You wouldn’t have to ask that question if you could identify tracks.
But, lemme’ take you the long way around to that lesson.
Over Labor Day, hubby and I took Rebekah on a hike in the mountains.
OK, in reality, we spent a lot of time in the car oohing and aahing over the mountains
and eating snacks from a roadside gas station
that cost way too much.
But, we did get out and hike for a little while.
Nice groomed trails.
Does this really count as hiking?
Yea, it does.
We also had an unexpected Science lesson.
I love unintentional learning!
Pops and Rebekah wanted to hike around the lake.
I wanted to sit. I was tired. Seriously.
I also wanted to take pics while sitting.
They enjoyed some Father-Daughter time.
When they came back, Rebekah was able to identify the split hoof tracks from an elk.
I could easily identify the track from the Great American North-Faced Hiker.
Pa and Laura had a similar experience as they drove their sled through the Big Woods to Grandpa’s.
“Pa showed Laura the tracks of the wild creatures in the snow
at the sides of the road.
The small, leaping tracks of cottontail rabbits, the tiny tracks of field mice,
and the feather-stitching tracks of snowbirds.
There were larger tracks, like dogs’ tracks, where foxes had run, and there were the tracks of a deer that had bounded away into the woods.”
(Little House in the Big Woods, p. 132-133)
Pioneer families needed to identify animal tracks for their survival.
Remember Aunt Eliza’s tale of her dog Prince not letting her out of the cabin?
Uncle Peter found huge panther tracks around their homestead.
I pulled out my favorite Science Curriculum, Considering God’s Creation,
and used several animal tracks activities.
It is more fun for me to cut and paste than to just read and answer questions,
so I am a huge fan of this curriculum. I’ve used it for all my kids.
It easily can be used as your primary Science book
or to supplement others.
Most kids think it is so fun, they don’t know it’s school.
SSHHHH! Don’t tell them!
Some activities, like on Creation, would be wonderful for
Sunday school, VBS or Kids Bible Clubs.
Here is a tracking guide you can print out and take with you
if you want to investigate your neighborhood,
that is, in case you have any wildlife other than
the Great American North-Faced Hiker.
This is a more detailed chart of animal tracks chart you can buy.
This blog has a fun activity to play with a peanut butter mixture
to leave your own tracks, then eat them.
Now, go test your skills
and see if you can identify more species than Momma Mindy.