Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Winter Break Zoo Camps for Kids

Kids are about to be off for winter break, and while they enjoy school-free days, this could put stress on your childcare situation.

You could leave them with a relative, nanny, neighbor, or maybe with the school, or you could give your kids the opportunity to spend the week having a wild time at the zoo!

The zoo's winter camp's are great alternatives to sitting at home playing video games or watching television. Each winter zoo camp is a little bit different, but they all offer chances to interact, explore and learn about the animals and the zoo. Most camps start the Monday after Christmas.

Here are some cities offering a zoo winter camp. If you don't see you're zoo on here let me know so I can add your city to our zoo radar.

Phoenix, AZ
Explore nature and the zoo with up-close animal encounters, hands-on activities, games, in-depth investigations and hikes around Phoenix Zoo. The kids will also spend time in the classroom making crafts, using scientific tools and meeting program's animals up close. They'll learn things like what goes into feeding the animals, how the zoo enriches the lives of the animals that live there. Visit here for details and registration.

Fort Worth, TX
Children grades 1-6 have the opportunity to explore wildlife in the zoo and classroom Dec 23, 30 and Jan 2, 3. The Fort Worth Zoo is also offering a weekend long career camp for high school students to learn about what it takes to work at the zoo. Camp details here.

Houston, TX
Each camp is designed as a one-day experience, so bring your kids in for one or everyday for a chance to examine the zoo's exhibits, explore multi-species exhibits and discover what makes them healthy and enriching areas for their animals, learn how to read an x-ray and more! Children ages 4-5 and 6-7 will focus on the colors, shapes, sizes and speeds of all types of animals. For details of the day's activities visit here.

Omaha, NE
Omaha Zoo's kick off winter break for kids by exploring wild animals and their natural habitats, interact with zookeepers, study animal behaviors, conduct fun experiments, and become the envy of your friends! To register click here.

San Diego, CA

Join the San Diego Zoo this winter as kids learn all about noses and the sense of smell. Each day, children will examine the ways smells and sense of smell are important to wildlife. After all, the NOSE KNOWS! Visit here for more info.

Columbus, OH
School's out for winter! Spice up your child's time off from school with an exciting adventure at the Zoo! We will have close-up experiences with animal visitors, hands-on activities and plenty of time to explore the Zoo. Reserve your child's spot here.

New Orleans, LA

Audubon Zoo offer kids the opportunity to spend their days outdoors exploring nature. Educators provide your child with plenty of action packed adventures among the animals at the zoo. Each day is full of animal exploration, scientific investigation, arts and crafts, and more! Spots here are filling fast!

Seattle, WA
The Woodland Park Zoo offers parents a multitude of fun, unique day care at the zoo! From half days or full days, to week-long camps and even an extended day option. The kids will delight in exploring why animals move the way they do, learning about predators and discovering habitats! Register here.

Miami, FL
Winter break daze at Miami Metro Zoo is designed to immerse children into the world of wildlife and conservation. Join us for a fun-filled learning adventure that includes live animal presentations, visits to animal exhibits, Q & A sessions with zookeepers, animal enrichment activities, and much more! Enroll here.

Denver, CO
The Denver Zoo is offering 5 days of mini safari camps this winter where kids will learn what makes the zoo's jungle homes unique, explore the circle of life, participate in games and animal encounters! Register here.

Holiday How To: Recycle Christmas Trees and Christmas Lights

The Holiday season is certainly one of the most joyous times of the year and the traditions associated with it bring out the inner-child in all of us.While spending time with friends and family it is important to be mindful of the potential waste the Holidays can produce. Each year, Americans throw away an average of an extra 25 million tons of garbage from Thanksgiving to New Years. In fact, the 38,000 miles of ribbon thrown out every year is enough to tie around the Earth! So in honor of our precious planet, here are some tips for staying green during the Holiday season.

Recycle Christmas Tree and Wraths

Instead of simply throwing out your Christmas tree after the passing of Christmas, recycle it! Recycled trees can be used for erosion protection, mulch and can be grown and harvested much like a crop. 
In most cities, Christmas tree recycling can be done by leaving the tree on your curb for the normal greenery recycling pickup day. If this service is not available in your town, Earth 911 is the most comprehensive Christmas tree recycling guide on the internet and will certainly point you to the closest and most convenient option. Go to for more information!

Recycle Christmas Lights

Christmas lights were not made to last forever. Over time, the lights will go out or shatter. It's inevitable. Instead of throwing the lights out or storing them in your attic, recycling is an excellent choice. The various components that make up the lights such as pvc, glass and copper can be repackaged into a multitude of things. 

Holiday LEDs is a great service that accepts all recycled Christmas lights and in return will send you a 15% off gift certificate to purchase new LED Christmas lights on their website. LED lights use less energy and ultimately are less of a burden on your electricity bill! The recycling program information can be found at the link below.

Wishing everyone a joyous and merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wildlife Photographer Determined to Photograph Endangered Species and Environments

Photographer Joel Sartore is a 20-year contributor to National Geographic magazine. His assignments have taken him to every continent to document the world's most beautiful and challenging environments. He is on a mission to document endangered species and landscapes, before they disappear, in order to show a world worth saving.

His book RARE: Portraits of America's Endangered Species features portraits of some of the country's most endangered species. "Some of them are likely to go extinct without people ever knowing they existed. Rare shows what we stand to lose if we don’t act now. The good news is that there is still time, and this book highlights what each of us can do to save these unique creatures —and ultimately ourselves."

A bog turtle at Zoo Atlanta.

Woodland Caribou. Less than 40 live in the United States since they rely on old-growth forest habitats.

An ocelot from the San Diego Zoo.

A polar bear from the Tulsa Zoo.

A California condor at the Phoenix Zoo.

A grey wolf at the New York State Zoo in Watertown, NY.

In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Joel has contributed to Audubon Magazine, Geo, TimeLifeNewsweekSports Illustrated and numerous book projects.

You can purchase his books and fine art prints here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Preserving Burma's Forests

While much of the natural world is compromised by the rapid spread of industrialization, there remains at least one largely unaffected region the destructive hands of the new age have not touched. Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a country teeming with undiscovered wildlife and species not seen anywhere else in the world.

For the last fifty years Burma has been under rigid military rule with extremely strict regulations prohibiting almost all foreigners from visiting the country. Recently, however, the country has gradually shifted towards democracy and the government has loosened the statutes on foreigners entering the country. Taking this opportunity of increasingly lax regulations, BBC recently sent a group of scientists and anthropologists to journey deep into the vast Burmese forests as a part of the fantastic new documentary series Wild Burma: Nature's Lost Kingdom. We are thrilled at the chance to view the amazing landscape and wildlife for the first time.

The expedition has unearthed a multitude of rare and undiscovered animals. Asian elephants, clouded leopards, Malayan tapirs, sun bears and various unknown insects are among the species found.

    Unknown Tortoise Leaf Beetle

    Clouded Leopard
   Sun Bear

    Malayan Tapir
    Asian Elephants

As Burma becomes more accessible to the outside world, it is imperative that the natural order of the massive forests and jungles are intact. The overarching goal of the BBC crew is to present their research to the Burmese government in order to gain the area well-funded protection. Burma has a choice, as it embarks into a new era of openness, of whether it wants to embrace the destructive practices of the contemporary world or help preserve one of Earth's one last remnants of what use to be.

Watch the first episode of Wild Burma: Nature's Lost Kingdom here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Animal Lovers Holiday Gift Guide

Before Christmas Day is upon us, we get the thrilling pleasure of finding the perfect gift for our friends and family. This task can be daunting or superbly satisfying depending on our ability to find the perfect gift for our loved ones. If it feels you're sister, grandma, aunt, cousin, husband or wife loves animals maybe a bit more that you, this is gift guide was created for you!

One Dog Bones

100% gum rubber dog bones because the way to your friends heart is through their pet!

Two Macaw on Branch Figurine

This hand-painted porcelain macaw is a work of art. Home decor, book-end, or paperweight, this bird is a colorful and lovely way to add life to a room.

Three Wolf Earrings

These sweet, light weight wolf earrings are made of hand-painted porcelain with hypoallergenic stainless steel ear wires.

Four Buffalo Planter

This handmade ceramic buffalo pot is perfect for succulents, plants, flowers, candles or anything else you can think of!

Five Bird Plant Waterer

Water your plants, even away from home. Never worry about coming home to dead plants because this plant waterer slowly releases water into the soil as the soil becomes dry and airy.

Six Elephant Scarf

This fashion accessory features a stampede of elephants in black and white that is sure to match any outfit while keeping you warm in both winter and summer.

Seven Zoo Gift Card

Whether you live in San Diego, Atlanta, Denver, New York or somewhere in between, zoos offer gift cards to purchase for your friends and family. What a thoughtful and fun experience to give, don't you think!

Eight Glass Fishbowl

Humans shouldn't have all the fun! Give your fish a fun place to swim and explore in this handblown glass fishbowl.

Nine Penguin Musical

Soothing and melodic, this hand-painted porcelain penguin family sits atop a Seiko musical.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

11 Animals You Probably Have Never Heard Of

We are always enamored by the diversity in wildlife on our beautiful planet Earth and are often taken aback by the uniqueness this world presents to us! One can spend a lifetime exploring its outermost regions, from the winding Amazon River to the breathtaking peaks of the Himalayas, and never get to fully experience all mother nature has to offer. So in this time of festivities and jubilation, lets celebrate 11 crazy animals that you probably have never heard of!


This cartoonish looking creature lives deep in the ocean where its gelatinous body is an incredible adaption that allows it to survive under enormous pressure. We personally think he's adorable!

Proboscus Monkey

Known in the animal kingdom for their prodigious schnoz, female Proboscus Monkeys are actually more attracted to the males with the largest noses!  

Venezuelan Poodle Moth

This incredible animal certainly looks like it belongs in a fantasy movie! In fact, this insect was not discovered until 2009 by scientists in a remote region of Venezuela.  Little is known about this species, but scientists believe there are about 10-15 in the same furry family. 


These aquatic marvels are considered the unicorns of the sea by virtue of their enormous horns. Found in the Arctic, the majestic Narwhals travel in pods of up to 20.


The Saiga looks like a mixture between an antelope and an elephant! Its elephant like snout helps it feast on plants that are poisonous to most animals. Crazy indeed!

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

The Peacock Mantis Shrimp may be, pound for pound, the most powerful animal on the planet. They are known for breaking aquarium glass simply by striking it with its front raptorial appendages!

Bush Viper

One of the smallest snake species known to man, this colorful, scaly snake does all of its hunting at night. Definitely one of the most beautiful snakes we've ever seen!

Goblin Shark

This deep-sea shark has lineage that traces back to 125 million years ago! It's almost like a real-life dinosaur right here on Earth!


This animal looks like a mixture between an anteater and an artichoke! It has impenetrable scales that protect it from a list of predators that includes lions. Talk about security!


This exhibitionist of a creature just loves to bare all for the world to see! Can you tell if it's a boy or a girl? Neither can we!

Indian Purple Frog

Can you tell that we love animals that look like blobs? We wonder what advantages they have in the environment because of their shape? Hmm.. something to think about.. Anyways, the Indian Purple Frog is an underground dweller that only comes to the surface for two weeks year. Talk about antisocial!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Little Critterz Gets Festive for the Holidays!

The Christmas season is upon us! Leaves are a full assortment of colors, the neighborhood is putting up lights, reindeer and snowmen in their front yards, Starbucks is cheering us up with their red holiday cups, and songs of winter wonderlands brighten our days!

We absolutely love this time of year! A time to celebrate our blessings with good friends and spend quality time with our loved ones over a wonderful hearty meal and eggnog.

But before Christmas Day is upon us, we get the thrilling pleasure of decorating our homes with Christmas cheer and finding the perfect gift for our friends and family! This is one of our favorite parts of the holidays. We like to jump start the season and decorate early, because after all, we do want the season to last as long as possible, don't you? Little Critterz loves the brisk fall and winter air, and picking out the perfect accessory to complete our holiday decor!

We were feeling inspired, whipped out some festive items and thought we'd show you what the holidays look like for Little Critterz!

Cheers to making spirits bright!

miniature porcelain figurines
porcelain bird ornament
porcelain panda ornament
porcelain dolphin with wreath holiday ornament

How do you like decorating your home for the holidays?

Want to add animal love to your holiday decor this season? Little Critterz is offering free shipping to the continental U.S. on orders of $50 or more! Enter FREE50 at checkout!

Polar Bear sitting, Polar Bear cub, Chicadee ornament, Panda ornament, Dolphin with Wreath ornament

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Japanese Grandmother and Her Odd-Eyed Cat

Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara has been documenting the life of her grandmother, Misao, for 13 years. One day, Ihara's grandmother found an odd-eyed kitten in the shed. She named the cat “Fukumaru” in hope that “God of fuku” (good fortune) comes and everything will be smoothed like a “maru” (circle)”. The two have been inseparable ever since.

“Under the sun, everyday is a good day. Another good day, Fukumaru”, Misao.

“We’ll never be apart!”, says Misao to Fukumaru. Both of them live in a tiny world, with dignity, with mutual love. Still today, under the blue sky, Misao and Fukumaro work in the fields and in these natural surroundings, where they shine like the stars.”

This touching and beautiful photo book captures the everyday life of elderly Misao and her steadfast feline companion, following them as together they work in the fields, admire spring blossoms, or nap in the sun. Both friends are hard of hearing, so it is endearing to witness the strength of their connection, enacted through sight and physical presence.

We think these photos are simple lovely, and touching. What do you think?

You can buy the book here