Animal Activities

Keeping Warm

How do animals that live outdoors stay warm in the winter? Try this fun animal crafts experiment to find more about keeping warm.

What You'll Need:

Glass jars of equal size



Various natural insulating materials, such as leaves, soil, and dry grass

Graph paper


Mammals have fur and birds have feathers to keep them warm, but even fur and feathers aren't enough protection against stormy winter nights. How can animals keep warm enough to survive?

To find out, fill several glass jars with warm water. Record the air temperature, then put a thermometer in each jar and record the water temperature. Now insulate each jar with natural materials. Pile dry leaves around one jar and dry grass around another. Mound soil around a third. Leave one jar uninsulated for comparison.

Record the temperature of the water in each jar every five minutes until the jars all reach air temperature. Make a line graph to show how quickly the temperature fell in each jar. Which materials insulate the best?

If you were an animal living in the wild, which materials would you choose when building a nest?

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see: