What animal arouses more emotion, controversy, interest, anger, compassion and awe than deer? They live throughout the United States, in the cities, the country and the suburbs. Deer are magnificent and fascinating to watch if you are lucky enough spy one, can provide a delicious and healthy food source and can wreak havoc in gardens, woodlands and on roadways. Grown ups know them for all of these qualities and, love ’em or hate ’em, they provide an awesome opportunity to promote nature appreciation in children.
Many species of deer make this country their home, but the one most often seen and known by people is the White-tailed deer. They are the the most abundant big game animal in North America. Their habitat is mainly woodlands and they live in families made up of females and fawns or several males (except during mating season). They are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants. Deer make are an interesting topic because they are so familiar and at the same time so aloof.
If you would like to teach your child(ren) about deer, here are some great links to pages that provide more information for you to use to teach your children:
Nature Activities for Kids Involving Deer
- Go outside or to the nearest park or nature center and look for deer tracks in the snow. They are easy to spot and look like the image posted to the right. Even if you do not see deer tracks, you will most likely see tracks of other animals like squirrels or birds.
- While you are there, look around and look for and discuss what deer might eat.
- If you find tracks, follow them and see where they lead. Discuss where the deer might have been heading.
- Go to the library and search for books about deer.
It is interesting for children to watch families of deer if they live in your area. They are most often seen at dusk and at dawn.