Thursday, June 27, 2019

Critter Camp (Week 2) - Water

During the second week of Critter Camp, we had old and new faces come to the Bean Museum to learn about water animals. First, we talked about how water covers the majority of the earth, and how there is fresh and saltwater ecosystems. We started with saltwater and colored pictures of fish while we learned the different parts that they have. Next, we watched a video to see how fish swim and did a fish dance around classroom! We also learned about deep sea fish and how some of them use their light to lure prey. We played red light green light with a flashlight to help teach the kids about angler fish. After fish, we learned about sharks and stingrays. We used paper plates, googly eyes, and crayons to make our own stingrays! The kids had so much fun creating and coloring their paper plate rays.

Next we learned about sea creatures without bones. We talked about octopuses, jellyfish, and learned how hermit crabs leave their shell to find a bigger one! We also talked about sea mammals and how their blubber keeps them warm in the cold oceans. We went outside and did an activity to learn more about blubber. The kids put baggies over their hands and then put them in a bowl filled with ice. After they felt how cold the ice was, they put their hands in again, but this time they put their hands in a baggie filled with shortening and they couldn’t feel the cold anymore! We can’t forget about the sea turtles! We learned how sea turtles come to land to lay their eggs and once the eggs hatch, the baby sea turtles crawl to the ocean. We went outside for this activity and the kids looked for baby sea turtles at the bottom of some bedding. Once they found their sea turtle, they ran through an obstacle course of crabs to make it to the ocean. 

Lastly, we learned about freshwater animals. We talked about how places like lakes, ponds, and rivers are called wetlands. One freshwater animal we talked about were turtles. We learned the different parts of their shells and how their webbed feet help them swim in the water. We even brought out one of our live turtles so the kids could see the different parts up close. Next we talked about how almost all water animals have webbed feet. We went outside for an activity to help us better understand this concept. We had the kids try to move ping pong balls floating in a pool filled with water with just their fingers. After a few attempts, we told the kids to put baggies on their hands and try again. They were able to move the ping pong balls much more easily! For our last activity, we combined all the things we learned and went on a water animal scavenger hunt around the museum. Once the kids found the correct animal, they received a sticker!

Thursday was our field trip day, and the kids came to the Bean Museum ready for an adventure! Our first stop was at a wetland area near Heber City. We walked along a boardwalk while we looked for water animals. We saw Red-Winged Black Birds, lots of ducks, and even an Osprey! We also saw other water animals like dragonflies and fish. On our way back to the vans, one of the kids noticed a bird nest and it had baby chicks inside! Once we got back to the vans, we ate our snack, and headed back to the museum for a bathroom break and to fill up our water bottles. Our second location was the BYU botany pond. Each child received a baggie with chopped grapes to feed the ducks. We saw many turtles and some female ducks who had chicks following them around! It was a great end to our water week of Critter Camp.

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