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Day 29: Looking under logs and rocks and a nature riddle

Outdoor activity ideas and inspiration

From mid-March to the end of May 2020, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) posted a simple outdoor activity idea and nature riddle for kids every weekday. Some days we also posted other resources, like downloadable chapters of the Junior Ranger Activity Book.

Created to support parents who found themselves homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, these activity ideas are a great jumping off point for any outdoor adventure. Click here for a list with links to all 50 activity ideas.

Nature riddle

What animal has a tail that is so long and fluffy in winter that it serves like a comforter to keep the animal warm while it is curled up asleep? Click here to read more about this fascinating animal.

Looking under logs and rocks

A red-backed salamander found under a rock near Harpswell Community School (Mary Ann Nahf photo)

Now that the woods are starting to get a little warmer, it’s a great time to go looking for creatures in the world outside. Try rolling over a log or flipping a rock to see what you can find underneath! If you have a magnifying glass, bring it along—some of the creatures that live in the soil can be really tiny. Always remember to be gentle and to put animals, logs and rocks back in exactly the same places you found them. If you’re having trouble finding living creatures under rocks and logs, try a different area, especially somewhere with pretty wet soil.

What did you find?

  • Some creatures that live in the soil slither, crawl or hop—can you find some that move in each of these ways?
  • Can you find any egg clusters?
  • What about colors—how many can you find? Were there any colors you didn’t expect to see?
  • Can you find a creature with more than four legs? More than 10?
  • Were there mushrooms or plants growing in the soil under your log or rock?
  • What else did you find?

This activity idea contributed by Emma Levy.