Children are fascinated by the nocturnal world and the elusive animals that inhabit it. Do you know what kinds of nocturnal animals live in your neighborhood? Are there owls, bats, skunks, raccoons, or opossums? Depending on where you live, you can introduce your child to this nocturnal world by taking a nighttime listening walk, or sitting by an open window right before bedtime. In the city you can play detective and look for evidence that nocturnal animals have visited your neighborhood during the night.
Are there footprints in the grass that weren’t there yesterday? Tipped over trashcans? Encourage your child to think about how nocturnal animals might get around in the dark. Do you think some can see at night? Do some use their senses of touch, hearing, and smell to find their way? Turn the lights out, or invite your child to close his eyes, and think about what senses he needs to find his way in the dark. How does his sense of touch help? His sense of hearing? What about his sense of smell? When would that be useful?