Winter Animal Science
A new idea that I come across this year was to take a string and tie a bell onto the end of the string. String cheerio’s onto the string and hang outside. You can hear the birds come and eat. It is a great change from the pinecones in peanut butter which I usually do.
I work at a preschool in a nature center, During the winter months we are usually outside on our nature trails looking for animal tracks in the snow or mud, we play a animal track game were we scout out how many different tracks we find, then we will chart our discoveries for all to see. we also talk about the differences between people and animals tracks and how they are the same and different.
For a Hibernation project: use large brown supermarket bags to make individual caves….we shortened them about 3 inches on the bottom, painted them Cave Gray, and after they dried, glued cotton batting on the top and along the bottom to look like snow. We cut a flap on the front for a door. The we put small stuffed animals inside where they will stay for the rest of the winter…when Spring comes, we will wake up our Hibernators and have a party!!!
Here is a great way to help explain how blubber keeps animals such as polar bears and whales warm. You will need 2 Ziploc bags, Crisco shortening, and a bowl of very cold water. Fill one of the Ziploc bags about 1/3 full of Crisco. Turn the other bag inside out and place inside the Crisco-filled bag. You should be able to zip the bags together. This forms a “glove” for the children to wear. Next have a small group place their hand into the water and have them explain how it feels. Then give each a chance to wear “blubber” and describe the difference! Very easy, cheap, and exciting. I did this with my four and five year olds and they loved it!
Talk about how many birds fly south for the winter but some stay here and we help them find food by making bird feeders. Tie string around a pinecone, roll pinecone (or toiler paper roll) in peanut butter and then birdseed. How out front. Observe the different birds who visit.