Make a Bat
Halloween offers us a fun excuse to talk about bats. Bats are amazing! There are over 1400 species of bats. While we are familiar with black bats for Halloween, they come in a lot of different colors and can be brown, gray red, and even white. Bats are responsible for pollinating plants and also getting rid of harmful bugs, like mosquitos.
This activity is a great way to learn about bats, but also a great sensory activity and an activity that can be fun for kids with low vision. This activity includes different textures and a chance to involve temperature as well. As kids build their bat, the different textures will also help them remember the bat anatomy facts. Just make sure to tell kids that it is not safe to touch bats in real life!
- Saran wrap
- Cotton balls
- Construction Paper
- Paper clips
- Discovery Gateway Bat Print Out
- Watercolor paint
- Color your bat (or leave It white, like the Honduran White Bat)
- Take the bat print-out and cut out saran wrap roughly the same size as the wings. Plastic wrap shows how bat wings are thin, but also strong and flexible.
- Optional: heat up plastic wrap wings in the microwave for 15 seconds. Bats are warm-blooded, so the wings will be warm, and the warm plastic wrap can represent this. Always read the guidelines on the plastic wrap container before putting it in the microwave
- Glue plastic wrap onto the wings
- Add paper clips to the tip of the bat wings, and to the bat feet. The paper clips represent bats nails that help them climb and hang upside down when they sleep! Bats have a flexible nail attached to their wings that they use similar to a human thumb!
- Add small pieces of foil to the bat's eyes. Bat vision has a wide range, some are almost blind, and some can see 10x better than us. One of the most unique bat features is that many bats can see very good in the dark. By using foil that can amplify reflected light, we can remember how well bat eyes work in the dark.
- Make bat ears and nose by making 3 shell-shaped pieces. Cut a “D” shape out of paper. Glue the bottom corners together, leaving the rounded top. The shape of the ears and nose may be different, but they are an important piece of bat communication. The shape allows them to amplify sounds and also amplifies their hearing
- Cut a thin strip of paper, about ¼ inch thick. Make sure that the paper stretches from the bat's mouth to the bottom of the bat’s stomach. Roll the paper around the pencil. This paper will be the bat's tongue! Bat tongues are very long and roll up to fit in the bat’s mouth. Some bats tongues are so long they store them rolled around their rib cage!
- Draw some lines at the end of the bat's tongue to represent tiny hairs. These are also a common feature of bat’s tongues, and help them get nectar
- Add cotton balls to the bat’s stomach. Bats have furry tummies, which help keep them warm. Optional: paint the cotton balls with watercolors to match the color of the bat
- Optional: Give your bat a cool name
- Check out local bat noises
- Be a citizen scientist and help identify bat calls!
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