Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.
Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.
- Looking at the top photos, are you surprised that these mountain peaks are a habitat for any kind of animal, let alone a bird like the rock wren?
- The third photo shows a female rock wren in her very beautifully-wrought nest. Are you surprised to read the statistics in the caption, about how many eggs and chicks were preyed on by stoats? What other animals could be likely predators for the rock wren?
- Researcher Susan Walker describes a “carpet of rodents” appearing after a summer and autumn where flowers and trees have fruited heavily. What does this image suggest to you? Are you familiar with the term “mast year?”
- What do you think is meant by the statement that stoats are “Ice Age champions?”
- The images show the beautiful cascade gecko and an alpine weta. The remains of both species have been found in the stomachs of stoats. Butterflies, moths, flatworms, snails, grasshoppers are also preyed on by stoats. How do you think we might be able to help protect these species?
Activity: Painted Trinket Bowls
Turn scratched and worn wooden bowls into a home for trinkets and jewellery using paint testpots.
You will need:
- Small wooden bowls or dishes… even single use plastic cups.
- Sandpaper fine grit
- Painter’s masking tape
- Primer and testpots in your choice of colours
Step One: Gently sand the bowls. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.
Step Two: Prime with a coat of primer, if you have any, to ready the surface for topcoating.
Step Three: Paint with two coats of the base colour. Leave to dry between coats.
Step Four: To create the multi-coloured bowl, use painter’s masking tape to divide the bowl in half then another piece of tape to create a wedge shape. Paint the wedge with two coats of your second colour, leaving it to dry between coats. Remove tape and apply another piece to create the third wedge.
Step Five: Paint the third wedge with two coats of your third colour, leaving it to dry between coats. Remove tape and fill with jewellery – enjoy!