After our walk around the neighborhood searching for urban wildlife shelters, the kids have been wanting more! We had a circle where we brainstormed about what makes a good shelter for an animal. We knew that they needed a space to sleep, stay warm, hide from dangerous things like predators (or rambunctious children) and maybe even a place to get some food.
Lucky for us, right outside our window we saw lots of spaces that could work as a shelter for our neighborhood wild things. A small group of children and I went out to find as many safe spaces as we could. Armed with little orange flags and our trusty field notes, the group was on the hunt.
Before we step outside, I show them that on my field notes I have written the date and titled the page so I can go back and review it later. This is where I will write down and describe all of the children’s discoveries and what qualities they think the space has to make it a good home for a local animal.
The first spot was found by MH. He imagined it would be a good home for ants, spiders and maybe even a raccoon. AB added that it could be a warm place to sleep.
We found potential homes in stumps, under stumps, the garden bed soil, ivy in the lot next door, under the shed, cracks in the base of the elephant wall but the place where we found an ACTUAL animal home was in the Tulip Tee. High above our heads we noticed a nest! It looked differently from the nests we’d seen before. Instead of being made of light materials like grass it was made of big, thick sticks. We all had our ideas about what animal might made such a big nest. Crows? Eagles? Squirrels? We’ll have to do more research to find out.
While we were so busy looking up, EB and DB found a little bug, we called it a centipede, wiggling its way into the dirt by the roots of the Tulip Tree. We wondered about all the animals that might be using this one giant tree as a home.