We took pictures and they identified the animal tracks. I was thinking it would be so cool if we could pour some plaster in the tracks and make molds. However, I was out of plaster ....then, it started pouring rain so I assumed we were out of luck. After the rain, we checked on our tracks. Every sign of the possum and raccoon had been washed away. Upon inspecting our deer tracks though, we found them to be in great shape. I purchased some plaster ASAP and off we trekked to see if we couldn't capture the footprint of a deer. A cardboard ring was placed around the track and then the wet plaster was poured into that. I wasn't sure how well it would work since the ground was still quite muddy. We left the plaster to work its magic for the next 30 minutes and retreated to the warmth of our abode :)
30 minutes later, Jacob accompanies me outside to check on our adventure. We were anticipating greatly the outcome... I picked the casting up and it had about an inch or more of mud stuck to it....we couldn't see the hoof - if it was even there. We brought them in, sat them on paper, and began a tedious job of trying to remove the mud without damaging the hoof. I googled it and read that you can hold the plaster under running water to remove mud from animal track castings ....just don't submerge it for any length of time. That worked perfectly! The hoof castings looked great!! We painted only over the impression with brown paint and VOILA!~ A near perfect deer track casting.
What began as a printout animal tracking game, became a real life science lesson, an art project, and another lighting of an educational fire. I so love the opportunities that arise from homeschooling. I love how you can go from one depth to another and keep going if curiosity demands. I love how they get so many hands-on applications. I love to watch my children learning and growing.
One of the deer tracks on the driveway.
Double hoof casting ~ still muddy.
Both castings....cleaned and painted! :)