Autumn is the perfect season for exploring local wildlife & habitats. It's also a perfect time to discover which animals hibernate & why. Here are 6 activities that explore hibernation, hedgehogs & more.
1. Build a Hedgehog House in your backyard.
3. Discover the life of Nocturnal Animals in a Small World Play Scene
4. Explore number recognition, simple maths & motor skills with these cute Counting Hedgehogs.
5. Build your own den for winter, what would you take with you if you were hibernating? A great activity to get children thinking about supplies & items they would need over the winter. Food, water, blankets, books, toys, I wonder what they would choose? Do animals store the same things, what do they take & why?
6. Go on a walk one evening with your family once it's dark. What animals or birds can you see & hear? Are they the same animals & birds you see/hear during the day? Does it feel colder or warmer in the evening, how do nocturnal animals keep warm?
There are also many great books available for children exploring hibernation, here are just four of our favourites.
"Hibernation Station" by Michelle Meadows & Kurt Cyrus is an ideal book to share with preschoolers. It introduces a selection of animals that hibernate in fun & memorable story. Rhyming text & beautiful illustrations make this a great book for bedtime reading too.
"A Little Bit of Winter" by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell is a beautiful story about two friends (hedgehog & rabbit) who have to say goodbye to each other as hedgehog goes off to hibernate for the winter. Rabbit saves some snow for hedgehog so he can see what winter is like when they are reunited in the Spring. I love the way this story covers three seasons & the changes they bring for the wildlife. Bold print & repeated text make this a great book for 3-5yrs.
"The Bear's Winter House" by John Yeoman & Quentin Blake is a wonderful read. Why is bear collecting branches & building a house for winter? The other animals can't work it out, that is until winter arrives when all becomes clear. Wonderful story & gorgeous illustrations have made this a seasonal classic!
"Hibernation" by Robin Nelson is a great non-fiction book for all the questions surrounding hibernation. Why do some animals hibernate? Where do they go, & what do they do? Colourful detailed photographs are accompanied by a single sentence on each page, making it a great book for early readers. It also contains fun facts & a helpful explanation of hibernation.