Nocturnal Wonders – Kids
As we are getting ready for bed, many creatures are just waking up. These nocturnal creatures sleep during the day and are awake and active at night. Some examples are bats, skunks, fireflys, tarantulas, and owls. (Some nocturnal animals can be seen during the day but most spend their whole day resting.) Why do these creatures sleep during the day? There are a few reasons. Some are avoiding being eaten by predators, others are avoiding the hot sun of the day. How have these creatures adapted to being awake at night? Some have eyes that allow them to see in the dark. Others have great hearing so they can hear insects in the ground and others have a great sense of smell so they can find food from far away.
Activity 1 - Nocturnal Patterns
Here is fun worksheet.
Activity 2 - Star Gazing Scavenger Hunt
A long time ago people used the stars to navigate. Can you find these four constellations in your night sky?
Activity 3 - Memory Matching Game
You will need to draw a set of nocturnal matching cards. For instance a set of matching bats, a set of matching moons, stars, owls skunks etc. The more sets of cards the more challenging the game.
- Mix up your cards and lay them face down.
- Turn over any two cards. If the two cards match, put them in your winning pile.
- If they don’t match, turn them back over and it is the next persons turn.
- If you made a match, take another turn (your turn continues until you don’t match).
- Try to remember what was on each card and where it was placed for future turns.
- The game is over when all the cards have been matched.
Activity 4 - Moon Journal
As the moon moves around the Earth it appears to change shape. The moon does not actually change shape, it just looks different to us on different days depending on its position between the sun and the earth. We see the bright part of the moon that is facing the sun. The part of the moon facing away from the sun is in darkness. The different shapes we seen on Earth are called the phases of the moon.
On clear nights, go outside and look at the moon. In a notebook, write the date and draw the shape of the moon that night. Some nights the moon will look like a full circle. Other nights it will appear as only a thin crescent or look completely dark. How many different phases of the moon can you document?
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BECOME AN EARTH PROTECTOR!
Research which nocturnal species live near you that are endangered or suffer from habitat loss.
Next join a citizen-led group that works toward creating improved habitat for these creatures. If there’s not one, start your own!