Activities, Stories and Science for Kids
Feeling stuck inside? Why not bring the outdoors in and explore the exciting world of nature through science, crafts, songs, and stories? Or take a look through your window, a step into your backyard or onto your balcony, or a stroll* through your neighbourhood to discover some signs of the season.
* In the context of this unique health situation, please practice safe physical and social distancing.
LYNDE SHORES CONSERVATION AREA
Kid's Birding Checklist
Print and fold to create your birding pocket booklet for Lynde Shores Conservation Area. How many birds can you identify? How many of each can you find? Please remember to only feed the songbirds only seeds and take home your extra seeds, because the birds are amazing at finding everything they need in nature!
Early Years and Young Elementary
STORYWALK: TALES ON THE TRAIL
Do you like walking and reading? Then StoryWalk is for you! Come to Long Sault Conservation Area and find pages from the story of "The Mitten" by Jan Brett posted along the Cottontail Rabbit Trail.
When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing. One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last.
Find out what happens when the mouse causes the bear to sneeze and the mitten and all its occupants go flying.
Partnering with Clarington Public Library
A SNACK FOR YOU AND THE BIRDS
Make a biodegradable bird feeder by cutting an orange in half and eating the inside of the orange with a spoon. Carve out the remaining bits to create a smooth bowl. Poke three holes in the sides around the top, tie a string through each hole and join the strings above the half orange. Fill with bird seed and hang from a tree.
Don't have oranges? Create a bird feeder by recycling a plastic pop bottle with Ontario EcoSchools.
Source: Ontario EcoSchools
'MY SNAIL' SCAVENGER HUNT
Colour in your snail as you explore your neighbourhood. What things are too hard to find in the winter? Why?
Source: Toronto District School Board, Outdoor Education Schools
WHO COOKS FOR YOU?
"Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" is the call of the Barred Owl. Did you know owls' eyes are so large that if owls were the same size as people, their eyes would be the size of grapefruits! Speaking of fruit, owls don't really have eye balls, their eyes are pear-shaped so they have to move their whole head if they want to look around.
Can you make a call like the Barred Owl? What do you spy with your owl eyes?
When is your birthday? Most wild animals have their birthday in the spring! Some baby animals look very similar to their parents (only cuter), while others are like transformers and go through big changes called metamorphosis.
What do you think you will look like when you grow up? Birds, butterflies and frogs all start as eggs. Can you colour, cut out the pictures and place them in order? Ask an adult to help you create a flip book for each animal.
Source: Sheri Amsel, exploringnature.org
MR. GROUNDHOG'S HIBERNATION SONG
(to the tune of Alouette)
Hibernation, this is hibernation,
Hibernation happens when it’s cold.
In the fall eat a lot,
In the fall eat a lot.
Store up food in your fat, store up food in your fat.
For the winterrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Find a go-od place to hide,
Find a go-od place to hide.
All winter long, all winter long.
Bre-eathe less, beat less,
Bre-eathe less, beat less.
Body temperature drops, body temperature drops.
Won’t wake uuuuuuuuuuuup (until spring)
Very few animals in Ontario are true hibernators - not even bears! True hibernators like the groundhog, little brown bat, and a few mice have their body temperatures drop and their heart rate and breathing slow WAY down.
Check out these pictures of snowflakes. They were taken with the help of a microscope which is like a giant magnifying glass. How are they different, how are they the same? Do you notice how many spikes each snowflake has? Can you make your own snowflake from some paper in your recycling bin?
Image: The Secret Life of a Snowflake
by Kenneth Libbrecht Caltech
BE A WINTER DETECTIVE
Some animals stay active in winter and leave tracks to find on the snow. Below are some of the most common tracks you'll find in our conservation areas.
Here are some questions to help you get started with your detective work:
What animals stay active all winter?
Was the animal big or small?
Which way was it going?
Where do you think it was going? why?
How was the animal moving?
Can you make tracks in the same pattern as the animal?
Are the tracks old or fresh?
Source: Government of Maine, Animal Tracks Poster, 2017
Find a branch that makes a 'V' in your backyard or on a neighbourhood walk. Tie some string around one side of the V to secure it, and wind it across to the side of the V, back and forth to make a loom. Find some yarn, string, long, dried-out grasses and weave them in and out of the string to create a beautiful piece of art!
Add nature items like leaves, berries, seeds and pieces of bark or seashells you might have brought home from a trip to a beach. Hang it up inside or outside, and add to it as you take future nature walks.
Remember, only take what is on the ground and unattached items. Don’t pick plant leaves and living items to add. You have four seasons to decorate your branch, so be patient.
Middle and Older Elementary