Easy Animal Activities For Kids


©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Observe animals in their natural habitats with these fun and easy animal activities for kids. Your kids will learn that animals come in all sizes, from giant whales to tiny mice. Insects, worms, spiders, and other creepy-crawlies -- they're animals, too.

Remember that wild mammals are very shy and come out mostly at dawn or dusk. If your family wants to see them in the wild, you must be quiet and very, very patient.

If you're not that patient, you can watch mammals in the zoo or learn from your own pets!

Follow the links below to take your kids on an animal-watching adventure at a nearby park, forest, wetland -- or your very own backyard!

Corn Cob Squirrel Feeder

Watch your bushy-tailed friends enjoy a treat of dried corn on the cob.

Marsh Watch

Get close to water wildlife by visiting your local wetlands.

Trail Tracking

Learn how to follow animal tracks in the snow, sand, or mud.

For more fun kids' crafts and animal activities, check out:

Corn Cob Squirrel Feeder

This corn cob squirrel feeder is an easy animal activity for kids of all ages. It's also a fun way to make friends with bushy-tailed squirrels, one kernel at a time!

While working on this activity together, let kids know it's not good to feed wild animals your favorite human foods. Sugary choices like cookies or candy can rot the teeth of wild creatures. And that's bad, because they rely on those teeth for the rest of their lives.

For squirrels, nuts are an obvious alternative to candy or cookies. But so is another of our favorite foods -- good old-fashioned corn. Squirrels love corn, and most feed and gardening stores keep dried corn cobs in stock just for those furry friends. So why not try it yourself?

What You'll Need:

  • Dried corn on the cob (from animal feed or gardening stores)
  • Sturdy string
  • Tree branches
  • Stepping stool

How to Make a Corn Cob Squirrel Feeder:Step 1: Buy a bag of corn and securely tie it to the lower branches of a tree.Step 2: Now sit back and watch these cute climbing rodents feast on the fun. You'll be glad you gave them real eats instead of treats.

Ready for an adventure? Take your kids on an observational marsh watch in the next section.

For more fun kids' crafts and animal activities, check out:

Marsh Watch

A marsh watch is a fun and educational animal activity that gets your family close to water wildlife. Wetlands, which provide water, dense cover, and sources of food, are ideal places to watch wildlife.

Look around your community for marshes and other wetlands where you can observe animals. Many wetlands are preserved in National Wildlife Refuges, in parks, and on private land. There is bound to be a place with open, shallow water that you can visit.

What You'll Need:

  • Notepad and pencil

How to Do a Marsh Watch:Step 1: When you visit a marsh, move slowly and quietly so you don't disturb the wildlife, especially in the spring and early summer when birds are nesting.

Step 2: Find a place near the water's edge where you can sit comfortably.

A good observation spot will have some shrubs you can hide under, yet still have a clear view.

Step 3: Be still and silent for at least 15 minutes. It takes that long or longer for the animals nearby to get used to your presence.

Step 4: As the animals come out and become active again, take notes on what you observe. The more often you visit, the more you will see.

Take your observational skills to the forest, meadow, or beach. Go trail tracking in the next section.

For more fun kids' crafts and animal activities, check out:

Trail Tracking

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

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.

For more fun kids' crafts and animal activities, check out:

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