In this trail tracking animal activity, you and your kids will find some animal tracks and try to figure out what the animal was doing. Observing animal tracks is like reading a detective story. Tracks give us clues about what animals do.
What You'll Need:
- Garden gloves
- A forest, meadow, or beach
How to Do Trail Tracking:Step 1: Look for animal tracks in freshly fallen snow, on sandy beaches, or in the mud along streams and ponds. Tracks are easier to see if you walk toward the sun, because the shadows make them more distinct.
Step 2: When you find tracks, stop and have a close look. (Push away any leaves and rocks in the way.) Try to determine what animals were there.
You'll probably find lots of cat and dog tracks, but you may also see tracks of raccoons, rabbits, muskrats, or large birds.
Step 3: Try to determine what the animal was doing. Did it come by the water for a drink? Was it traveling across an open field in the snow?
If the tracks are deep and far apart, the animal may have been running. Are other tracks nearby? Could one animal have been following the other?
If you see many tracks in one spot, perhaps the animal was nosing around looking for something to eat.
Step 4: Try to follow the tracks as far as you can. If you lose the trail, mark the last track you found and move in circles around it, wider and wider, until you find the next track.