Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


  • To introduce children to mammals.
  • To have each child able to define mammals by two or more characteristics.
  • To expose children to various mammal footprints.
  • To have each child able to identify at least two common, non-domestic mammals.
  • To introduce children to the names of animal offspring.

Books : (In kit)

  • Whose Feet
  • Whose Nose
  • Whose Ears

Equipment : (In kit)

  • 23 pairs of different mammal rubber finger puppet faces
  • 2 boxes of animal tracks with 12 stamps each
  • 1 bag with four sets of foot print stamps
  • 2 bags of 6 jungle animals each
  • 2 bags of rubber animal face hand puppets – 24 total
  • 4 stamp pads
  • 1 Reversible hedgehog puppet
  • 1 Keychain with aimal footprints (black)

Bookmarks : (In kit)

Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF and JPEG copies are available here.

  • PDF – 4 bookmarks per page. Ready to print in color.
  • JPG – single high quality jpeg image.


  • Objectives
    • To introduce children to mammals.
    • To have each child able to define mammals by two or more characteristics.
    • To expose children to various mammal footprints.
    • To have each child able to identify at least two common, non-domestic mammals.
    • To introduce children to the names of animal offspring.
  • Introduction
    • What are mammals? (Warm-blooded, feed the young on mother’s milk, have backbones, have hair)
    • Are there any mammals in the room? (Yes, humans are mammals.)
    • What are some ways we can identify different mammals? (Color of hair/fur, size, habitat, footprints, etc.)
  • Program
    • Show different masks and see who can identify which ones.
    • Go through the list of names of young (baby) mammals.
  • Names of young (baby) mammals
    • Bunny – rabbit
    • Calf – cattle, elephant, antelope, rhino, hippo, whale, etc.
    • Colt – male horse
    • Cub – lion, bear, shark, fox
    • Fawn – deer
    • Filly – female horse
    • Foal – horse, zebra, etc.
    • Heifer – cow
    • Joey – kangaroo, etc.
    • Kid – goat
    • Kit – fox, beaver, rabbit, cat
    • Kitten, Kitty – cats or other small mammals
    • Lamb – sheep
    • Leveret – hare
    • Piglet, suckling – pig
    • Pup – dog, seal, fox
    • Whelp – dog, tiger, beasts of prey
    • Yearling – cattle, sheep, horse, etc.
  • Etc.
    • Fastest mammal – Cheetah – 70 mph
    • Slowest mammal – Domestic Pig – 11 mph
    • Longest life span – Elephant and Hippotamus – 40 years
    • Shortest life span – Opposum – 1 year
    • Longest gestation period – Elephant (African) – 660 days
    • Shortest gestation period – Opposum – 13 days
  • Facts about selected Mammals
    • Camels
      Live in Africa and Asia; 6-7 feet tall at shoulder; 550-1500 lbs.; can carry up to 330 lbs.; can race 10 mph for 100 mi./day; long curly eyelashes to keep out the sand; large mouth 34 teeth; calves can run soon after birth, but stay with mother for several years; hump weighs about 80 lbs. mostly fat – can go days and weeks without water or food; in zoos, eats 8 lbs./day, can drink 50 gallons of water in warm weather.
    • Bobcats
      Live in North America, mostly western in swamps, mounts, and wooded area; keen sight and hearing, hunt at night; live in dens in hollow trees, caves, under rocks; eats rabbits, birds, small rodents; babies born in spring, leave mother in late summer; 30-45 inches long, 16-24 lbs.
    • Elephants
      Largest land animal; largest teeth, largest ears of all animals; skin is 1-2″ thick and weighs a ton, but still bothered by mosquitoes; tusks grow 6-8 feet long, weigh 50-100 pounds; up to 13 feet tall, 7 tons in weight; can go 25 mph, usually 10 mph; trunk can carry 660 lbs., or even small coin; breathes and smells through trunk; four or five toes on front paw, 3 on back legs; lives in Africa or India; pachyderms means thick skinned; trunk weighs 330 lbs.; keen sense of smell, up to a mile away; good hearing and can communicate with other elephants up to 2 miles away; calves live with mother till 12 yrs, males live separately; knock down trees to get to leaves on top–eat 300 lbs. of vegetation each day and 40 gallons of water.
    • Giraffe
      Tallest mammal — 14-18 feet; legs 6 ft; weight 2600 lbs; twigs, leaves, fruit and chews its cud; can go without water for several weeks; lives in Africa in woodlands; tongue is 21 inches; can close nostrils completely to block sand; only 7 neck bones, same as human; 3 ft long tail; two part split hoof; baby weighs 150 lbs. and is 6 ft.; sleep standing up; gallop with hind legs coming in front of front feet; lions are the only mammals to attack adult giraffe, but a giraffe kick could kill a lion; separate front legs and bend to drink.
    • Gorilla
      Largest ape with male 450 lbs., 6 feet; shy and friendly, makes 20 different sounds; lives in central Africa in rain forests near the equator; eats leaves, bark, fruit (only eats meat in captivity; baby is 3-5 lbs. and stays with mother 3-1/2 years, usually rides piggyback; very intelligent and human like.
    • Lion
      Live in woodland and grassy plains, both cool and hot near food supply of deer, antelope, zebra, and other hoofed animals; lions and tigers are largest in cat family 350-400 lbs, 3-1/2 feet high at shoulder, 9 feet long; males have manes to make them look bigger and to soften blows during fights; 30 teeth with no chewing teeth, so swallows the meat in chunks; clawed paws, with retractable claws to keep them sharp; sociable live in groups of 30-35 called a pride; will travel distances for food, but rest for 24 hours after big meal; cubs are 3 pounds, blind and helpless at birth, drink milk until 2 months; 18-24 months can hunt for themselves; if food is scarce, the mother eats and lets cub starve; lion can eat 75 lbs of meat in a meal; good sense of smell, sight, hearing to help stalk prey (which runs faster than it).
    • Polar Bear
      Lives on northern coast of Canada, Greenland, Soviet Union, and Arctic Ocean; hunt seals and other animals, sea birds, lemmings, fish, berries and grasses; 8-11 feet long, 1000 lbs.; thick white fur for warmth and camouflage; keen smell can smell food up to 10 miles away or dens covered with snow and ice; live in dens in cold weather; at birth 10 inches 1-1/2 pounds, stay with mom till 2 years; man is biggest threat to polar bears.
    • Wolves
      Largest of dog family; preys on large hoofed animals, deer, elk moose, but wolves avoid people; live anywhere, but not usually rain forests or desert; 75-100 lbs, 5-6 feet long, 2-1/2 feet at shoulder; excellent vision, keen smell and hearing to find prey more than 1 mile away; 42 teeth with 2 inch fangs; flat back teeth can crush bone to be swallowed; eats up to 20 pounds of meat; can go for 2 weeks without food; live in packs of 8 with hierarchy; live in dens, 1-11 pups weighing 1 lb at birth, blind, deaf and helpless, but eat meat by 3 weeks, independent by 2 months; hunt in packs to surround animal; wolf is endangered species in every state but Alaska
    • Zebra
      Lives in Africa, 4-5 feet tall; chief foe is the lion; eats grasses and other grazing, stay together in herds, so their stripes confuse enemy; tame and easy to train.
  • Mammals in General
    • vertebrate (backbones)
    • feed the young on mother’s milk
    • most zoo and circus animals are now raised in captivity
    • Blue whale is largest mammal
    • live in water, land, can fly
    • smallest mammal is Kitti’s hog-nosed bat of Thailand which is size of bumble bee
    • mammals give their young training and protection
    • mammals have hair (even whales, who have it before birth)
    • warm-blooded and keep a consistent temperature
    • larger more developed brains


Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

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