- sticks of a variety of lengths - pretty easy, right?
You may want to add small logs or some flat stones as seats inside your structure.
|Our friend, Lucas, gathering a log to use as a seat.|
|The completed stick fort.|
Discuss how the stick fort is similar to a brush pile for small animals and birds. It provides shelter and protection from both the elements as well as larger animals that might try to harm them. To illustrate this point, you can pretend that you are a larger animal (like a coyote) and your child(ren) are small animals and chase them into the stick fort. Once there, you must abandon your chase because you are too big to follow them inside, thus leaving them safe.
|Picture of a natural brush pile taken on our Winter Nature Hike.|
The stick fort that you created is similar to brush piles found in nature. A wide variety of animals use brush piles for shelter, places to rear young and sometimes even as a food source. You can often find tracks of small animals such as squirrels, chipmunks and even rabbits around a brush pile. In addition, there are many ground nesting birds, such as juncos, spotted towhees and house wrens that may build their nests inside a brush pile. Reptiles can also be found in brush piles and in some parts of the country, there are even certain butterflies that will overwinter in a brush pile.
The spring is a great time to build a brush pile as you are cleaning up your yard from the winter season. (They are also a great way to recycle old Christmas trees!) A well-designed brush pile will last for years and can be fairly tall, from 4 to 8 feet, so you will need to think carefully about where you want to place it on your property and consider the tolerance of your neighbors. In addition, some communities have regulations surrounding brush piles, so be sure to check those out as well. The Human Society has a good overview of building a brush pile and you can also download a pdf for building a "Rabbitat" (which I think is hilarious!) from the State of Virginia with some clear directions.
website for more information. We plan on getting certified this summer!
Science Process Skills Used In This Activity:
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I hope you enjoy this activity! If you try it, please leave me a comment to let me know how it goes!Pin It