The International Giraffe Day is coming up. As you might already know, giraffes are in danger of extinction. In the last 15 years their numbers fell 40% due to poaching and habitat loss. They are already extinct in 7 African countries. Giraffe Conservation Foundation designated June 21, the longest day of the year (or the longest night depending on the hemisphere) to celebrate the tallest animal in the world. On this day many schools, organizations, and of course, zoos around the world hold events that raise support, create awareness, and provide deeper understanding of giraffes.
I’m happy that my local zoo scheduled a whole day of giraffe centered activities: a giraffe parade, crafts and special zoo chats about giraffes and their habitat. Check activities in your area! If you can’t find anything interesting, do something giraffey anyway. To help you celebrate Giraffe Day with us, I created some free printables with Fun Giraffe Facts. You can print it here. You will find some facts about giraffe biology, history, math, multiple choice questions, true/false statements, and more.
Our favorite way to play with fact cards is with the dice. Just print the facts, cut them out, and write numbers 1-20 on the back. Keep the cards face down. Then throw die, then two dice, then three, and finish with four until you got every number and read every card. This game is good for the lazy day at the the beach (find a stone for each card to hold them down), or for passing the time on a long train ride or at the doctor’s office.
When I asked my kids, what comes to their minds when I say the word “giraffe,” they said, “long neck.” And when I asked them what STEM activities can they think of in relation to giraffes, they said “measuring giraffe neck.” We can’t measure the real giraffe’s neck, but we rounded up toy giraffes around the house and created a measurement station outside. Since measuring giraffes necks proved to be so much fun, we went ahead and measured their height as well. I like this activity because not only kids are learning numbers and measurement units, they also can practice communicating their reasoning and mathematical thinking.
Math and Measurement
If you want to join us:
- Choose a few objects in the same category to measure (three teddy bears, three books, three soup bowls, or three trucks of different size)
- Measure your objects in different ways ( height, width, tails, necks, paws, width, length, weight, volume, temperature, time)
- Record your results
- Compare your objects (“It is taller than…” “It is heavier than…” “It is hotter than…”)
Standard and Nonstandard Unit Measurement
First, we used a ruler to measure giraffes’ necks in standard units (inches).
Then we also measured their necks with nonstandard units (paper clips, dice, dominoes, LEGOs, and even ice cubes (what can I say, it was a hot day).
My son gave each giraffe a research name and we abbreviated the names. So, Lego Giraffe became L, Real Giraffe became R, and Stuffed Giraffe became S.
If you had fun with this activity, go ahead measure more things: how thick giraffes’ necks are, the length of their hooves, and maybe the size of their ears.
World Giraffe Day – A Quirky Blog Hop
The World Giraffe Day is on June 21st. This blog hop, hosted by Witty Hoots, is all about celebrating Giraffes with interesting crafts, projects, ideas and activities aimed at kids of all ages. Joining in with this quirky blog hop are some wonderful bloggers from around the world:
Witty Hoots shares A Giraffe Round Up
The Jenny Evolution shares Books Featuring Giraffes
Peakle Pie shares How to Make a Giraffe Pencil Holder
Lara Bee UK shares Giraffe Number Sequencing Busy Bag
Something 2 Offer shares Free Giraffe Coloring Pages
PreSchool POWOL Packets shares a Giraffe Science Experiment
Mama Smiles shares an Easy Giraffe Sewing Pattern and Coloring Page
Kids Minds shares Giraffe Science and Math Measurement
Learning Through Play shares Giraffe Hand Print Art
Share your favorite Giraffe post with us, if you are a blogger.