Amazing Alligators (day 11 of DIY Summer Camp)

Welcome to day 11 of DIY Summer Camp at home. Our theme this second week of DIY Summer Camp is all about reptiles, including slithering snakesterrific turtles, dangerous dinosaurs, amazing alligators and lively lizards. This makes for some fun activities that you can do right in your own backyard. Or, even better, you can send the kids out to do, while you relax.

Amazing Alligator Activities

Alligators and crocodiles are some of the largest and most dangerous reptiles alive. They are predators, and actively hunt prey. While alligators might seem slow and stupid, they aren’t. They wait patiently for the right moment to SNAP!

Be like an alligator and SNAP up these fun activities

Activity: Swamp Slime

For this activity, you’ll need:

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • a big bowl

What you do:

Mix about 2 cups of cornstarch to 1 cup of water. Add the water a little bit at a time, until you get the desired consistency. Add a little green food coloring to make it really effective.

Cornstarch and water mixed will behave similar to quickstand. Move your hands slowly, and it behaves like water. Try to move quickly, and it feels more solid!

Activity: Alligator Fridge Magnets

What you need:

  • clothespins
  • green paint
  • small googly eyes
  • green construction paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • magnet tape (thin, flexible magnets, rolled up like tape, with a sticky back)

What you do:

  1. Paint each clothespin green.
  2. Cut a small strip of green paper, the same width as your clothespin, about twice as long. Accordian fold it.
  3. Cut two small strips of paper for the legs.
  4. Glue on your googly eyes almost at the tip where the clothespin chomps.
  5. Glue on the folded paper behind the googly eyes, to create the bumpy “back” of the alligator.
  6. Now glue on the legs horizontally on the bottom of the clothespin — so they stick out the sides.
  7. Cut magnet tape to match the length of your clothespin and stick to the bottom, over the paper legs.
  8. Don’t chomp your finger!

Snack: Alligator Berries

What you need:

  • strawberries
  • white chocolate and green food coloring (or green candy wafers)
  • toothpicks
  • white icing
  • mini chocolate chips

What you do:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
  2. Melt the white chocolate and mix in the green food coloring — or melt the green candy wafers.
  3. Stick a toothpick in a strawberry and dip in the chocolate until fully covered. Lay on the waxed paper to set.
  4. Put two dots of white icing for eyes, and place mini chocolate chips.
  5. Use a toothpick to add white icing teeth.
  6. Chomp your alligators before they chomp you! Yum!

Activity: Swing your Tail

What you need:

  • Big sheets of green paper
  • Yarn (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

What you do:

  1. Tape together green paper until you get the length of your tail. Fold it in half lengthwise. Cut diagonally from one corner to another. Unfold the main tail triangle.
  2. Use the scrap paper and other paper to cut out triangles of various sizes.
  3. Tape or glue the edges of the smaller triangles along the sides and top of the main tail triangle. Fold them so they stand up!
  4. Cut smaller strips of green paper, and tape or glue them to create a waistband. Tape around waist to hold tail up. OR
    1. Cut a piece of yarn the length of your desired waistband.
    2. Lay the middle of the yarn along the wide edge of the main tail triangle, leaving about 2″ between the yarn and the edge of the paper. Tape in place.
    3. Fold the paper over top of the yarn, and tape or glue in place.
    4. Tie the string around waist to hold tail up.

Now you can stomp and swing your tail around, just like a big ol’ Alligator.

Activity: Hungry Hungry Crocodile

What you need:

  • balloons (at least 3 per player)
  • laundry basket or box for each player (max of 4 players)
  • large open area where balloons won’t fly away.

What you do:

Every player needs a box or basket. This game is played on your hands and knees.

Put blown-up balloons in the middle of your playing area.

When told “go” every player crawls as fast as they can to the balloons. They use the box to capture a balloon by putting the box over top of it and dragging it back to their corner. Then they go back for another balloon or two. Game finishes when all the balloons are captured. Player with the most balloons wins!

**NOTE: balloons may pop! Be ready to toss extras in just to keep it fair.**

Alligator & Crocodile facts for you to share

Alligators are one of the few large and dangerous reptiles native to North America, so many of us here in the west are familiar with them. Also in North America are some of the few places in the world where alligators and crocodiles can BOTH be found in similar habitats.

Species & Location

There are only two species of alligators and 13 species of crocodiles. The two kinds of alligators are the American and the Chinese. The American alligator is the larger of the two, and found in the swamps and wetlands of southeastern United States. The Chinese is smaller, and found in a very limited area along the Yangtze river. This makes the Chinese alligator critically endangered, while the American alligator is alive and well.

Alligators tend to be freshwater species, but crocodiles are often found in salt-water habitats, so along coasts and on beaches. Crocodiles tend to be on the smaller side compared with the American alligator, but no less dangerous. Crocodiles are found in North America, Africa, the Caribbean, Australia and southeastern Asia.

Other reptiles often mistaken for crocodiles or alligators are the caimans and the gharials. They are similar, but not exactly the same.

Food

Alligators and crocodiles are carnivores. They will eat what they can catch!

Alligators prefer live prey, going after any unwary animal that comes close enough to it. But they don’t need to eat often. A small mammal like a raccoon might feed an average alligator for a week.

Crocodiles eat more fish, marine animals and birds.

Babies

Alligators and crocodiles lay eggs, like other reptiles. Both mother reptiles will brood and stay near their eggs. And both species will take care of their young for months — even as long as a year.

Check out this video of a mother crocodile:

Appearance

How do you tell the difference between a crocodile and an alligator? Well.. it’s all in the jaw and teeth!

Alligators have more U-shaped noses, with teeth that stay inside the jaw when they snap shut. Alligators have the most powerful bite ever recorded, so be careful of their teeth!

Crocodiles have more V-shaped noses, and when they shut their jaws, their bottom teeth poke out. So if you see teeth when their mouth is closed, it’s a crocodile.

But if you see teeth and an open mouth? RUN!

End of the day: read aloud time.

There’s nothing that settles kids down like storytime at the end of the day. So after all the alligators and activities today, grab a classic read-aloud and read a chapter every night this week.

Try one of these:

Come back tomorrow for another day full of reptile-filled adventures. And don’t forget to subscribe so you get every day of the DIY Summer Camp at Home right in your inbox.

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Amazing alligators and crocodiles are full of snappy surprises. Let's make tails, chomp some balloons and enjoy some treats on day 11 of DIY Summer Camp.

About RaisingRoyalty

Single mom of 6, homeschooling and working from home. I've survived everything life threw at me, now I'm finding a way to thrive. This is my real life story.

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