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I Love the Night Life - Exploring Nocturnal Animals

Whooooooo knows what a NOCTURNAL ANIMAL is? A nocturnal animal is an animal that is awake during the night and does the majority of it’s sleeping during the day! Some examples of nocturnal animals are owls, bats, opossums, fireflies, foxes, hedgehogs, and more!

Because nocturnal animals are awake during the night when it is very dark, they must rely on their senses to help them get around, find food, and even to communicate! Do you know what your “senses” are? They are touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell!

Nocturnal animals have heightened senses to help them in the dark. Owls have large tubular eyes which allow them to see very well in the dark, opossums have a high sense of smell, bats use echolocation (sound) to get around, and fireflies use bioluminescence (light) to talk to each other.

Please send photos of you participating and/or your finished product to


What you need: - Bat blindfold (a scarf will do!) - scissors and crayons - A partner! How to do it:

Choose one person to be the “Bat” and one person to be the “Noise”.

Cover the eyes of the “Bat” with the blindfold. (If anyone is uncomfortable wearing the blindfold, they may simply close their eyes for this game). The “Noise” then moves to another part of the room and claps their hands.

Can the “Bat” uses echolocation (their hearing) to find the “Noise”? With eyes still closed, point to where you think the “Noise” is in the room! Take turns being the “Bat” and the “noise”!


What you need: - Large Eyes – Paper(black background, white, brown or yellow for feathers, orange for beak & feet, star stickers) - Glue

How to do it:

Have you ever seen an owl? Where was it? What colour was it? Manitoba is home to more than 10 kids of owls including the Eastern Screech owl, the Great Grey owl and the Snowy owl!

To make your owl, choose a colour of paper and tear small pieces for the owl’s feathers. Tearing small pieces of paper is very good for helping to develop the small muscles in your child’s hands. If you would like to practice using scissors, cut some long strips of paper and have your child cut them into smaller pieces. Next, place the “feathers”(cut up paper) on the background paper in a circle. How big will your owl be? Time to add your owl’s eyes, beak and feet! Cut or tear orange pieces in the shape that you think a beak and owl feet would be. Where do you think they should go on your owl? Will you give your owl a name? What do you think your owl would sound like? Where do you think your owl would live?

WHAT'S IN THE BOX What you need: - box - cinnamon stick - Green (glow in the dark) “rock” (can be purchased at Dollarstore) - and various other items of your choice.

How to do it: Have you ever been in your bedroom and smelled food cooking in the kitchen? Some animals, like the nocturnal opossum, use their sense of smell to find things that they would like to eat at night!

Place the cinnamon stick in the box. Place it on a table and step away. Can you smell it? How close must you be before you can smell the cinnamon? Take turns with a partner placing smelly things in the box and see if you can each guess what is in the box!

Bioluminescence is light that is caused by a chemical reaction in a living thing. Use some glue to place eyes onto your green “rock” to create your very own glow-bug! Place your glow-bug in your dark box, peek in to see if you can see it!

NIGHT SCENE What you need: - Black paper - Eyes - chalk - odds and ends, leaves, sticks, etc. How to do it:

Have you ever seen animal eyes at nighttime? Sometimes when you’re driving in your car at night you can see animal eyes on the side of the road. “Eyeshine” happens when lights shine on some animal’s eyes, like a tiny mirror reflecting the light back to you!

Create your own night scene on a black paper. Where will your scene take place? Use chalk to draw outlines of trees and buildings. Collect some leaves and sticks to create a forest. How many eyes will be shining in the darkness? What kind of animals do they belong to? You can glue everything down if you choose, or you can simply place, remove it and place again!

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