Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center’s “Our Big Backyard Series” will end on Saturday, November 10 with the final program, Getting Ready for Winter. This is a family program designed for 7-10 year-olds to get engaged in learning new and exciting things about our environment and ecosystem. Taught by Camp Director, Jacob Newcomb, he will have a fun morning packed full of educational games and stories to teach the winter survival strategies of New England animals.

“Our woodland animals are doing so many interesting things to prepare for the coming winter, and all of them are unique,” exclaims Jacob in preparation for the program. “Keep an eye open for the animals as they get ready or better yet, come explore and learn how to survive the winter alongside them!” Jacob’s goal is for a fun and informative program! 

So what do animals do during the winter? The program will be is designed to teach the four survival methods most animals use to help them through the winter. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of Hibernation, Migration, Dormant and Active winter survival. Hibernation is a prolonged deep sleep for much of the winter. Migration is the periodical movement from one climate to another. Dormant animals are similar to hibernation in that they sleep but they may wake up, move around and even eat from food stored away. Active animals adapt to the winter and food sources available during that time.

Students will have the opportunity to use hands-on methods of representing each of the strategies. For example, children may be given an alarm clock to represent waking up from hibernation in the spring, a suitcase to represent travel for migration, a pillow for dormant naps, or a bulky winter coat for active animals who brave the weather. As they incorporate the items they become experts of that strategy.  

Once the participants have a strong understanding of the various survival styles, they can put their knowledge to the test by matching photographs of wild animals to the survival methods. After matching an animal to a method they can then think about and explain why those animals might match that type of survival. Finally, Jacob will read the picture book “Mousekin’s Woodland Sleepers,” to wind down the program.