We’re pretty big fans of Tracy Aviary. It really is our favorite “zoo” type experience in Utah...and it just keeps getting better and better!
If you’re like us, and visit Tracy Aviary often, you’ll be happy to know that they also offer classes for young kids! Tracy Aviary was kind enough to host us for a series of their Little Chicks class. We didn’t know what to expect but were pleasantly surprised!
The Little Chicks class that we attended was designed for kids ages 3-4. In the class, kids are able to participate in all sorts of fun and educational activities...all centered around birds of course.
Each class follows a similar format. Which I appreciated because it helped the kids learn a routine and know what to expect.
When we first walked into each class there was a coloring sheet about the bird we would be learning about that week. Kids were encouraged to color while we waited for everyone to arrive.
Once the majority of the kids had arrived, we moved over to the “circle time” area. There were mats on the floor for the kids to sit on. These really helped the kids stay still. My two year old was even able to sit and listen while sitting on the mats!
Circle time usually consisted of a welcoming activity and song, a story and a hands on experience. The educators did a great job with circle time. They asked the kids questions throughout the story and also took the book around the circle so they could get a close up view of the book. Occasionally, they would ask the kids to point to something in the picture that the book was talking about.
Each hands on experience was different. Sometimes they showed feathers, sometimes a talon, they even brought in a bird foot once (the kids loved it but it made me a little squeamish.) My little girls loved touching the colorful feathers most of all.
At the end of circle time was when the real fun began! This was the time for a visit from a bird. And I feel like this is what really makes the Little Chicks classes amazing!
Like I said, we’re big fans of Tracy Aviary so we’ve been quite often. Tracy Aviary in general does a really great job of giving you an up-close and personal experience with the birds. Most exhibits allow for a great view of the birds, the bird shows (especially the indoor bird shows) give you a chance to get really close to the birds, and they even have add on experiences like Amazon Adventure and the Pelican Encounter that allow you to feed the birds. But with all we’ve done at Tracy Aviary, I feel like the Little Chicks class gave us the most up-close and personal experience we’ve had with the birds!
Each week a different bird visits the class. It was really amazing to be so close to the birds. Some would fly right over our heads, others would let us feed them. The McCaw cracked Sunflower seeds so close to us that a few of the shells flew into our laps. It really was a neat experience and our kids loved every single minute!
Depending on the timing of the bird visit, we’d usually do an active activity next. These usually required jumping and flying and moving and crawling. The ones my kids loved the most were the obstacle courses.
After the bird visitor left, we usually washed our hands and had a little snack. It was the same snack each week, animal crackers and a juice box. Nothing crazy but the kids loved it. I did feel they were a little stingy on the crackers. They started each kid out with 3 crackers and it just felt like most of snack time was spent asking for more crackers.
Snack time was usually followed by an active activity. Making owl masks and bird wings were my kids favorites. Just yesterday my 4 year old dressed up in her mask and wings to “play flying”. I loved how each activity was simple enough for kids to do but they also varied quite a bit. Some required more coloring and cutting while others required painting with your feet!
Class always ends back on the mats for circle time. The educator gives a short summary of the things we had done that day and then we all sang 5 Little Ducks Went Out to Play. Each child was given some information on the bird we met that week along with a scavenger hunt challenge.
As you can probably tell, we loved attending Tracy Aviary’s Little Chicks classes!
*If you’re like us, we don’t need more toys in our house this Christmas! This is such a great “non-toy” gift for the Holidays! It’d even be something fun for a Grandparent to give...wouldn’t it be fun to take your grandkid to a special class each week?
- February 1st, 2017 is the next Little Chicks class. Register Here! Be sure to follow them on their social media so you know when registration opens.
- Each class includes admission to Tracy Aviary for that day so pack a lunch and make a morning of it!