Experiments with Camouflage

Try some experiments with camouflage, and your kids will discover that there's more to the world than meets the eye. They'll learn about nature's disguises while having fun with this easy outdoor activity for kids.

Nature is an expert at camouflage, a word that means to disguise, or to hide.

For example, polar bears are white to blend in with the ice and snow of their Arctic habitat. If they didn't, they wouldn't be able to sneak up on the prey they need to survive.

Ermine and some kinds of weasels that live in the north change color with the seasons. In summer, they are brown to blend in with the woods where they live. But in the winter, they turn white to blend in with the snow. This makes it hard for predators, such as coyotes and wolves, to see them.

And the insects that we call walking sticks look like sticks. In fact, they look so much like sticks that you can't tell they're insects unless you see them move.

What You'll Need:

  • Comfortable clothes and shoes for a walk
  • Time to explore the neighborhood

Step 1: Take a walk around your neighborhood, and see if you can find examples of camouflage.

Step 2: Try to imitate nature by camouflaging yourself. How could you dress to camouflage yourself in winter, spring, summer, and fall?

Step 3: Play hide and seek with a friend. See how well you can camouflage yourselves.

Are frogs set to follow the dinosaurs into extinction? Look on the next page for activities to help you find out.

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