Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nurturing Acorns: Nocturnal Animals

We had another great gathering time at Nurturing Acorns, the nature preschool program at Woodlawn Nature Center last week. 

The children could make a bat or an owl for their craft, though most of them ended up being a hybrid! :-)


We read Raccoons and Ripe Corn by Jim Arnosky. He has plenty of nature related books. Each page had different nocturnal animals we could talk about. I also like Oliver's Wood where he stays up to see the sun and different animals are out. Night creatures is more factual. I like a good balance between fact and fiction.


These are fun books for the topic and then we can talk about the children's experiences with animals, nocturnal and diurnal animals, do finger plays, touch furs and more.

When we went on our hike, we could easily see where squirrels recently dug up the ground or other animals dug holes. 

The mushrooms were looking great! I love that my son points them out to me. He spent an hour investigating mushrooms in the spring. Wow! 

This is a favorite spot to look for animals on the trails at Woodlawn. The deer like to bed down in a nearby thicket and then jump over the top of this dirt pile. We often see tracks up near the top. Winter is also a good time to see tracks at Woodlawn Nature Center. We played a nocturnal and diurnal animal while we were out exploring!

They were amazed at how this fallen tree had such balance. It has since fallen to the ground, but still has great potential for a little hide out with some outdoor fabric.

We made owls for a snack, with each child making his/her own interpretation.

During open exploration at the end, some chose to dig outside in Nature's Connection, the natural playscape and outdoor classroom. Others were inside playing with the puppets. 

Some matched parts of the owl with the picture and investigated the many owls and the center. 

We also had bat counting and nocturnal animal songs. Here is a fun one. This is another option.