Ryan has such a strong interest in all kinds of animals. He reads all kinds of books about them, loves watching Animal Planet, and plays with all kinds of animal toys. He wants to be a zookeeper when he grows up.
So, we recently got him the Zoo Tycoon computer game. I'm not too sure how it goes, but the gist of it is that you get to build your own zoo, complete with animals, attractions, concession stands, etc.etc. You get money to construct buildings and buy the animals and make sure you provide the right kind of environment for your animals. You make sure they are fed, have room to roam, play and whatever else you need to do to make them happy. You also need to make the zoo enjoyable for people to visit so you can make some money. The more the merrier, I guess.
I really haven't had the time to sit with him and go through all the directions so he pretty much is experimenting and I'm around if he needs some help.
So, I went off to do something and after a long while, he comes looking for me to show me what he did. He decided to buy 54 elephants! He wanted to see what they would do. The area that he put them in was too small for that amount of elephants and apparently the fence was too low. The elephants started to break out of the enclosure and attack the guests! Oh my goodness! They started swinging at them with their trunks. Apparently the guests took off because there were then something like 19 guests in the whole zoo. After a while the computer froze - too much action going on perhaps.
Obviously, Ryan is a little young for this game. He's still too young to figure out all the complexities of running a zoo, but he has lots of fun just bringing in the different animals and providing a proper environment for them. He likes to see them walk around, eat, or just roll around in the dirt. He doesn't care when a message comes up saying the guests are upset that there are not enough restrooms, the soda cart has broken down, or that the giraffes are getting sick and dying. He just loves playing around with anything that has to do with animals. His curiosity is amazing to watch.
I'll leave with this picture of Ryan (along with Emily, who insisted on being in the picture). He's also a heart stealer!