Invitation to Create: Edible Zoo Small World

Whether your’e going to the zoo or learning about zoos and wild animals from home, there is so much to discover and explore! We recently finished our zoo theme for this year, but I’m always collecting new ideas and planning for future themes. I can’t wait to see what new resources and ideas everyone has to share this week.

One activity I couldn’t wait to try during our zoo theme was this edible zoo from Blog Me Mom. Not only is the finished product awesome, I love how the whole process was led by the child with a little help from mom. It inspired me to set up this fun invitation to create.

Edible Zoo Small World and Sensory Play

While the kids gathered some of our zoo animals, I set up large pans to hold the kids’ zoo creations.

Around the pans I set up different edible items they could use to design their own zoos:

  • marshmallows 
  • puffed rice cereal
  • chocolate cereal
  • blue and green gelatin
  • broccoli florets

Invitation to Create a Zoo

They couldn’t wait to get started. We didn’t talk too much about how they would design their zoos, but they quickly began to discuss which foods would be snow, which would be grass, etc. And, to my surprise, nobody dumped all of the foods in the center of their pans in a giant mess! Although that would have been fine, too.

Once they were happy with they layout of their edible zoos, they were eager to move the animals in.

Preschool Zoo Activities

They spent quite a while playing with the animals, giving them baths, and helping them make new friends with the other animals.

Zoo Animal Activities

And, of course, there was a little taste testing a long the way…

Zoo theme activities

… and A LOT of eating when playtime was over!

Make Your Own Edible Zoo

Simple set up, easy clean up, and lots of fun! I hope you’ll give the idea a try sometime soon.

Now we’d love for you to share how you

Discover & Explore: Zoo Visits & Wild Animals!

Please read the following guidelines for sharing:

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the weekly topic — kids activities, book activities, crafts, recipes, nature outings, free printables–anything that might be helpful to those wanting to put together activities based on this week’s theme
  • By linking up, you are giving me permission to share your post including one photo in our weekly feature post and on social media channels.
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that have linked up, find some new ideas & meet new friends!
  • If you are linking up, please be sure to grab and post the Discover and Explore button. We love to share! And we want as many people to add their posts as possible, so we have a wonderful collection to share with you.

The linky will remain open for two weeks. Then both co-hosts will feature activities in a separate post and share featured posts on the Discover and Explore Pinterest Board. If you aren’t already, please remember to follow us so you’re sure not to miss those feature posts. And don’t forget to stop by KC Edventures to see what Jacquie is sharing for this week’s theme.

Discover & Explore Weekly Themed Linky
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Discover & Explore Weekly Themed Linky" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Discover & Explore Weekly Themed Linky" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


Previous Discover and Explore Themes

Upcoming Discover and Explore Themes

  • June 12-Build It! (Construction, Building and Engineering Ideas for Kids)
  • June 19-Summer Fun
  • June 26-Patriotic Resources
  • July 3-Beach
  • July 10-Vacations
  • July 17-Life Under the Sea

Edible Zoo Play for Kids

This post has been shared at some of these fantastic link parties.


You Might Also Like...


  1. oh i love this…i did something similar with my sensory twin who has trouble with a lot of food textures…it made it fun to touch and play with! Glorious photos to tell your story, wishing i was there to have that fun too!!

    • What a fun way to help explore different food textures outside of actually eating them. We had fun playing, too!

  2. Absolutely love this idea Shaunna! Looks like it was lots of fun for the kiddos. Pinning!

  3. LOVE this idea! My kids will love doing this over the summer! Thanks!

  4. We are featuring your post on a HUGE list of Rainy Day Summer Play activities! We will be sharing with all of our followers on our social media sites (including group boards and communities!!) Thanks for sharing with us at Share It Saturday!
    Colleen at

  5. That is super cute! Now I want to make one.

  6. Found you on teach me Tuesday, this is such a great idea 🙂 We will be trying it this week

    Domesticated Breakdown

  7. I love, love, LOVE this!! I can totally see my kids building little zoo habitats…and eating them later, lol! I am so glad you shared this at Teach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets!!

  8. Love this idea! My fussy eaters may even be more inclined to nibble!

    • Shaunna says:

      They just might! You might even substitute the marshmallow “snow” for bits of cauliflower and see how that goes over. 😉

  9. Well the mini edible zoo sounds very yummy and sensorial. A great educational and gustative experience. I would think my toddler would have love to be at your table that day! : My preschooler is a bit more shy with textures but would have enjoyed seeing everyone dig in for sure! 🙂

    • Shaunna says:

      Big Buddy isn’t pictured in this post, but sometimes he is a bit resistant to different textures. I wasn’t sure what he would think of this activity. At first he started using spoons to transfer the materials, but by the end he was digging in and playing, too. Maybe your preschooler would surprise you!

  10. so cute, hope you come share this on our linky this week 🙂

  11. Love your edible zoo play! My kids would have a blast with this, I’m sure! They’ve been asking me to take them to the zoo so we may just have to make a visit soon. Visiting from For the Kids Friday. 🙂

    • Shaunna says:

      Thank you! I hope you guys get to visit the zoo soon….we always find something new and interesting when we go.

  12. This looks like a lot of fun! My daughter would really enjoy this.

  13. I love this! And that you set it up as an invitation…I am gradually moving that way as my twins get a little older and more able to build their own little worlds for play. So good for symbolic play, imagination and creativity, and most importantly…FUN!!

  14. I love the “invitation to play” idea. I need to more activities like this. However, I am pretty sure that my boys would have dumped everything in the center and made a huge mess!

    I love the zoo theme too! I spent two summers working in the education department of our local zoo. Two of the best summers of my life. I loved every minute of work!

    • Shaunna says:

      We are really enjoying doing more “invitations to play” lately. I also thought the kids would just dump, but I was surprised at how they were very thoughtful in coming up with their creations. It may have been because we read a few books and talked about the different parts of a zoo for a couple days before this activity.

      That does sound like an awesome summer job!

  15. I just cannot express how much I adore this! I am pinning it and will definitely incorporate it into a preschool zoo theme. I might even *have* to try it out this summer with my son! 🙂

    • Shaunna says:

      Definitely worth doing a “test run” this summer…perfect for a rainy summer afternoon if you have one. 😉

  16. Brilliant! I love this! I need to save this for when my girls are just a bit older…

  17. So fun! I can almost see Aarya loving this too 🙂

  18. Oh my goodness, how fun is this?!!!

Speak Your Mind