Welcome to day 17 of DIY Summer Camp at home. On this third week of DIY Summer Camp, we’re going to learn about animals, including jungle animals, farm animals, and playing with pets. And let’s go around the world to see Australian animals, South American animals and the polar region animals. 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.
Hopping around with the Kangaroos
The most iconic of Australian animals is the kangaroo. In Australia, they’re as plentiful (and as much of a nuisance) as white-tailed deer are here in North America. These bouncing animals can be seen out in the fields, but also in the city streets. Unlike deer, they can be aggressive and will box each other (or unwitting bystanders), and they are quite strong.
Activity: Make a Kangaroo Pouch
What you need:
- brown paper (from craft paper or large paper bags)
- brown construction paper
- hole punch
Here’s what you do:
- Draw and cut out a large U-shape from the construction paper. Use that as a template the cut out a 2nd U-shape from the brown paper.
- Holding the 2 U-shapes together, punch holes all around the edge of the U-shape, leaving the top straight edge untouched.
- Cut out a yarn string long enough to go around the U-shape, with a bit extra. Tape one end of the yarn, so that it forms a point.
- Using the taped end, thread the yarn through the U-shape to form the pouch. Tie a knot at both ends to hold the pouch together.
- Write your name on the pouch.
Bonus: Cut out a “joey” for your kangaroo pouch!
Activity: Koala Food Playdough
What you need:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 3 TBSP vegetable oil
- 2 TBSP cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- green food coloring
- eucalyptus essential oil
What you do:
Mix together the flour, salt, vegetable oil and cream of tartar. Slowly add the boiling water, and knead together until all the flour is thoroughly mixed in. Add green food coloring and knead, adding more food coloring until you get the color you desire. Then add just a few drops of eucalyptus oil (optional! WARNING: watch for allergies). Knead until thoroughly mixed through.
Now you can make koala bear food. Koala Bears eat exclusively from eucalyptus trees.
Snack: Pita Pouches
- pita bread, cut in half
- fillings – try scrambled eggs, tuna salad, or cucumbers and lettuce! Get creative.
To make: Easy peasy — open your pita and stuff! Then taste your pita pouches. What fun filling will you try?
Activity: Growing Coral Science Experiment
Activity: Stuck in the Mud
Australian Animals: facts for you to share
Australia has some of the most unique and unusual animals in the world. From the duck-billed platypus to the wombat, 4 out of the 5 animals found in Australia can only be found there. It’s a fascinating and sometimes dangerous world of animals in Australia.
Species and Location
Australia is one of the smallest continents in the world, and is the only continent that is also its own country. It’s located in the southern hemisphere, on the east side of the planet, south of just about everywhere. You’d have to fly about 24 hours from Toronto just to get there. Yes, FLY for an entire day.
There are over 7300 vertebrate species of animals identified in Australia. It’s one of the world’s most diverse areas, and scientists are still discovering new and unusual animal species there.
One of the most unusual Australian animals is the duck-billed platypus. This animal is a mammal, and like all mammals, it’s warm-blooded, with fur and nurtures its young with milk. But unlike other mammals, it has a “bill” like a bird, and stingers with venom like a reptile, and it lays eggs!
Another unusual animal is the kookaburra. It’s almost 4 ft long from beak to tail, and it’s known for its human-sounding laughter call. Try singing the kookaburra song with your children.
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be
Australia also has it’s share of deadly and dangerous animals, like snakes and spiders. Of the world’s top 25 deadliest snakes, 21 of them live in Australia! And the world’s deadliest spider also lives there, along with many other creepy creatures. For example, the great white shark frequents the coast around Australia. And the largest salt-water crocodiles are also in Australia. Even the kangaroo can hurt humans.
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 animal activities today in our Australian animals theme, 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 animal-filled adventures. And don’t forget to subscribe so you get every day of the DIY Summer Camp at Home right in your inbox.