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Hamsters Play While We Sleep

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Science Activities for Children 3 to 6









4 Years Old


Large Group

PDF Available


Hamster in cage
Chart paper
White construction paper
Black marker
Yellow crayons
Black paint diluted with water


1. Bring in a hamster in a cage and have the children observe its behavior for several days.
2. As the observations flow, record each one on a large
sheet of paper entitled, “What we observe about our
hamster.” Encourage the children to discuss the hamster’s
sleeping patterns. Introduce the word nocturnal (active at night).
3. For each child write: “Hamsters are nocturnal” on a white piece of construction paper and
help him to read the sentence. Explain what it means.
4. Reinforce the concept. Have each child color a yellow hamster in the center of the page
underneath the words. Encourage the children to press down hard with their crayon and
color their hamster completely.
5. Crease the paper and fold the sentence back. Then have the children paint over the hamster
picture and the entire page with the diluted black paint.
6. The hamster will shine through the black night. Hamsters are nocturnal!
7. Brainstorm a list of other animals that are nocturnal, for example, raccoons or bats.
More to do
More science: Darken the room and challenge the children to attempt to locate an object in
the dark. What are the challenges of working in the dark? Talk about ways nocturnal animals
adapt. For instance, hamsters have an excellent sense of smell. Bats have sensitive ears and
Snack: Serve dry cereal mixed with nuts and seeds for a delicious hamster snack.

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