This past weekend, we attended a fun nature class at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. This free class for children aged 5+ and their family, called Family Nature Hour, is held on Saturday afternoons throughout the year. Each week a different concept from the natural world is covered. The one we attended on Saturday was about animal tracks.
We were fortunate to have the naturalist to ourselves on Saturday, as no other families attended. To teach my son about animal tracks, first the naturalist laid out photos of animals that might be seen in Coyote Hills and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. These included pictures of…
- Mountain Lion
She also included photos of bears (both grizzly and black), even though they aren’t found in our area.
Then she pulled out rubbery samples of the footprints of these animals. She had my son match the footprints to the pictures, while discussing the differences between a dog and cat print, bear, etc. Very cool.
After my son matched up all the prints, the naturalist took us out on a walk to look for real animal tracks. She knew of an area that would have some. There we found the tracks of coyote, deer, and skunk.
Lastly, we returned to the visitor center classroom to do one more activity. My son made a print of an animal of his choice (using Crayola Model Magic). He chose mountain lion. Now we have a perfect mountain lion print at home for us to use as a reference for the ones we may find while hiking!
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