Before school starts, fill your backpack with a few special things and take a safari in your own back yard! When people go on safari, they are looking for things, listening for things, and keeping track of what they see. You may think you’ve seen everything in your back yard, but if you pack your backpack and set out for an adventure, we bet you’ll see something new.
Got a friend who’d like to go on safari with you? Ask him or her to pack a backpack, too!
Note for parents or grandparents: You may need to help your child round up a few of these items and print the activity sheets below.
What you’ll need in your backpack:
- a pencil
- crayons or markers
- plain paper
- activity sheets (printable below)
- a clear jar or container with a lid with holes in it
- a beach towel
- your favorite snack
- a bottle of water (it gets hot outside!)
1. Draw a map of your back yard, using the activity sheet provided. Draw your porch, swingset, the trees, and everything your back yard has. Now, mark with an “X” your favorite spot in your yard. Is it where you like to play? Where you like to hide?
2. Spread out your towel and lay down on your tummy. Get really close to the ground and look around in the grass. Can you see the dirt? What color is it? Dark brown or kind of red? Do you see bugs? What kind? Does your yard have worms? They are very good for the soil. Can you catch a bug or two to put in the clear jar so you can get a closer look? Remember to only keep them for a few minutes and to let them go when you’re finished looking.
3. What kind of animals live in your yard? Your dog or cat? Squirrels? What else? Use the activity sheet to list a few of the animals and bugs and birds that you’ve seen in your back yard. Remember to think about those animals you can’t see as well as the ones you can! Once you’ve made your list, draw one of the animals that lives in your back yard.
4. Spread out your towel and lay down on your back. Look up at the sky? What color is it today? Bright blue? Are there lots of clouds? What shapes do you see in the clouds? Sure, they look like big fluffy pillows, but what else do they look like?
5. While laying on your towel, close your eyes. What sounds do you hear? The dog barking? A bird chirping? Kids playing? Your mom calling you? There are so many sounds around us all the time that sometimes, if we aren’t paying attention, we miss them. Did you hear anything new? Using the activity sheet, list the sounds you heard in your back yard.
6. Now, find your favorite spot in the yard. That one you marked with an “X” on your map. Take your towel, sit down, and enjoy a snack right there, in that spot. Eating outside is really fun!
Click on these images for full-size activity sheets. To print the sheets, Adobe Reader is needed. Click here to install Adobe Reader if you do not have it.
Kids Week is presented by The North Carolina Zoo
Visit the North Carolina Zoo and connect with wildlife from two different continents as you explore 500 acres of exhibits carefully constructed to resemble natural habitats. Walk from Africa’s grasslands to North America’s Arctic coast and learn how the Zoo works to conserve and protect wild things and wild places.
For tickets and additional information, visit nczoo.com.
The North Carolina Zoo
4401 Zoo Parkway
Asheboro, N.C. 27205