Encourage children to appreciate nature by teaching lessons about small animals, such as prairie dogs, and host crafts to help the teachings stick. These cute brown critters look similar to large hamsters, which some children might find appealing. Show the children pictures of these creatures and teach lessons about their life cycle, habitat and behaviour patterns. Prairie dogs live underground in the central region of the United States.
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Many children can colour in a prairie dog rather easily. Print out pictures of prairie dogs online and encourage children to colour in the animal with coloured pencils, crayons or markers. Help the kids cut out the coloured animals and glue them on a card or piece of poster board. Create a prairie dog collage by helping the kids draw the animal's food and habitat area around the coloured picture. They can also make a large card with their coloured picture in the middle. Show them how to decorate the rest of the card with pressed flowers, stickers and stamps.
Show the kids photos of a prairie dog and help them paint pictures of this animal. The kids can paint one large prairie dog eating food or create a family of prairie dogs. Encourage the kids to paint the animal in its natural habitat. These animals live in the forest, so its habitat would include pine trees, shrubs and flowers. After the paintings have dried, encourage the kids to glue on additional decorations such as pressed flowers or grass around the border. The added decor can give their painting a more rustic feel.
Give the kids black and brown construction paper to craft a paper prairie dog. First help them draw the outline of the animal on brown construction paper and then show them how to cut out the shape. The kids can then cut out the whiskers, round eyes and black nose from black construction paper. Lastly, they can use white crayons to draw little grey hairs in random spots on the brown fur, since prairie dogs have some other shades of grey on their coats.
Show the kids how to paint a prairie dog's face with whiskers and a cute nose on a flat rock. You can start off by painting the base of the rock brown and then using black paint to create the animal's face with ears, beady eyes, a black nose and black whiskers. The kids can also paint a small version of the entire prairie dog on the rock. Look for flat rocks that are about 6 inches long in your yard or buy them at a home improvement store.
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