Welcome to day 16 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. 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.
Playful puppies and hopping bunnies
Many of us have pets. Dogs, cats, fish, birds and bunnies are the most popular pets for families. In today’s theme, we’re going to pretend to be pets and play some games — indoor or out!
Activity: Find a bone scavenger hunt
What you need:
- this bone printable
- colored paper
- large playing area
Here’s what you do:
Print out a copy of the bone printable worksheet on various colored paper. You’ll want one color of bones per player.
Cut out the bones and hide them in your playing area.
Tell each player what color they are looking for. Ready, set, go! First one to find all 12 bones wins!
Activity: Sock Paws
What you need:
- baby socks
- felt (pink or white)
- hot glue gun
What you do:
Cut out circles from the felt. You’ll need at least 2 large circles and 6-8 smaller ones per pair of socks. Cut to fit the size of sock you have.
Using the hot glue gun, glue the circles in place on the bottom of the baby socks.
Now you have “paws” for your hands!
Snack: Puppy Chow
- 1 pkg of corn chex cereal (about 9 cups)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups of powdered (or icing) sugar
In a microwavable bowl, add the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Heat for about 30 seconds on high. Stir. If not completely melted, put it back in for another 30 seconds. Stir it until smooth.
In a large bowl, measure out 9 cups of the chex cereal. Pour melted chocolate mix over the cereal and mix until cereal is completed coated.
Put the coated cereal in a large ziploc bag. Slowly add in the icing sugar and shake until the cereal is covered in sugar.
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper, and spread out the coated cereal on the waxed paper. Set aside until completely cool and set.
Enjoy! (Warning: it’s addictive!)
Activity: Pass the Flea
To play: You’ll need a small plastic bug or ball to represent the “flea” and some music. When the music plays, pass the flea along as fast as you can. When the music stops, the player with the flea is “bit” and sits out. Play until you have a winner!
Activity: What time is it Mr. Fox?
One player is the “fox” and stands at one end of the playing area. The other player(s) are the “bunnies” and line up at the other end. The “bunnies” call out, “What time is it, Mr. Fox?” and the fox will give a time (from 1 to 11). The bunnies will hop that many steps closer to the fox. When the fox calls “Lunch time!” the fox chases the bunnies back to the starting line, trying to catch as many as he can! The first bunny caught becomes the next fox.
Pet facts for you to share
Humans have kept animals for a long time, but mostly for work or for food. Keeping an animal as a companion is different. Pets are taken care of by people, and often live inside with their human owners.
Common pets are dogs, cats, fish, birds, and rabbits. Other kinds of pets might be guinea pigs, hamsters, white mice, snakes, or lizards.
Dogs, cats and other domesticated animals have often been specifically bred by humans to look and act a certain way. That means that humans have chosen a mom and dad dog, for example, in order to have puppies with specific traits, like a color of fur, a size, or intelligence.
There are about 160 different breeds of dogs, and about 40 different breeds of domesticated cats. “Purebred” animals (where the mom, dad and grandparents are all of the same breed) are considered to be more valuable than “mixed” breeds.
Dogs and cats are carnivores, so eat a meat-based diet. We tend to purchase specially made pet food for our pets at the grocery store. Fish and birds also have special food that we can buy at pet stores.
Rabbits, guinea pigs, and other rodent pets can eat “people” food, since they are herbivores. They can eat vegetables like we do. But you can also get special food for them too, to make sure they get everything they need.
Dogs, cats and other pets will vary greatly in size, color, and appearance. Their appearance often depends on their breed. For example, a Great Dane is a very large dog, with short dark hair. But a Toy Poodle is a very small dog, with long curly, light colored fur.
Most pets need to have their appearance taken care of, in a process called “grooming”. A special groomer will trim the pet’s nails, comb their fur, brush their teeth and generally inspect the pet for injury or signs of disease.
Pets are taken care of by special doctors too, called veterinarians. Vets will help pets stay healthy, give them shots to protect against diseases, and sometimes help make sure they don’t have babies, so that they aren’t hurt by that.
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 jungle games today in our jungle 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.