By Colie Haahr, CMNH Educator
This is an active game, but can be done with no running, indoors or outdoors!
Kids love hiding things and finding things, so this is a game that can last for quite a long time, and can be played with just two people or more.
Set up: First, have each player create a snake. You can use pipe cleaners and beads to make a pattern snake. If you do not have materials available to make a pipe cleaner snake, you can color a snake instead by drawing a snake, having your child draw a snake, or using a template.
Game play: Once everyone has decorated or put together a snake, take turns hiding and finding them. There are a few different ways to do this. If younger kids are playing with older kids, a variation that works well is to have a grown up hide all of the snakes, and kids can search for and find only their own snake. This makes the game more fair in that one person will not find all of the snakes right away.
- Use your own house rules for hide and seek: this usually includes no peeking while someone is hiding or hiding items!
Add to the fun: have a “pattern pageant” with a grown up as the judge. Inspect the patterns, ask kids to come up with hidden talents for their snakes, and choose a snake as the winner. Maybe it’s the snake that would blend in best in the natural world, the one with the best pattern, or the child who didn’t do so well in the hide and seek game ;)
Talk about why animals have patterns in nature. Usually, this is to send a message to other creatures, such as “I’m dangerous!,” or to help the animal blend in to stay safe from predators. Some animals have patterns that mimic other things, allowing the animal to appear larger than it really is, or blend in with a different group of animals. Elementary aged kids could do some independent research to see who can find the animal with the best camouflage!
Try this printable paper chain python activity:
If you do not have a printer you can make a paper chain by simply cutting up strips of construction paper or copy paper.
Try this printable spiral snake:
Kids can color it in, but may need help from a grown up to cut it out. These would be neat to hang from the ceiling once completed!
This is a very similar activity, but involves finger painting the snake to create a pattern:
You could also make a pattern like this using the CMNH Wacky Art bubble wrap painting method.