This animal track Activity is a really exciting way to get outdoors, find out about what creatures live near you and learn simple animal tracking skills.
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?
Nae peters says
Were always trying to identify foot print when we go in bush walks & my son gets right into it. He would get so much enjoyment from doing this & it’d be interesting to see the results 🙂
Thanks for sharing such a cool outdoor idea. Love it
Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky says
What a great way to learn about the different animal tracks 🙂 Pinned.
Bek @ Just For Daisy says
What a fabulous idea! We’ve got a cheeky wombat that keeps coming in each night and trampling our flower beds!! We might have to do this and see if we can ‘catch him in the act’!!
Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy says
This is a great idea although we have grass everywhere so I’m not sure how we’d do it? We definitely have possums (they live in our roof) and bandicoots (they leave holes) we have mice (the little buggers are in our house). And something has been trying to dig up our bathtub garden!
Kate - An Everyday Story says
This is really fantastic Penny. I love it. How exciting to see all the little tracks. I know we would have had lots of little visitors at our last house, we used to find kangaroo poo on the front lawn all the time. I wonder what we would find now…. the animals here (if there are any) are definitely a lot sneakier. LOVE this so much Penny.
Pinned this immediately when I saw it. Love it.
Danya Banya says
Pinned! Love this idea! I think my three year old would love it – she’s a bit animal crazy at the moment.
[email protected] says
How clever. My kids would DIE if they actually found dinosaur footprints. They are forever going on about it. lol. xo P
Julie - Ladybug's Spots says
Great idea for an animal lover. I would love to try this out and see what might be prowling around or yard when we’re not around. Thank you!
That’s a fantastic idea Penny. We live in suburbia but we do get lots of possums, birds, rats and our little dog too… I wonder if that’s all we would find 🙂
Ooh, that’s cool! I wonder what we’d get around our place? I’ve seen a few foxes around but there’s bound to be lots more interesting creatures I’m sure.
Elise @ Creative Play Central says
It would be exciting to wake up and see what visitors you had the previous night. Such a fun and hands on way to learn about different animals in your area.
Rachel | Racheous says
Educational and fun! Pinned 🙂
Kate_Laughing Kids Learn says
Honestly, how do you come up with so many awesome ideas? I love this and what an exciting discovery for children the following morning. Do you think we’d get many tracks if it were done in an inner city area? I guess I could only try. I have just the spot.
[email protected] says
What a great idea…your girls must have so much fun doing these little activities outdoors! Since leaving our daycare tables out in the yard we’ve noticed lots of different red mud footprints walking all over them…fascinating! Pinned and i love those gorgeous pics!!
[email protected] Little Bookcase says
Wow Penny. This is a really clever idea. Our area is rife with possums, it would be great to track where they’ve been in our yard