“Hallo!” said Piglet, “what are you doing?”
“Hunting,” said Pooh.
“Tracking something,” said Winnie-the-Pooh very mysteriously.
“Tracking what?” said Piglet, coming closer
“That’s just what I ask myself. I ask myself, What?”
“What do you think you’ll answer?”
“I shall have to wait until I catch up with it,” said Winnie-the-Pooh. “Now, look there.” He pointed to the ground in front of him. “What do you see there?”
“Tracks,” said Piglet. “Paw-marks.” He gave a little squeak of excitement. “Oh, Pooh! Do you think it’s a–a–a Woozle?”
“It may be,” said Pooh. “Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. You never can tell with paw- marks.”
—Chapter 3, Winnie-the-Pooh
I love Winnie-the-Pooh. This bit about tracking “woozles” from Chapter 3 has always made me laugh. What better way, then, to honor Winnie-the-Pooh’s legacy but with our own tracking fun. I decided to use Winnie-the-Pooh‘s chapter on “woozle” tracking as a mini-lesson in animal footprints in general. Our recent snow made the perfect template for playing with footprints.
I was afraid we’d have no snow with which to do our tracks activities, and was planning on using homemade “snow.” But at the last minute, we were lucky enough to get a powdering of snow (and bitter temperatures to go with it!) The other obstacle we face is that we live in a highly populated area, so we don’t often see many large animals in our yards. We do have smaller ones, though, so we could see some.
Before we went out to make our own prints in the snow, we read Who Was Here?: Discovering Animal Tracks by Mia Posada. This is a “guessing” book which has rich illustrations of animal prints, coupled with delightful rhymes. Each of these animal track pages ends with the question: “Who Was Here?” The answer is only told on the next page, which also has a paragraph about the tracked animal. Raisin loved guessing what animals were represented by the print, and enjoyed reading the paragraph about the animals. Strawberry looked forward to turning the page to find out if he was right.
The it was time to play out in the snow ourselves. Of course the kids loved this! As we’ve been out and about, we’ve seen animal prints, but I must admit it was difficult to get to them before they had been trampled by someone.
As they played, I hearkened back to Winnie-the-Pooh to ask questions about the marks they saw in the snow.
- Who’s footprint is that? How do you know? Why do your footprints all look the same, but your brother’s look a little different?
- I see more prints now! Has a woozle come along? Let’s look for woozle prints over there.
- What was the difference between the moose tracks in the book and the cat prints? Let’s make a copy of them.
- How are our footprints different if we drag our feet?
The highlight of playing in the snow, of course, is trying to obliterate any clean snow in the yard by covering it all with their prints! Ezra Jack Keat’s The Snowy Day was a perfect conclusion to our Winnie-the-Pooh inspired snow fun!
See more Winnie-the-Pooh inspired projects at the Winnie-the-Pooh day project page. (Click the image to get there.)
Make These Cute Paper Plate Piglets from Peakle Pie
Winnie the Pooh Book Review from Witty Hoots
Winnie-the-Pooh’s Honey Snacks from Kelly’s Classroom
Playing Winnie the Pooh’s Favourite Game – Pooh Sticks from Play & Learn Everyday
Where in The World is Winnie The Pooh? from Castle View Academy
Simple Art for Little Girl’s Room With Free Printable from Play Dough & Popsicles
DIY Winnie The Pooh Letters from Adventures of Adam
Whimsical Winnie the Pooh Kids Birthday Party from Crafty Mama in ME
Paper Plate Winnie the Pooh Craft from In the Playroom
Winnie the Pooh Play Doh Invitation to Play from Something 2 Offer
Honey Playdough from Glue Sticks & Gumdrops
Winnie the Pooh Sensory Bin from Raising Little Superheroes
Tracking Woozle: Animal Footprints from Line upon Line Learning
DIY Winnie The Pooh Figurines from Mama Smiles
Winnie the Pooh Characters Puppets and Play from Creative World of Varya
first image in the post copyright Pavel Lovesky/Dollar Photo Club.