Everyday Exploring Animal Tracks
All month long, we are discussing and sharing creative homeschooling ideas to get kids excited about learning. We have a big “hands on learning” tools giveaway that you can enter HERE, and a new 36 page Everyday Exploring Wildflowers printable pack HERE.
Today, we are talking about animal tracks and using our everyday exploring techniques to learn more about the animals in our areas, and as a means of capturing the creative imagination of our children.
Exploring animal tracks is one of our favorite things to do on educational nature walks. We often will bring along binoculars, and magnifying glasses, and are always on the lookout for signs of life from the animals in the area.
No matter how many deer tracks, bird, or bobcat prints we have come across – it is still thrilling for my boys when they are “tracking” the animals to find and identify prints! Using this interest to get the boys to compare and contrast, to closely observe and collect data about the habitat, to research and learn more about what the animals eat, how they live and what use they are in the bigger picture – THAT is what everyday exploring with animal tracks is truly all about.
You see, as they are making these observations, collecting data and so forth – they are participating in critical thinking, scientific process, reading, writing and simply enjoying a love for learning! ~ Kelli Becton
In addition to searching for animal tracks, we look for additional signs of life. It can be easier to notice nuts that have been cracked open, eaten and left on the trail, than to see the tiny squirrel prints nearby.
It is easy and effective to apply the journalist questions – who? what? where? why? how? As your children look closely at the natural world. Open ended questions that don’t need to be “right or wrong” will teach your child to express themselves, to sharpen observation skills, to apply creative thinking and more!