Good Stuff to do with your Kids – Part 2 – Puddles and Wild Birds’ Eggs
By Kathy Schwengler, Education & Outreach Coordinator, EPBR Parks Council
This morning, I was out catching snowflakes with my camera and a couple of knit scarves. I didn’t let the snow didn’t get me down! I am confident spring will arrive with puddles and birds singing any day now! Puddles and birds – two sure signs of spring and the theme of this issue.
“Speaking of Spring, did you know that…….
- Great Horned Owls and Canada Jays are already incubating their eggs and expecting their chicks to hatch very soon?
- Black Bears and Grizzly Bears have been seen emerging from their hibernation dens?
That means you need to take extra precautions when you’re out for a walk in the wilderness! Always travel in a group and learn how to use Bear Spray! Watch the video!
How to Properly Use Bear Spray
- That awful, tell-tale scent wafting about in rural areas means skunks have left their winter dens too? They’re out looking for food and mates. Female skunks will be looking for a new maternity den where they can have their kits.
- There are a few species of insects that emerge onto the snow surface on warm days (spring)? We saw a snow fly yesterday on our walk. Get up close to the snow surface and have a good look!
When it seems like winter might never end, it’s good to know that Mother Nature can be trusted to send us a few reminders that spring is on it’s way!
I. Puddle Rafts – Why Do Objects Sink or Float?
Puddle season is just around the corner! Let’s build a few boats and try them out in the puddles and small streams near you!
- Remember to wear rubber boots and keep a parent/guardian nearby when you are testing your rafts!
- Test out a variety of materials to see which float best!
Puddle Raft Design #1
- 4 or 5 sticks, about 12 cm long
- 2 sticks, about 10 cm long
- sturdy string or fishing line
- wood skewer, long thin stick or feather
- piece of cloth
Find 4 to 5 sticks about 12 cm long each. Cut a good length of string (about 1 m). Tie a secure knot around the end of one stick, then start to wrap it in a figure eight pattern to stick #2. Repeat for both ends. Wrap string around stick 2 and 3 with several figure 8 loops and so on until you’ve got your raft secured with string.
Measure how wide your raft is. Cut the two remaining sticks so that they are a little longer than your raft is wide. Secure one to each end with a separate piece of string using the figure eight and knot it. Make sure all of your strings are tightly tied.
Make a mast with a feather, a wood skewer or a thin, long stick. If you use a stick or skewer, cut a piece of cloth into a triangle and decorate it with a drawing or your initials. Fold the short end over your skewer and glue it. Wait for it to dry.
Attach your mast to the centre of the raft with string or glue.
You’re ready to test it in a puddle!
You might want to use some fishing line as a leash! Make sure your leash is about 2 metres long. Now you can test it out without losing it.
Puddle Raft Design #2
- 3 corks
- 2 rubber bands
- 1 recycled chopstick or wood skewer
- piece of cloth
- marker (optional)
- large paper clip
- fishing line
For Puddle Raft #2, wrap two elastics around 3 corks as seen in the photo. Cut a triangle of cloth and glue onto your skewer, then push the skewer into the middle cork. If you want to use your raft in a stream, you should attach a leash made out of at least 2 meters of fishing line. Straighten out part of your paper clip and stick it into the front cork. Wrap your fishing line around the bent part of the paper clip and tie a secure knot. That’s your leash! You’re ready to test it out in a puddle!
Get creative! Can you come up with your own designs? We want to see your finished rafts! Send us a photo of your build to firstname.lastname@example.org
II. Birds’ Eggs
Did you know that wild birds lay a lot of interesting eggs in a variety of colours and sizes – many eggs even have spots and speckles!
What purpose do you think those speckles could have?
Here’s a fun Activity you can do indoors or out on the deck. Remember, if you are exploring and you find a nest of eggs, please don’t disturb it. The parents could be off the nest looking for food.
III. Track of the Week
Can you guess what made the track?
This picture was taken in Blue Rapids Provincial Recreation Area.
There were no human tracks near it.
Choose the most likely track maker from the four choices below.
A. Black Bear
B. Red Fox
C. Mountain Lion
D. Timber Wolf
A THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
We want to thank all of our sponsors who continue to support our Environmental Education efforts during this challenging time.
Our Featured Supporter of the Week is Pembina Pipeline. Thank you!