If you live near a nature reserve or you know of a few creatures that like to visit your backyard or school, you can set up a track plot just about anywhere you can find dirt.
I can guarantee your children will stay engaged and will be thrilled to check the animal track plot every single day.
Best of all it’s really fun and only takes 20 minutes to set up.
Animal Track Activity for kids
What you’ll need :
- Sifter – This type works well
How to set up an animal track plot:
- Clear away about one square meter of sticks and leaves until you get to the soil underneath.
- Dig up the dirt but try to keep the soil fairly level. Put the dirt in a bucket.
- Put the dirt from the bucket into the sifter and sift away onto the cleared area.
- Try to spread a nice layer of dust (1 cm – 1.5 cm deep) all around the square meter.
5. Once you’re done, you can do a practice run with your children. Ask them to place their hand or foot gently on the animal track plot. Once they’ve had some fun creating their own footprints, sift the dirt again ready for animals to walk on.
6. Leave the plot overnight and come back each morning with the kids to check. You may just find some awesome little animal tracks. We found tracks on our plot every morning.
Helpful hints to get the most out of your animal track activity
- Put a little piece of apple in the middle of the plot (you’re bound to get some footprints). It can also help you to identify the tracks because you can be pretty certain a herbivore took the apple!
- Get a scat and track book from your local library to help you identify the tracks. A ruler and magnifying glass will be really useful too.
- If you want to attract a carnivore, you can dig a deep hole below the surface of the dirt and lure them to the plot with the smell of rotting meat. It’s also a good idea to make the plot bigger so that if they dig the meat up, they won’t destroy all the track evidence with the mess.
- We haven’t done it yet but we will be making plaster casts of some of the more rare footprints we find. They’ll make a great little memento!
Have you ever found animal tracks before?