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How to teach kids about animal body coverings

Horse body coverings
Horse body coverings
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Kids are always fascinated with animals but yet many children do not have an understanding that animals have the covering they do because it is an adaptation to their environment.

Teaching children about animal coverings and adaptation can be really fun by doing the following animal related activity, this activity allows kids to explore animal coverings plus they really have a great time learning with out even knowing it.

Kids love puppets and by incorporating puppets and animal simulated fur, kids gain a thorough understanding of why animals have the covering they do and also how it is different from other animals. This animal body coverings activity is also very tactile which many children learn the best way from and although I think this animal activity is more appropriate for younger children, I believe all ages in elementary school would enjoy learning about animal body coverings in this way. This is an activity that is very appropriate to do in a school environment or a home school environment.

MATERIALS:

Faux fur (which can be purchased at the local craft store or if you are feeling really daring, a dog groomer may be willing to donate fur from grooming. Be sure to check for any allergies first.)

Photos of a variety of animals

Feathers

Waxed Paper

Net produce bags

Popsicle sticks

Tape

Glue

Crayons

Scissors

Coloring sheets: dog, duck, frog and snake (these can be found easily for free by doing a search on the internet.)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Show photos of a variety of animals and discuss their animal coverings. Once the child has a good understanding of animal body coverings and why animals have the covering they do, give the coloring sheets of the animals that were printed.

2. Have the child color each animal using crayons and glue appropriate materials on to the animal coloring sheet to simulate the animal body covering. Dog-faux fur, Duck-feathers, Snake-net, Frog-wax paper.

3. Have the child cut out the animal and glue a popsicle stick on the back to make puppets.

4. For further discussion, hold up photos of animals again such as a fish and ask what other animal also has scales, the child would hopefully hold up their snake puppet. Hold up a photo of a cat and ask what other animal also has fur, the child would hopefully hold up the dog puppet. A variety of activities can be used with the animal puppets.