs are my favorite posts! This one is fantastic!!!

  11. I love your ideas!!! You are so creative.

  12. This may be your best book club ever and that's saying something because I love them all!! Totally stealing this one for my grandchildren. Your kids absolutely have their mama's creative gene, very impressive:).

  13. This is so much fun! Thank you for sharing, we need to try this.


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