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Squeals on Wheels Petting Zoo


Saturday, June 27th from 10:30-11:30am at Davis Library in Bethesda

At Squeals on Wheels, your children will be so busy getting to know the animals in this award-winning miniature petting zoo that they won't even realize they're learning!


EXPLORE: Action Words
ENRICH: Expressive Grammar

ENGAGE: Using verbs to describe the actions animals make



  • Ask your child to observe the animals in the petting zoo before petting them to answer the question, "How do the animals move?" Talk about how humans move - we walk, we bite, we wave - and compare human movements to the animal movements, answering the following questions:

    • ​How do the animals move from one place to another? (e.g. trot, hop)

    • How do the animals eat? (e.g. chew, lick)

    • How do the animals greet each other? (e.g. nuzzle, whinny)

EXPLORE: Careful Listening
ENRICH: Audiory Discrimination

ENGAGE: The ability to differentiate between animal sounds



  • While exploring the petting zoo, talk about the noises the animals make. For example, some squeal, some some cluck, some bleat, etc. 

  • Take turns playing a listening game with your child. Have your child close his/her eyes and walk close to an animal. When the animal makes a noise, have your child guess which animal he/she is standing in front of. See if your child can guess the animal with decreasing levels of support:

    • With a verbal clue (e.g. "It's an animal with feathers.")

    • With 3 choices (e.g. "Is it a pig, a chicken, or a rabbit?")

    • With a sentence starter (e.g. "I hear a _____.")




EXPLORE: /s/ Blends
ENRICH: Articulation of Consonant Blends for Clear Communication

ENGAGE: Production of /s/ blends at the beginning and end of words



  • Start the day by reminding your child how to make an /s/ sound: keep your tongue behind your teeth and make a skinny stream of air.

  • While you explore the petting zoo, make a list of words that have /s/ blends at the beginning (e.g. SQueal) or end (e.g. rabbiTS).

    • ​Practice the /s/ sound all by itself

    • Practice 5 words with /s/ blends at the beginning of the word and 5 with /s/ blends at the end of the word

    • Practice those 10 words in a complete sentence (e.g. "The chicken is SQwaking.")

EXPLORE: Asking Questions
ENRICH: Social Interactions with Adults

ENGAGE: The ability to ask an unfamiliar adult a question



  • After the educational presentation, challenge your child to ask a question to the presenter to learn more about an animal that he/she thinks is interesting. Have your child practice the following social language skills while he/she asks the question:

    • Politely get the presenter's attention (e.g. "Excuse me")

    • Use a complete sentence

    • Make a follow-up comment


h Sounds

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