Deer Ears

While on a hike with your girls, this game can be played down any long, straight stretch of trail.

Line all the girls up across the trail at the beginning of the long, straight stretch. Explain to them that you are going to demonstrate why we hardly ever see animals when we're out on a hike in the woods. Show them the difference between human ears (point out your own) and "Deer Ears" (cup your hands behind your earlobes, to make your ears bigger). Have the girls practice putting on their Deer Ears and taking them off again.

Have the girls remain where they are on the trail. You back slowly down the trail, whispering to the group the whole time. The girls need to listen carefully to you. It doesn't matter if they can't understand what you're saying, they just need to be able to hear your voice. Tell the girls that when you've backed far enough away from the group that they can no longer hear you, they are to raise their hands. Continue backing down the trail until the majority of the group has raised their hands. This distance represents how far away they can hear you with their human ears. Mark a line across the trail with your boot at this point.

Call loudly to the girls and ask them to put their Deer Ears on. Once they've done so, continue backing down the trail, whispering all the while, until once again the girls can no longer hear you. Again they are to indicate this by raising their hands. Once the majority can no longer hear you this second time, stop walking and call the girls to you. Typically you can get twice as far away from the group with their Deer Ears on!

This game illustrates why wildlife seems to be so scarce when we're out in the woods - the animals can hear us coming a lot farther off than we can hear them. The result is that the woods seem to be empty of animals, when in reality they're all in hiding, waiting for our hike group to go by!

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