Monday, January 28, 2013
Discover Nature: Animal Tracks
A light dusting of snow is the perfect invitation to grab some boots and a coat and head into the woods for a little animal tracking. If you don't have snow where you live, find a beach, a muddy riverbank, or anywhere animals may leave behind their marks.
Materials: Nothing required! You may get more enjoyment out of your discovery if you grab a resource to identify the animals tracks (or take photos or drawings so you can identify the tracks back inside - you can find many different guides in books or online, but try to select one for your region)
This discovery can be as simple or as involved as you like. Try to choose a day soon after a newly fallen snow so the tracks are easier to see and follow. You can set off for a walk through the woods, or find tracks and follow them to see where they lead. When you find tracks in the snow, consider some of the following questions:
Where are the tracks?
How do the footsteps fit together? What does this tell us about the animal that made these tracks?
What do you see in each track? How many toes?
Where are the tracks coming from and going to?
We set out into our own backwoods to search for tracks. In just a short distance, we found mouse, rabbit and fox tracks. The light snow made it easy for the children to follow the tracks and we tried to brainstorm where these animals were going. We'll definitely be heading back out soon to find more animal tracks, and to find out what different creatures might be coming close to our chickens!