So, it’s summertime, which means your kids are out of school. They’re ecstatic about it — no homework or teachers or music class for three full months. But that also means you have to somehow keep these high-on-life little ones entertained. For three whole months. Well, we’ll do our best to help you out. Did you know June was Zoo and Aquarium Month? No? We forgive you. Now, it’s true that June is over — so make that two months of entertainment — but, honestly, the whole summer should be dedicated to zoos and aquariums. They’re the perfect way to keep kids both entertained and educated. And, to get you prepared for your family visit, we’ve compiled a list of some great books to get your kids excited.
Curious George if off on another adventure. He somehow finds his way into becoming the main attraction at an aquarium — despite being, well, a monkey — and shows how curiosity can be a great way to make new friends. You can’t really go wrong with Curious George, so this pick is a no-brainer. [Rated for ages 4 and up]
An original twist on the classic “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” tale, this novel focuses on — wait for it — a couple of zookeepers and their animals. It’s almost Zoo Day, and everything is a mess. Can the zookeepers keep these animals in line? Enjoy this fun read with your kids before heading to the zoo! [Rated for ages 4 and up.]
Much like the Curious George series, the Berenstain Bear family is a staple in every child’s library. This time, the Berenstain Bears are taking on the aquarium. Its a simple tale of exploration and discovery, and the Berenstain Bear family takes your child on a tour of aquarium attractions: dolphins, penguins, seals, and, of course, fish. This book is the perfect way to get your kids acquainted with the aquarium before taking the real trip. [Rated for age 4 to 8 years.]
This is the story of Leslie, a young girl who’s a big fan of the zoo. And when we say “big fan,” we’re toning it down a bit. Leslie and her mother go to the zoo every Saturday, and every Saturday, Leslie announces that, if anything were to go wrong at the zoo, the zookeepers can bring the animals back to her house. And, of course, something does go wrong, and they take Leslie up on her offer. Not only is this story entertaining, but it’s also educational: The reader learns — as Leslie learns — all about how different animals need different habitats to keep them happy. [Rated for ages 4 to 8 years.]
This last book is a nonfiction addition to the list: In it, your kids will learn all about the different animals and habitats at the aquarium. There are also stunning photographs to keep easily distracted children interested. It’s the perfect pre-aquarium-trip read for yours kid. [Rated for ages 4 and up.]