As part of our Arctic animals theme, we learned about the Arctic fox. My 4-year-old recently picked up a book about Arctic foxes at the library and requested we learn about them. Absolutely! (This tends to happen a lot, which is why my girls and I know many interesting tidbits about different animals.) The Arctic fox turned out to be much more fascinating than I first thought. One thing that stood out for all of us was how different the fox looked in winter and summer. This simple observation turned into a fun lesson in camouflage and how animals adapt to their surroundings. We also did an easy art project based on what we learned to provide a visual reminder of how the Arctic fox uses camouflage.
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Construction paper (blue, white, brown)
Paint (white, brown, green)
Before beginning the project, I used a ruler to draw a line down the middle of our blue paper. One half for the summer and the other half for the winter. We used our white paint to create a snowy landscape for our winter Arctic fox.
We then used our brown and green paint to create our summer landscape. The Arctic tundra is not lush and green in the summer. Instead, you will see more dirt and rocks with low-lying plants. (This picture from National Geographic is a good example of what you would see.)
Once our painted landscapes were complete, use cut simple fox figures from our construction paper. We made the winter fox from white paper and the summer fox from brown paper. We then used our black marker to draw the details. Miss Preschool observed that the Arctic fox was both brown and black in the summer, so she added some black stripes and patches with the marker.
Once the paint was dry, we glued our foxes onto the correct landscape. We then used our marker to label the different scenes summer and winter. Once we were done we had a great reminder of how the Arctic foxes uses camouflage and adapts to its surroundings.
For more information about the Arctic fox:
- What does the fox say? I know you've been wondering that this entire time! Go to the page on the Arctic fox from BBC Nature, scroll down a bit until you see the heading "sounds." Go ahead, click on it, and find out what the fox really says.
- Ranger Rick magazine has a online reprint of their article, "First Summer," an account of an Arctic fox's first summer. It has a lot of kid-friendly information, plus you can find several pictures of the Arctic fox in summer.
- Go the your local library and find a fun book about Arctic foxes. We read Arctic Foxes (Arctic Animals) by Julie Murray.