Kids love to be detectives, and following animal tracks enables them to do just that. Give children the opportunities to learn more about the animals that live around them by pointing out animal tracks. Then try some of these fun activities the build on the concept of animal tracks.
Stay on the Path
Young children will love walking in a dog or bear's footprints. Simply outline one footprint, slightly smaller than a piece of paper, and photocopy it so that you have at least 20 of them. Let children cut them out and decorate each one with paint, markers, crayons, glitter, or sequins, and then place them on the floor in a circle so that kids can step from one to the other easily. Kids can then dance from footprint to footprint with some fun animal-themed music playing in the background.
Kids will love making plaster casts of the animal tracks that they find. Make sure to make your first cast out of a very clear track, and remove any unnecessary sticks or leaves sticking up from the track. You can place a strip of heavy cardboard around the track to hold the plaster, and then pour a mixture of plaster of Paris and water (prepared according to the package directions) into the track. Make sure to pour the plaster right next to the indentation rather than into it, for optimum results. Several days after the plaster dries complete, your child can clean the plaster and paint it. Encourage children to label each cast with the name of the animal they think it came from.
Types of Tracks
Kids feel accomplished when they can look at a set of tracks and determine either the type of animal that made them, or something distinctive about the animal. Give kids several pictures of different types of animal tracks, and ask them to figure something out about the type of animal that made each one. Children might be able to determine that the animal was large or small, whether it had claws or hooves, and whether it was a bird, reptile or mammal.