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.
“How the Turtle Flew South for the Winter” Keepers of the Earth, Joseph Bruchac and Michael J. Caduto, (page 157)
Show a swimsuit. Is this what you wear in the winter? What do you wear in the winter? How do people get ready for winter? What do animals do in the fall to get ready for winter? Show pictures and animal furs.
Use puppets to show examples of how some of animals get ready for winter. Have a child pick one puppet/picture out of the box. Then discuss that animal.
Craft: Animal stick puppets
Materials needed: animal outlines (see Animal Shapes), craft sticks, scissors, tape, crayons or markers
- Pass out a variety of animal shape sheets. Color the animals.
- Have the adult/child team work together cutting out the shapes.
- Tape the animal shape onto craft sticks.
- Have a stick puppet show with each child telling what his/her animal does in the winter time.
Serve animal crackers and milk.
Fish: Swim at the bottom of water under the ice.
Frogs: Hibernate in the mud.
Turtles: Hibernate in the mud or in a mammal burrow.
Ducks: Fly south – migrate.
Owls: Do not migrate.
Bats: Migrate or hibernate.
Skunks: Go into torpor, take long naps.
Fox: Stay active.
Bugs to Bunnies: Hands-on Animal Science Activities for Young Children by Kenn Goin, Eleanor Ripp & Kathleen Nastasi Solomon
Activities provided by:
Polk County Conservation Board
Lori Foresman-Kirpes, activity idea is from a lesson plan developed by Patrice Petersen-Keys
Nature Friends is funded by Polk County Conservation Board, West Des Moines Park and Recreation, and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.