Sloths – Kids
Sloths are the slowest moving mammals in the world. Sloths move so slowly that fungi and algae grow on their fur. In fact, they host an entire ecosystem on their bodies of moths, beetles, cockroaches and even worms!
Activity 1 - Move Like A Sloth
Sloths move along the ground at just two metres (6.5 feet) per minute. I wonder what it would feel like to move as slow as a sloth. Do you think you can do it?
- Ask an adult to help you measure out an area outside that’s two metres in length.
- Start at the beginning of this line and ask an adult or sibling to set a timer for one minute.
- Practice how slow you have to move to cover this area in one minute.
- Then have an adult time you to see how fast you can run this length!
- What was your fastest time?
Activity 2 - Create Your Own Mini Ecosystem
An ecosystem is made up of all living and non-living things in an area. Examples of living things are plants, insects and animals. Non-living things in an ecosystem are water, rocks and sand.
- Find a container like a large bowl or pan.
- Fill it with a layer of dirt and add some non living things such as sticks, stones and sand.
- Now you’re ready to go on a nature hunt for living things. Look for grass, moss, mushrooms to add to your ecosystem.
- Now, look for animals such as an ant, spider, snail or caterpillar that might want to visit the ecosystem you’re creating.
- Place one of these creatures in the habitat you’ve prepared. Observe your critter for a bit and then release it back to where you found it!
- If you want, make some critters out of clay to live in your ecosystem!
Activity 3 - Memory Game
- Go for a nature hike and collect 5 – 15 objects from nature. For example; sticks, feathers, rocks, maple keys, acorns, pine needles, pinecones, moss, different coloured flowers. The more objects the greater difficulty of the game.
- When you get home, spread your items on a baking sheet or a blanket on the ground.
- Spend a couple of minutes memorizing the objects.
- Turn around and close your eyes while an adult removes one of the objects.
- Now turn around and see if you can figure out which item is missing.
- Put the missing item back and start over!
Activity 4 - Finding Producers, Consumers And Decomposers On Nature Hike
Every ecosystem is made up of three components: producers, consumers and decomposers.
Producers are organisms that create food. Examples of producers are trees, plants, lichen and algae.
Consumers eat the food made by producers. Examples of consumers are mammals, snails and spiders.
Decomposers are organisms that breakdown waste products and dead tissue of plants and animals and return nutrients to the soil. Examples of decomposers are organisms like bacteria, mushrooms, fungi, worms and ants.
Go for a nature hike and make a list of producers, consumers and decomposers that you find!
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BECOME AN EARTH PROTECTOR!
There are small lifestyle changes that even if a small portion of us adapted would make a huge difference to protecting our earth.
Consume and Dispose of Less
- Fashion, food, furniture, electronics
- Buy from companies whose operations, supply chains and products are not contributing to rainforest clearing and environmental harm.
- Be mindful of buying products that accelerate rainforest clearing (e.g. soy and palm).
- Buy recycled paper (computer paper, toilet paper, look for products with the FSC logo).
- Reduce your plastic use (shop with reusable bags, use reusable water bottles, glass containers for leftovers). Don’t use coffee pods.
- Reduce your consumption of beef, as that is a key factor in deforestation of the Amazon.