In the winter, animals use their coats of fur to blend in with their surrounds as much as possible. While you might not realize how successful they are at doing this, there are always several animals hiding out in the snow right under your nose.
Teaching children about the ability of animals to hide in the winter to aid survival is an important part of learning about animals.
To help children learn about winter camouflage try one of these fun and interactive activities that they can do in the home, or outside.
One of the easiest ways to play around with camouflage and blending in, is to let kids try their hand at blending in with different environments or backgrounds for themselves.
If children have brown or white outside gear, this activity can be done outside where options for blending include bare trees and evergreen trees.
Indoors, choose the brightest and most colorful walls for children to attempt to camouflage themselves against.
Look at pictures of animals blending in with their surroundings in the summer, and ask children how these animals keep themselves hidden. Pick a wall or background and send children to their room to change into clothing that can help them hide in the room.
Snap a couple before and after pictures so that children can compare their appearance in each outfit. Ask children to point out in which photo they stand out and which photo they blend in.
Being able to distinguish animals in their natural environment when they are camouflaged is hard, and it’s hard for natural predators to spot their prey as well. Talk about the reasons why animals camouflage themselves and how it protects them.
Purchase a box of green paperclips and a box of plain silver paper clips. Take children out into the snow (or grass) and in a small area drop ten silver paperclips and ten green paperclips. Use a timer to give children ten seconds to try and grab as many paper clips as they can, not indicating which color they should grab.
After the timer has gone off, count out the number of each color paper clip the children have grabbed. Did they get more green or silver? Why?
Jelly Beans in a Jar
To help children further understand the concept of camouflaging, fill a jar with white and clear jelly beans that you have mixed a few kidney beans into.
Put a lid on the jar and give it to the children, seeing if they can spot all the kidney beans. Help them make a chart and take a tally of the kidney, white, and clear jelly beans they see. Talk about why it is easier for like things to hide in a similar group of like things.