I may have mentioned before that for summer reading we tried to do more outside activities. The idea for an animal safari/hike came to me in a dream and was actually really simple and the kids quite enjoyed it. And whooooo doesn’t like stuffed animals?
We actually started of the day inside with leaf rubbings. And because my adults tend to like to participate in the arts and crafts we taped down about 50 different leaves and let the go to town with the different leaves and colors. While the kids were working on this we set up a bunch of stuffed animals/puppets in the landscaping and the reading garden and then snuck back inside.
After a few minutes I passed out some water bottles left over from several summers ago and talked about the importance of staying hydrated and staying on the trail. Then we lined up and went outside for our “hike”. At each animal I waited for the children to spot the stuffed animal and then I would tell them a fact about the animal. I tried to set them up in a kind of logical order by habitat so we found pond animals, forest animals, and desert animals. We also practiced our animal sounds at some of the more notable animals like the lion and wolf.
When we completed the hike we circled back to the reading garden where I told the kids we had hidden some special silver pine cones for them to find and when they were done they could choose a prize – the popular Japanese animal puzzle erasers.
Activity 1: Leaf Rubbings
Activity 2: Stuffed Animal “Hike”
Activity 3: Silver Pine cone Hunt