|Our Secret Garden|
Wild animals are all around us, but most of them hide when they hear or sense danger, making it difficult to see them. Lucky for us, wild animals do leave lots of clues about who they are and what they are up to. They chew leaves, scratch bark, dig underground tunnels, build nests, lose feathers, leave scat (poop), and make footprints.
Animal footprints, or tracks, are one way to learn about an animal without actually seeing it. Since different animals leave different tracks, we can identify what animal made a particular set of tracks. Most of us would easily recognize a human footprint in mud or sand from its familiar shape and the fact that it has 5 toes. Likewise, the tracks of other animal families have distinctive shapes and characteristic numbers of toes that help identify them. For instance, deer leave heart=shapes tracks made of two long hooves, while dog tracks are round with four toes and four claws.
Today we laid out some prepared copies of animals tracks and discussed all the different characteristics. How are the tracks the same? How are they different? What might we be able to tell from looking at these tracks? Is the animals hopping, walking or running? How many toes does it have? How big is it?
Then we took our shoes off and painted our feet to make our own tracks. Then we compared our human tracks with the animals tracks. Finally we went on our track hunt. We found vehicle tracks and LOTS of deer tracks! We know that there was a large deer and a small deer walking on our trail. We thought we'd find turkey tracks, but no luck today.
We finished our day by making track crackers for snack. Even though we didn't find as many tracks as we'd like today we can keep looking. Simply being aware of tracks and noticing their differences will reveal many things to even the novice or young child. Be sure to check out your HOME CONNECTIONS and take your WILD CHILD for a Neighborhood Track hunt!
|Making Track Crackers|