STEM for Toddlers - Tropical Butterfly House

Lorikeet at Tropical Butterfly House

If you are looking for a great place for kids to interact with nature, then Tropical Butterfly House in Leeds is for you! Here is the synopsis.

Entry Fees: 13.75 per adult 12.50 for kids(2+)
Time Spent: Full day (11am to 4pm)
Activities: Monkeys including lemurs, Various Birds, Various small mammals - meerkats, porcupines, Bird show including contact with owl, Dinosaur walkthrough and pretend fossil hunt (huge hit with kids), Butterfly house with birds, reptiles, and of course butterflies! Chances for children to handle wild animals including massive cockroaches and snakes.
Activities Missed: Otters (only because the kids saw a playground and rushed to play in it when we were trying to get to see the otters towards the end)
Food: Usual English stuff (jacket potatoes, sandwiches), reasonably priced
Toilets: Old but plentiful and clean
Would we visit again: Definitely!
STEM topics for Toddlers: Taxonomy (teach them about the birds in the butterfly house, the flying owls in the display, the quails and peacock that wander happily in the grounds. Teach that some need warmth and others can survive without it. Teach them about the varying size and colours. Teach and encourage questions about the food birds eat whether meat, vegetables, nectar or foraging). I personally focussed on the birds as my kids are aged 2 and 4, so their attention span would not necessarily allow them to retain detail of the other animal groups. However, when we go back, I would definitely repeat the lessons and include the other animal groups.

I am not a big person for zoos in general as I grew up in Kenya and our wildlife is truly wild and free. I do also understand that some animals do end up in captivity and have to be housed somewhere and I prefer to visit zoos that are keen on conservation.

Visiting a place like this is a chance to discuss why animals end up in captivity and what is being done to rewild nature (specifically in this case for England given that is part of the mission of Tropical Butterfly House)

The true highlight of the day was visiting and feeding nectar to the lorikeets.  Here is my youngest little girl (and her sister's hand in the background)

Feeding nectar to the lorikeets
There was one little straggly parrot who was missing the vast majority of his/her feathers. Much to my delight, the kids decided that we should buy some more nectar to feed this particular parrot so that he/she feels better (yay for raising good humans!).

I am still filtering through the outtakes, there are more photos to come!

Have you been there, would you go? What do you think about teaching while having fun in a zoo?

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