We took Grayson to the Nashville Zoo for the first time on Thursday. Actually, it was his first trip to any zoo! My parents got a membership a while back and between wonky weather, doctor’s appointments, and them traveling back and forth to the U.K. we just haven’t had time to go. He absolutely loves animals, specifically monkeys, so I knew it was going to be a hit! After our first trip, I feel like I learned a lot of what to do and what not to do when taking a toddler to the zoo. Here are Five Tips for Taking your Toddler to the Zoo.
1. Talk Your Trip Up…Big Time
If your child has never been to the zoo, chances are they’re not going to have any idea what you’re talking about, and they will have no idea what to expect. The night before we went to the Zoo, I made sure to keep reminding Grayson that we were going. We looked at pictures of all the animals, and went over their names and what sounds they made. While I was tucking him in, I made sure to remind him that we were going to the zoo the next day. You can also read books about the zoo and the animals you might see. It’s a great way to build up excitement.
2. Plan your trip Early
With Toddlers, and especially in the Summer time, it’s better to plan an early zoo trip. Most toddlers are in a better mood first thing in the morning, so make sure to plan your trip before things like lunch time and nap time. They’re more likely to get irritable and restless the closer it is to those times. We decided to head over immediately after breakfast, and we left right before lunch time. It also starts to get a whole lot more crowded around lunch time, so make sure to plan accordingly!
3. Bring a Stroller / Wagon, or budget to rent one!
Your toddler is 100% not going to be able to walk the length of the zoo, or even half of it. Make sure to bring them a place that they can take a break in, so that they can enjoy the zoo in a more relaxed setting. I also brought our Skip Hop backpack with harness for the times that he did walk around, so that he wasn’t able to stray too far from us. When you have multiple children, a wagon is an awesome option! Most zoos will have a booth set up as well where you can rent a stroller, but I know that with ours it’s first come first serve. So, make sure to call and check if you don’t have your own!
4. Relax and Have Fun!
Taking your toddler somewhere new can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember to see the experience from their eyes, and share in all of the wonderment that they’re seeing for the very first time! The zoo will always be there, and you can come back if your first visit is less than stellar.
5. PACK LOTS OF SNACKS and drinks
When we do things outdoors, I make sure to pack a ton of mess-free snacks. Because really, the zoo charges like $9 for two waters, and I’m not about that life. So, I try and bring as many things from home as I can. Grayson helped me pack his bag and wanted to bring his “weee” (squeezie), which is what he calls his Go & Grow by Similac Pouches.
Go & Grow by Similac Pouches are Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO, contain no fillers, artificial flavors or colors, and are gluten free. I’ve mentioned several times about how I like to make sure that Grayson is getting as many nutrient-rich foods as I can, and Go & Grow by Similac Pouches help me to achieve that when he’s being picky. Go & Grow by Similac pouches contain three to four servings of combined fruits and vegetables. The appropriate amount of Go & Grow by Similac pouches for a toddler is between one and three pouches, with a daily maximum of three pouches. The approporiate amount of Go & Grow by Similac pouches for a baby is one pouch. He never refuses a good “squeezie”.
Go & Grow by Similac pouches come in two age groups. One stage is for babies six months of age and older and the other stage is for toddlers 12+ months. We, of course, use and love the Toddler Stage, and each flavor has ingredients that we already love.
- Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Banana, Carrot, Spinach, Broccoli Puree
- Mango, Sweet Potato, Pear Puree
- Mango, Apple, Butternut Squash, Spinach Pure
- Apple, Butternut Squash, Banana, Blueberry Puree
After trying each flavor, I think that Grayson’s favorite was the Mango, Sweet Potato, and Pear Puree. But honestly he devoured them all in record time. Go & Grow by Similac pouches are a great way to make sure that your toddler is getting their daily reccomended amounts of fruits and veggies, because each pouch contains 3-4 servings. That’s 1/3 of their daily recommended servings!
Similac also makes a Go & Grow Toddler Drink, which is a milk-based powder that you can introduce during meal time. Each 8 oz serving has over 25 vitamins and minerals! Grayson still likes to have a bottle each night before bed, and we’ve started using this Go & Grow Toddler Drink. I love the stick packs because they’re so easy to throw into your purse or diaper bag to always have on hand!
All of the Similac Go & Grow products can be found at your local Walmart (see here). If you’re an Ibotta user like I am, use this offer for $0.50 back on any one Go & Grow by Similac Pouch. Also, make sure you head over to SheSpeaks and enter their giveaway for your chance to win a $50 Walmart Gift Card!
What are your favorite grab and go snacks for your toddler? How often do you take your children to the zoo, and what are your favorite animals to see?