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Searching for Animal Homes

 Posted by on March 26, 2012
Mar 262012

This post was written as part of the DailyBuzz Moms March 9×9: Spring Fever Challenge!  9 of us were selected to share our ideas for celebrating spring’s arrival.  The 9 posts will be featured at DailyBuzz Moms on March 29.

Spring is the time of year when animals make their appearance.
The birds are nesting and singing.
It’s finally nice enough to enjoy being outside.
What a perfect time to go out and look for signs of nature.
Why not go on a hunt for animal homes?

Go take a walk around your neighborhood, the park, or a trail.

  • Be on the lookout for places animals live.
  • Grab a camera a take pictures of what you find. 
  • If your little one has a camera, let him or her take pictures, too.  
  • Take a notebook and draw pictures of what you see.  

Here are some questions to ask while you are exploring:

  • What animals do you see?
  • Where do animals live?
  • What animal(s) live in a tree (or whatever location you are looking at)?
  • Where does ________ (name of animal) live?

Where else can you find animals?  How about in a dead tree?  Or a fallen branch?  Do you see the ants in the sidewalk crack?


Pair this outside adventure with the book My Very First Book of Animal Homes by Eric Carle.

The book is divided into a top half and bottom half.  On the top half of the book, each page has an animal home and the name (Example:  “cave” and a picture of a cave)  The bottom half of each page has a picture of an animal.  The goal of the book is to match the animal home to the animal that lives there.  (Example: the bat lives in the cave).

Here is an example of how we read the book.

Me:  Who lives in a  nest? {point to nest}
Aiden:  A bird lives in a nest.  Has babies.  {we flip through to find the bird}

Me:  Who lives in a burrow?  {point to burrow}
No answer from Aiden. {we flip through the animals}
Me:  Do cows and horses live in a burrow?
Aiden:  Nooo…  {flip page}
Me:  Does a mouse live in a burrow?
Aiden:  Noooo…
Me:  Yes, a mouse can live in a burrow.

Me:  Who lives in a tree?  {point to tree}
Aiden:  A squirrel lives in a tree!   {we flip through to find the squirrel}
{I flip to the beginning of the animals.}
Me:  Does a fish live in a tree?
Aiden:  Nooo…  {flip page}
Me:  Can bees live in a tree?
Aiden:  Yes!
Me:  Yes, some bees live in trees.  {flip page}
Me:  Does a dog live in a tree?
Aiden:  Yes!
Me:  No.  Dogs don’t live in trees, but they can lie under trees in the shade. {flip page}
Me:  Does a bird live in a tree?
Aiden:  It’s too big.
Me:  No, this bird isn’t too big.  Some birds make their nests in trees. {flip page}
We continue through the animals deciding if they could live in a tree or under a tree or no where near a tree.

The more we read the book, the more Aiden knows the correct answers, but sometimes he likes to be silly and say things like penguins can live in trees.  We just have a fun laugh.  Then, he’ll say they live in the water or on ice.

Add some activities or crafts to your learning about animal homes.

Recreate an animal home using props around your house.

We created a cave using blankets and pillows.
{Boxes make great caves, too!}


Paint or draw animal homes.  As you are creating the homes, talk about who lives there.

Aiden painted a river.  Together we used different brushes and sponges to create a body of water.  Aiden decided it was a pond.

Aiden colored a picture.  I asked what he was drawing, and he said it was a tree with birds and planes.  On the back, he asked that I draw a birds nest with eggs.  Then, he proceeded to color a tree for the nests and a bunch of other things.

Use your thumbs to paint a beehive like Artsy Craftsy Mom.

Use recyclables to create animal homes.  I made a tree using cardboard tubes.  Aiden took it apart before we could finish it.  Here’s a much better cardboard tube forest from Creativity My Passion.

From boxes, make a jungle or a horse stable like Cathy shares at NutureStore.  Or follow A Little Learning for two‘s footsteps and make an underground burrow.

Use bubble wrap to create a beehive like Juggling with Kids did.

Check out my Animal Homes Pinterest board for more great activities and crafts.


I challenge you to go search for animal homes where you live.  Will you accept the challenge?


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  10 Responses to “Searching for Animal Homes”

  1. It is wonderful that you share books with your child in an interactive way…not just reading the words as they are on the page. When we let the child interact with the story they become excited, engaged and learn so much more when you add to the words on the page.

  2. Great ideas & great post! Congrats on being featured in the 9×9… it was so much fun!!

  3. This is darling. I try to make my grandkids aware of the living things around us. Thanks for the post. Linda

  4. I love your ideas for brining the book to life! Your tree is amazing! I pinned this post!

    • Thanks so much! You may be a little too kind about the tree. My son hated it, but that’s probably because I was stealing his tunnel ramp. Too bad he took all of the branches off before I could add some leaves. Then, it might have been cool. :)

  5. I’m putting this book on my wish list for spring! My son is just starting to point out birds and different animals outside, so I know he’d enjoy this! He also loves to play make-believe, so we’ll have to make our own cave at home, too!

    • I’m so glad I could share this book with you! We love it and all of the ideas that come from it. Learning about animals and their homes is fun. :)

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