Animal Superheroes

Hello Camp Families! Another week has come to an end. We had so much fun this week learning about different animal superheroes and their superpowers. Here is a summary of what we did each day with some pictures as well.

Monday

Monday’s topic was general adaptations. The activities we did involved all sorts of animals from the past and the present.

An activity we did with the campers was a walk and talk. We took campers upstairs to the evolution gallery to take a look at some superheroes from the past. Even those superheroes adapted some pretty nifty superpowers of their own. One dinosaur we saw was called Deinonychus. Deinonychus was a small, but ferocious theropod with a sharp claw. In fact it’s sharp claws are what gave it its name, which translates to ‘Terrible Claw.’ 

Once the walk and talk through the evolution gallery was down campers had a chance to paint their very own Deinonychus claw.

After the gallery walk and talk we then focused on modern animals and their superpowers that they developed. We did this with a game called I am, You Are. 

Evolution: The Beginning Game was another game that we played. We played it with the older campers just because of its slight complexity. In this game campers are assigned a species and then are in charge of its survival within the ecosystem. Throughout the game they must adapt to the changing ecosystem by choosing traits that are benefical, such as flight or horns to protect against carnivores.

 

 

Tuesday

Tuesday’s topic was about aquatic adaptations.

An activity we did with the campers was an underwater habitat match. As we were sorting the creature to it’s correct zone we talked about the adaptations developed to best suit its environment.

An activity that we did on this day was an Ocean Layer demo. We first talked about the 5 layer break of the ocean and their characteristics. We then started making the model with a glass beaker and some household products. As we added each layer into the beaker we would talk about which animals live in that layer and what superpowers they developed as a result of living there. 

The younger campers were read the classic book Rainbow Fish. Afterwards they colored a rainbow fish of their very own.

The younger campers did a fun activity with scratch art. They made a scratch art fish. The older campers painted a wooden fish. All campers made an underwater habitat for their fish though.

 

Wednesday

Wednesday’s topic was insects. We focused on insects. One insect we talked about was the mighty ant. We actually got to see an ant simulation video they went into more detail about the complex colonies that ants form.

We also talked about spiders  even though they are not insects/bugs, they are still magnificent creatures with awesome superpowers.We talked about some of their superpowers before we started playing a game called spider net. In this game one camper held out a spider web made out of a hula hoop and some tape while the camper on the other side tried to make it through, they were the insect. The way they made it through was by throwing a cotton ball.

We then played a game very similar to GoFish, but it’s called GoBug instead. In this game campers learn about life cycles of bugs and in order to make a set they must have each stage of an insects life cycle.

Finally after all the spider talk, we did a craft where campers spun their own web and created a little spider to go along with it.

Thursday

Nature’s Nightlife

On Thursday we had a visitor from The Leslie Science and Nature Center. She talked to the campers about nocturnal animals, their behaviors and adaptations. She also brought some animals with her to show the campers! She brought an owl, spider, mouse and bat. Take a look below!

Marco Echo

One of the nocturnal animals that we learned about were bats. Bats are not blind, but they do not have the best vision. To navigate at night they use echolocation. After talking more about bats we made some bat masks that we would then use in the game Marco Echo. In this game half of the campers were bats while the other half were moths. The bats had the goal to try and tag the moths by only hearing them.

Campers also played a matching game called napping or nocturnal. In this game campers had to figure out which animals are nocturnal or diurnal. We had already talked about certain characteristics that nocturnal animals typically have, so campers were good at deciding which ones were which.

Friday

Friday was our concluding day. One of the first activities we did today was create-a-creature. Since this week we talked about all sort of animal adaptations now came the time for campers to create their own creature. They could make a creature based off a real animal or make one up completely.

As a review game campers got to play animal adaptation bingo! The first person to win at bingo got to pick a prize from our prize bin. The rest of the campers got a cool bug box though. So nobody went home empty handed.

As a wrap up activity we had adaptation stations set up through out the community room, so that campers could get a feel for some cool animal adaptations.

One of the stations we had was about wings. Birds differ in wing loading size. Long narrow wings provide more lift than short broad ones. To test this out we had twp different sized ‘wings’ that campers could flap to see which one was easier to use.

Another station was the evaporation station. Not all animals can sweat, humans can but animals like elephants must find another way to beat the heat. Elephants will spray themselves with water and then fan themselves with their large ears. In this station campers mimicked this effect by spraying their arms with a spray bottle then fanning themselves with an index card.

 

At our archer fish station and the baleen station campers got to see who each of these animals hunt respectively.

We had a station that showed campers the interesting properties of giraffe spit. Giraffe spit is actually very thick, but for a good reason. When giraffes eat leaves from trees, sometimes the trees have thrones and they end up eating them. Thankfully though there thick spit provides some coating and protection.

The blubber station showed how beneficial it is for certain animals, like whales, seals and penguins to have blubber. Blubber provides insulation for these animals and without it they would surely freeze.