Although we can’t enjoy beaches or picnics, wintertime offers it’s own splendor. With small children, each season offers an opportunity to learn, grow, and play. Check out our list of recommended picture books on hibernation, fun facts about hibernation, and a simple play idea that you can share with your children!
- Animals that hibernate in the winter include bears, chipmunks, box turtles, bumblebees, bats, hedgehogs, garter snacks, snails, skunks, and wood frogs.
- Animals who hibernate eat a lot of food during the summer and fall. All this food helps to build fat to keep them warm during the cold winter season.
- During hibernation an animal’s heart rate can slow to about 10 beats per minute. By comparison, the average adult human heartrate ranges from 60 to 100 bpm (beats per minute)
- While some hibernating animals will wake briefly during hibernation to eat or go to the bathroom, many will sleep for the entire winter!
- The wood frog can freeze and thaw multiple times during hibernation.
- As the weather gets colder, turtles will burrow in the mud at the bottom of ponds.
- Brown bats slow their bodies so much that they only need to take a breath every 2 hours.
To further your lesson about hibernation, all it takes is some snacks, some pillows, and some blankets. Ask your child to choose a hibernating animal to pretend to be. They can growl like a bear, flap their wings like a bat, or hop like a frog.
Put out some yummy snacks like grapes, carrot sticks, and crackers. Have your child forage the “forest” (aka your living room) for their food before winter.
Tell your child that winter is nearly here! It’s time to find some shelter. Encourage them to build a shelter using pillows and blankets.
Oh! Here comes snow! It’s time to crawl, slither, or hop their way to their cozy dens. Once inside, pretend to get some shut eye or enjoy some quiet time reading some books.