This week’s nature kits focus on the different sounds that we hear outside. From the calling of birds to the whistling of wind to the crunching of leaves—nature is alive with its own special type of music.
Every Saturday, nature kits have been given out on a first-come, first-served basis from 10:00 am–12:00 pm. Nature kits focus on a different theme each week and are meant to be done along our trails. If you can’t make it out to the Center to pick up a kit, make sure to check our blog each week for ways to get in some nature exploration at home.
Activity #1: Sound Scavenger Hunt
In our own neighborhoods, there are sounds specific to nature and sounds not specific to nature.
- Print out a sound scavenger hunt and go on a hike to see if you can hear the sounds on the sheet.
- As you hike around, pause at a few points and cup your hands around the back of your ear to look like the ears of a deer. This helps to amplify sound or make it louder.
- Animals like deer and rabbits have large cup-shaped ears so that they can listen for predators such as foxes and coyotes.
- Which sounds on your scavenger hunt sheet are sounds from nature? Which are sounds that are not from nature? Are there any sounds that you hear that aren’t on the scavenger hunt sheet?
Activity #2: Animal Charades
- Take a piece of paper and cut it into strips.
- Brainstorm some animals that make distinct sounds and write (or draw for younger children) one animal on each piece of paper.
- Put all of the slips of paper in a brown paper bag.
- Go outside and find the perfect stage to perform your charades.
- Have one person from your family pick a piece of paper from the brown bag and make the sound that that animal makes.
- Can everyone else guess what animal it is?
- Have another person take a turn.
- For an extra challenge, split your family into teams and see who can get through the most animals in a set amount of time.
- Which animal sounds were really easy to guess? Which were really hard?
Activity #3: Family Nature Band
- It’s time to create your very own rock band!
- Have each member of your family find a nature instrument.
- Some examples include: using a rock and stick for a drum set, making an xylophone out of different sized sticks, or just grabbing some leaves to crunch.
- Have one person from your family act as a conductor.
- When the conductor moves their hands quickly, the music should go faster.
- When the conductor moves their hands slowly, the music should slow down.
- The conductor can also tell certain people when to stop or start playing.
- Point to someone to tell them to start playing.
- Act as though your hand is a mouth and clamp your fingers together to tell someone to stop playing.
- Can you put together your own family song?
Activity #4: Jingle Sticks
- Find a Y-shaped stick in your backyard or a nearby park.
- Tie a piece of yarn onto one side of the stick.
- String materials that would make sound through the yarn.
- Some examples include: dried pasta, beads, or buttons.
- Once your materials are added, tie the yarn off on the other side of the stick.
- You can wrap the bottom of your stick in yarn or color it with paint.
If you do any of these activities, be sure to snap a picture and share it with us on social media (tag us @schuylkillcenter)—we’d love to see what you discover in your own backyard!