For kids, it can be easy to get animals like deer, elk, reindeer and moose mixed up, being that they all belong to the same family. Help your kids learn the differences between these similar animals by focusing on each one separately. If you are focusing on moose one day, plan a variety of kid-friendly educational activities that teach your kids all about moose, their characteristics and habitats.
1. Books about Moose
Read both non-fiction and fiction books that feature moose and help your kids learn more about them. For kids 4 and older, read "Welcome to the World of Moose," by Diane Swanson, which uses photographs and interesting facts to teach kids about moose. Also for kids 4 and older, the fiction book, "If You Give a Moose a Muffin," by Laura Joffe Numeroff, follows a little boy trying to be nice to a guest moose who ends up needing a lot more than just a muffin.
2. Moose Arts and Crafts
Help your kids make paper moose faces using their hands and feet. Let your kids press one bare foot into brown paint, then step onto a white sheet of construction paper. They can then press both hands into the paint and press them on either side of the heels to make the antlers. When the paint dries, your kids can add googly eyes and a nose to their moose creations. You can also have the kids make paper bag moose puppets by cutting out a long, oval nose shape from brown construction paper and pasting it to the bottom flap of a brown paper bag. Have the kids cut out antler shapes from light brown construction paper as well to paste to the corners of the bag for the antlers.
3. Moose-themed Games
Young children can play a moose version of "duck, duck, goose," using "deer, deer, moose," or a similar animal. They could also call out other "M" animals, like monkey and mouse, to trick the kids into thinking they are going to say moose. To play a habitat-needs game, divide the kids in half and line them up a few yards apart, facing away from each other. One line of kids will be moose and the other line will be habitat needs. The moose kids will each choose between needing food by holding their stomach, water by putting their hand to their mouths or shelter by holding their hands over their heads. The other kids will then choose which habitat need they wish to be. When you say go, have the kids turn around and face each other and the moose run to the person who matches the need they have. Whoever is left without a match is eliminated or joins the habitat-need side.
4. Visit Real Moose
Take your kids to a zoo near you that has moose, allowing your kids to see these gigantic animals up close. If you live in a state where moose are prevalent, such as in Alaska and northern states that border Canada, you could get lucky and spot moose in their natural habitats on a trip to a state park or national park. For those that don't live near any zoos or areas that have moose, you can also take your kids on a virtual tour online to look at learn more about moose, or pick up some educational wildllife DVDs that feature moose.