Several animals are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and hunt at the night. When teaching children about nocturnal animals, such as hedgehogs, bats and owls, you can prepare some entertaining activities for them to do. Children can learn about nocturnal animals while having fun at the same time. Awarding small prizes to activity winners will entice the children to play along.
Print pictures of hedgehogs for the children to look at. You can also print coloring pages for them to color with markers and crayons. Give the children clay and have them shape the body of a hedgehog. Older children can use toothpicks to simulate the stiff hairs while younger children can use small stick pretzels. Allow the children to use self-hardening clay to turn the hedgehog into a keepsake. Have a contest to see who can create the best hedgehog and award a small prize to the winner.
Children can creeate edible owl snacks by placing a piece of bologna on a paper plate. Give each child three small triangles of cheese for the beak and ears. Use two round crackers to create the eyes. Add two sliced olives on top of the crackers for additional decoration. Or you can have them draw a picture of an owl on a poster board and tape it to the bottom of a cardboard box. Cut out the mouth and lean the box against a wall. Have the children try to toss beanbags into the owl’s mouth. Award a small prize to each child who makes a beanbag in the owl’s mouth.
Give each child a paper plate to paint black and a large sheet of black construction paper. Have him trace his hands on the black construction paper and cut them out. Ask the children to tape one hand to each side of the plate to create the bat wings. Give the children paint pens and googly eyes to create the bat’s face. For another activity, give the children a large cardboard box, such as an appliance box, to create a bat cave. Help the children cut a door on the bat cave so they can crawl in and out of it. The children can cut small bats out of construction paper to glue inside the bat cave.
Create an animal-themed game by cutting out pictures of nocturnal and diurnal animals. A few nocturnal animals include badgers, boa constrictors, bobcats, lions and raccoons. Diurnal animals include coyotes, golden eagles, vultures and horned lizards. Mix the animal pictures up and have the children sort the nocturnal from the diurnal animals. You can also use the pictures to create a memory game. Place the cards face down on a table. Children have to match two nocturnal or two diurnal animals to have a match. The child with the most pairs at the end of the game wins.