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Mouse Activities

Mice are timid creatures. That's why people sometimes say that someone is as "timid as a mouse."
Mice are timid creatures. That's why people sometimes say that someone is as "timid as a mouse."

Even if you've never seen a mouse, you know that it's a tiny creature with a pointed snout and small ears. You might have watched cartoons in which people act afraid when they see a mouse ("Eek! A mouse!"), but mice are actually very gentle and social creatures. In fact, they have become a popular pet, much like hamsters or gerbils. Here are mouse activities for kids.

Mice have been around since ancient times -- they are thought to be among the oldest mammals. They live in forests, grasslands, and rocky areas, or you may find one hiding near a woodpile in your yard. Mice are nocturnal, which means they're most active at night, but you may also see a mouse scurrying outside during the day -- just don't try to catch it. Mice that live outdoors can spread disease to people. If you want a pet mouse, get it from a pet store.

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Follow these links for some fun mouse activities.

Mouse Balloon Animal

Learn how to make a balloon animal that looks like a mouse.

Mouse Near the House

You'll know a mouse has visited if you see certain signs. Find out what the signs are.

A twist here and a pinch there -- soon you'll have a mouse balloon animal. You'll find detailed instructions for creating your mouse on the next page.

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Fold and pinch -- soon it will be a mouse.
Fold and pinch -- soon it will be a mouse.

Making a mouse balloon animal may seem a little tricky for kids, but it just takes practice. You can buy the balloons for this project at toy stores, discount stores, or magic stores.

Be sure to read through all the instructions before you begin, and check out the photos, too. Then, pick up your balloons and have fun!

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Hint: Using a pump to inflate balloons is a lot easier and faster than using your own breath. Give the balloon a few good stretches before inflating.

How to Make a Mouse Balloon Animal

1. Inflate the balloon slowly and steadily, leaving a 9-inch tail.

2. Pinch and twist a 2-inch bubble. (A "bubble" is any section that has been pinched and twisted on one or both ends.)

3. Fold the balloon over as shown and pinch.

4. Twist-lock the fold. (A "twist-lock" twists together two twists.)

5. Repeat step 3 and 4 once, to make the other ear.

6. Pinch and twist the remaining balloon three times, creating four bubbles.

It's looking more mouse-like at this point.
It's looking more mouse-like at this point.

7. Fold the bubbles so that they form a square.

The finished product. You did it!
The finished product. You did it!

8. Twist-lock the top two bubbles.

Leave your balloon mouse inside the house and then go outside to look for signs that a real mouse may have paid a visit. Find out how on the next page.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

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Mice gnaw on nuts and fruit pits. It's a clue they leave behind.
Mice gnaw on nuts and fruit pits. It's a clue they leave behind.

Would you like to learn to spot the signs of a mouse near the house? Small rodents such as mice are shy creatures that are active mostly at night. You may never know there are any around unless you know what to look for. Mice leave behind signs that they were busy while you slept. Here's a great nature activity for kids.

What You'll Need:

Powers of observation

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Look around your house and yard, especially at the base of a wall. Do you see gnawed nuts or cherry pits? Mice chew holes in cherry pits to get at the seed inside. Look also for holes near the base of the wall. These may be mouse holes.

Hunt around under pine trees. Can you find pine cones that have been gnawed apart? Squirrels often feed on pine cones, and so do mice.

Look in bark dust and other loose mulch for small, raised tunnels near the surface. Voles, often called meadow mice, make these tunnels as they search for plant material. While mice eat mostly seeds, voles eat other kinds of plant material, including flower bulbs. Gardeners don't like vole tunnels in their flower beds.

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