Outdoor Snow Day Activities
Snowmaggedon 2021 has begun! It is a certified Spring blizzard out today, but that doesn't have to stop you from scientific discovery! Here are a few ideas that you can do to experience the snowy ecosystem that wildlife endure every year!
Snow is the PERFECT track-trap to observe wildlife tracks. Use a field guide to help you identify which animals are out and about on snowy days.
Make sure you dress appropriately for winter conditions so that this activity can be fully enjoyed without cold digits or faces!
Still too snowy?
A fun indoor alternative for tracking can be done with play dough and plastic toy animals as a way to practice the technique that scientists and rangers use.
Use this "Guide to Animal Tracking" to help identify to which animal the track belongs. (More detailed and extensive lists can be usually purchased at local and federal park entities.)
Pay close attention to the approximate sizes, pattern and make sure to ask these questions:
Number of toes?
Are claws visible? (Cat and Dog tracks look very similar, but cats won't have the claw marks at the end of each toe since they retract their claws)
Are the tracks symmetrical left to right? Is it the front or back foot?
Is there webbing between the toes?
What is the shape of the palm pad?
Build an Igloo STEM Challenge
Once it's done snowing, some areas along NoCo will have between 2-7 feet of snow! People most likely won't be going anywhere for a few days still...
Why not use this time for a family activity and build an igloo together?!
Practice your STEM skills, and engineer a snow-home through critical thinking, problem solving, and cooperation!
Make a Snow Animal
Instead of making a snowman, use your creativity to build wildlife sculpture out of snow! *Bonus points for accuracy ;)