Prairie Projects: Prairie Dogs and Compass Plants

Prairie Projects: Prairie Dogs and Compass Plants

Prairie Dog in the Hole


  • Styrofoam or paper cup
  • Brown, green, and black construction paper
  • Tongue depressor
  • Glue

Cut out the pattern for the prairie dog and color eyes and nose. Add white teeth. Glue the prairie dog to one end of the tongue depressor. Cover the cup with brown construction paper and add a fringe of grass to the top rim of the cup. Cut a slit in the bottom of the cup. Place the tongue depressor through the slit. Make the prairie dog pop up out of his hole.

Make other animals that live in the prairie grass on tongue depressors. Pop these animals out of the grass.

Compass Plants


  • Frozen juice can lid
  • Yellow tissue paper
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Glue
  • Green construction paper
  • Tall straight sticks or dowel rods

Carefully glue the sunflower seeds onto the lid of the juice can. Glue yellow tissue paper petals to the juice can lid forming the compass flower. Add leaves to the stick with glue. Finally, glue the flower head to the stick. Parade around the room with your compass plants and talk about what a compass tells us and how the compass plant got its name.

Grass Weaving


  • String
  • Cardboard cut to the desired size of weaving
  • Dried prairie grass or raffia

Cut notches in the end of the cardboard approximately 1/4 inch apart and 1/4 inch deep. Carefully place the strings in the slits of the cardboard, knotting the ends. Keep the string taut by slightly bending the cardboard. Weave the grass in and out across the strings. Taping the end of the grass with a small piece of masking tape will help smaller children.

Activities provided by:

Story County Conservation Board
Nature Boxes for Early Childhood Education
Debbi Williams
56461 180th St.
Ames, IA 50010
Story County Conservation

_ 0-1
_ 1-2
_ 2-3
_ 3-4
✓ 4-5
✓ 5-6

Category: Crafts

Iowa Early Learning Standards:
8.2, 13.1, 14.3

Related Kindernature Resources: Other Resources: