Activities & Games
A thoughtful activity prompting youth to consider if their place and the place of wildlife was switched.
Ages: 6-9 years
Group Size: Any
Time: 30 minutes
Leave No Trace Objective: To help participants understand the ways in which they may be acting disrespectfully toward wildlife.
Directions: First, ask participants to imagine that they had a guest in their house who ate all the food, left trash on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink, walked on the carpet with dirty shoes, etc. Explain that, when we are outdoors, we are in animals homes, and we have a responsibility to treat their homes with respect.
Next, have your participants pick their favorite wild animal and have them all get into character. Give them each a minute or two to describe how they (the animal) would feel if it were shown disrespect in its home. Have them verbalize what that animal would say if it could speak its mind. Examples: a bear that had all its berries eaten, an owl whose home in the tree was chopped down for firewood.
Center your discussion around the value of respect. Many youth programs have respect as a core value, so there is a lot of room to relate this activity to the greater message of your program. Some questions to get you started:
- Why is respect important?
- How can we show respect toward wildlife? Toward other humans?
- Are there any similarities between respect for humans and respect for wildlife?
This activity comes from Bigfoot’s Playbook: A Youth Educator’s Guide to Leave No Trace Activities, Games and Experiential Curriculum.