A Blizzard of Snow Lesson Plans for Nannies and Au Pairs

Teaching Kids About Animal Tracks

One of the greatest joys for kids is when they first walk outside after it snows and they leave footprints in the snow. Kids love comparing the different size and shapes of the footprints of their family members. So this week we recommend borrowing The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin, and Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints by Millicent E. Selsam and Marlene Hill Donnelly to teach kids how to identify different animals by their tracks.

First, read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Note that when Peter walked through the snow he left footprints. Then read Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin. This book introduces young children to the tracks that different animals leave in the snow as they hurry to their homes. Children first see the tracks and then follow the footprints into the homes of animals such as a deer, an owl, and a bear — as well as a little girl. Next, read Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints by Millicent E. Selsam and Marlene Hill Donnelly. This inexpensive book offers clear pictures of various kinds of animal tracks such as dogs, cats, raccoons, frogs, rabbits, and other animals. It also presents the reader with several puzzles, asking kids to analyze pictures of tracks. The text is aimed at three- to six-year-olds, but the book is interesting to adults, too.

Identify Family Member Footprints
Have the members of the family and the kids’ friends make footprints in the snow. Notice that each family member and friend has a different sized foot and make different looking footprints. Have the kids compare the difference of their footprints when they walk and run. Measure the distances between footprints. Is it possible to tell if someone was walking or running by looking at their tracks? Ask them if the s the heel strike or ball of the foot more or less prominent? If you don’t live in an area where it snows you can try these activities at the beach or lake in wet sand. You can also do this on the in the backyard by rolling out a long sheet of paper and have kids dip their bare feet in poster paint.

Plastic Animal Toys and Play Dough
Using plastic animal toys and play dough make a series of tracks and then present these to the kids. Let them examine the toys and tracks and try to match the track with the toy animal.

Make an Animal Track Snowy Scene
Print out this guide and this coloring page of different animal prints.  Have the kids color and cut out these animal prints and paste them to the snow scene.

Animal Tracks Book
Karen Cox from PreKindres.com shows how to make an animal tracks book with the kids using free printables found online.

Animal Track Maze
Click here for a fun animal tracks maze for older kids.

Purchase these books quickly by clicking links above or below:

The Snowy Day

Footprints in the Snow

Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints

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