Lions and tigers and bears….and sounds…and smells…and textures….the zoo can be quite an experience for a sensory sensitive child. That’s why the Oklahoma City Zoo teamed up with the non-profit organization, KultureCity, and created kits that help make the zoo experience more inclusive and enjoyable for everyone. The OKC Zoo is now only one of 12 zoos and aquariums certified “sensory inclusive” in the nation.
Upon arrival, families may check out a complimentary sensory bag at Guest Services that includes a weighted lap blanket that can provide a calming comfort during a train ride, noise-canceling headphones for that extra loud lion roar, fidgets for antsy pants who are watching the elephant presentations and more.
In addition to the sensory inclusive bags, staff and volunteers have been trained on the best way to engage and interact with their sensory sensitive guests. Signs have also been posted around the zoo stating “Quiet Area” with the headphone visual so that guests of all abilities are able to recognize areas designated for quieter voices and softer sounds.
Have you checked out a sensory bag from the OKC Zoo? Let us know how you liked it on our Facebook page or post a picture of your kiddos enjoying their visit on Instagram with the hashtag #InclusiveOKC.
Miranda Steffen is part of a blended family with four sons ranging from preschooler to young adult. She enjoys exploring the OKCmetro while creating adventures and memories with her crew. Miranda has a background in early education and a passion for autism and advocacy. She enjoys a good book, a great bargain, writingand hiking. If you have an idea for a business Miranda should feature on Inclusive OKC, email her.