The Nature Friends program is for 4 or 5-year old children with an adult. The maximum group size is 20 child-adult teams. Programs are outside unless weather does not permit.
Read: Under Your Feet by Joanne Ryder
Pre-activity: Track stamping.
Have available rubber tracks (available through “Acorn Naturalists” and several nature supply catalogs), large ink stamp pads for kids and paper. Let children create their own tracks. Have pencils available so they can write the name of the animal on its track.
The Chipmunk Song by Joanne Ryder
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Did you know a lot of different animals make their home at this park? Which animals in the story do you think we could find in the park?
Show animal furs and tracks.
Go in search of homes and signs of mammals with parent/child teams.
Make an animal track with the tracking clay recipe. Push the rubber track into a flattened ball of tracking clay.
Tracking clay recipe: (makes 10 average tracks)
- 1 cup corn starch
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups water
Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until a dough consistency. Store in aluminum foil in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Works best if used the same day or day after it is made!
Animal crackers and beverage (milk)
Here comes the fox, (Audience holds up fingers like rabbit ears.)
His mouth is open wide. (Wiggle fox puppet and move it closer to rabbits.)
What can we do? (Wiggle rabbit finger puppets.)
Quick, let’s all hide. (Place rabbit finger puppets behind back.)
Now, where’s the fox? (Wiggle fox puppet.)
He’s gone far away. (Place hand with fox finger puppet behind back.)
Let’s all hop out, (Hold up rabbit finger puppets. Wiggle them.)
It’s soon time for play. (Move hand up and down.)
Bugs to Bunnies, Hands-on Animal Science Activities for Young Children
Activity originally developed by:
Polk County Conservation Board
Nature Friends was funded by Polk County Conservation Board,
West Des Moines Park and Recreation, and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.
Iowa Early Learning Standards:
8.2, 9.1, 9.4, 10.1, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 12.2, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 13.2, 14.3
Related Kindernature Resources: Other Resources: