Apologia’s Zoology 3 DIY Clay Animal Zoo
Each year we use Apologia science I like to have a project that we add to throughout the school year. This year we finished science in the first semester by changing our schedule around and it was such a blessing. For Apologia Zoology 2 we did a really fun project and it is what really gave me the idea of an ‘add-to’ project throughout the year doing science each year. Really, projects like this can be done for many subjects. For me, science, worldview and history is where I tend to want to spend my time doing something like this.
This year, when we we were learning about land animals, the book gave us the idea to create a zoo during each lesson of our studies. They gave us some basic guides and we added to those ideas.
This was the first year we incorporated my 6 year old into science. It worked out wonderfully and he loved doing the junior notebooking journal. My older 10 year old son liked have a his brother as part of the science lesson and, as usual, with our boys, it created some healthy competition. It kind of cracks me up but they are who they are!
What Do You Need To Create Your Own Zoo?
The supplies we used were really quite simple – mostly things we had around out house.
- A piece of extra cardboard cut to the size that you want your zoo to be
- Pebbles and rocks we found around the outside of our house
- Grass we picked from around our house
- Pipe Cleaners (for the cat-tail tips)
- Raffia for the stem of the cat tail
- Basket filler zig zag cut paper
- Scrap pieces of felt
- Acrylic paint and brushes
- Toothpicks for signs and some clay figures
- Printed paper signs
- Colored pencils
- You Tube for learning how to create some clay animals
- Cloud Clay (the most important ingredient for the whole zoo) in colors
- Craft grass for grass, tundra and bushes
- Dirt from outside
- Hot Glue Gun
- Strong hold liquid glue
- Glue stick
I gave my kids some leeway in doing this project. After we read each lesson, they were able to choose which animal they wanted to create. Sometimes they chose to create more than one. I would pull up a you tube video if I could find one on how to make certain animals. They didn’t have to follow it but could if they wanted too.
The other choice they had was how they wanted to set up their habitats or exhibits. My older son chose to set up his zoo with habitats like swamp, desert, mountains, wastelands, etc. My younger son chose to set his up according to animal types (which is how we studied animals in the book). These were marsupials, carnivores, amphibians, etc. It was fun to see the differences in how each of their zoos turned out!
I enjoyed seeing how they used the different materials that I gave them to create their zoo. It was a work in progress the entire semester.
A Great Learning Tool
This project was a great learning tool as well as a wonderful way to help my boys remember what animals they studied. Plus, who doesn’t love working with clay that doesn’t make a mess? Another awesome thing about this clay is that it is really light when it dries – just a like a cloud! That makes it easy to transport the zoo to its area for storing without anything falling apart.
Cool Cat Tails
I love how my boys tried to make stripes in the clay for the zebra!
My favorite little cutie!
The Wasteland and Boneyard
Lots of Fun
The last tip I want to give you is for the zoo signs. Of course you could do the signs any way you would like but this is how we did them. We printed the text on the computer and then cut out the paper signs. We either glued the signs to the toothpicks or attached them with clay. In order to stick them to the cardboard we poked the toothpick through the cardboard and then placed a clay ball around the bottom of it and pressed it down to hold the sign.
If you choose Apologia Zoology 3 the study of Land Animals, I highly recommend having your kids create a zoo to help them remember what they learned and do a fun activity!
Comment below if you have any questions!
Cheers to homeschool fun!