In the midst of winter, staying inside by the fire with a blanket certainly seems ideal. People bundle up in layers to brave the cold and blustery temperatures. Animals, however, don’t have furnaces or coats, so what do they use to build shelters to stay warm in the winter? Peak your child’s curiosity with this notion and take advantage of a nice winter day to venture outdoors and conduct a fun, winter, nature science experiment. It will be a great way to get moving and learning outside just when you are feeling a little cabin fever!
For this experiment you only need a few simple items you can find around your home:
- Clear cups
- Some habitat items (we’ve used dirt, leaves, grass, sticks, and rocks, but you can modify this based on what you have readily available)
- This printable
First, fill cups with the habitat items you find around your home.
Next, use your thermometer to measure the temperature of the air, and record it on your printable.
Place the thermometer in each cup, measure the temperature, and write those temperatures on the printable.
Now it is time to analyze! Here are some follow up questions to ask your child:
- Which natural item kept the warmest temperature? Why do you think this is the warmest?
- Which natural item had the coldest temperature? Why do you think this is the coldest?
- If you were an animal building a shelter what type of natural items would you use in the winter to keep warm?
- Draw a picture of your animal shelter and label your building materials.
- What are some other materials we could include in this experiment?
- Aside from their homes, what adaptations do animals bodies have to stay warm?
Hopefully a little fresh air and a little curiosity can bring some much needed excitement to your chilly day!