Canada: Hockey and Beavers

The national sport with the national animal, this is going to be a fun one!

Ice Hockey

This sport is extremely popular in Canada not only professionally but also in pick up games with adults and kids just playing for fun. I don’t know a lot about hockey myself, I’ve been to two pro games in Pittsburgh to see the Penguin’s play. It was really exciting to watch but hard to follow if you don’t know the game. Luckily for us YouTube is here to help!

Before COVID my husband and I were planning on signing Martin up for a couple different sports camps last summer to give him a taste of different types of sports. We are both big into the arts and we have exposed him to all sorts of music, art, dance and theater without even trying, it just happens naturally. With sports we have to be intentional- so I thought this was a great way to introduce him to a new sport!

Unfortunately, we don’t own any hockey equipment… but that didn’t stop us! I explained how the game worked and we set up his soccer net, each took a sword, and went to town!

You heard me, a sword *face palm*

The closest thing we had to a hockey stick was a foam and plastic sword, instead of a puck we used a tennis ball and his soccer net. Ingenuity at it’s finest!

We had a lot of fun playing this bizarre version and for me it was a good reminder that we don’t always have to spend money to do new fun things!

Beavers

Beavers are the second largest rodents on earth, with brown fur, giant front teeth and a large strong flat tail. They love to eat grass, tree bark and aquatic plants. Beavers are semiaquatic so you will often see them in or around water. They are also the national animal of Canada.

Beavers live in lodges that they build themselves out of sticks, mud, rocks and plants. They use their large teeth to CUT DOWN TREES! seriously! This animal, that is the size of a dog, cuts down trees with its teeth and not little trees either. They use the trees they cut as building materials for their dams and homes.

The beaver will use its tail to pack the mud around the sticks and rocks to create their dams and homes or lodges. They create wetlands and stop the water flow of a stream with their dams and they also live inside a wooden lodge- which are like little wooden caves that you have to swim into.

In order to better understand this, Martin and I went on a nature walk and gathered sticks, rocks, pinecones, leaves and dirt.

I made a small stream with tinfoil, two larger rocks and an incline. We poured water down it and saw how it freely flowed. Next he added some sticks, rocks and leaves to stop the water. We poured some more water down and saw that the water still flowed pretty easily. We continued this process, adding more sticks and leaves and finally mud, to stop the water. We used the back of the shovel to pack the mud like a beaver uses his tail.

It was great seeing his problem solving at work as he added things and changed his design as he tried to stop the water. He got there in the end!

To make your own beaver dam you will need…

  • dirt (mud)
  • sticks, leaves, grass, small rocks, etc
  • tin foil
  • a hill or steps
  • water
  • small gardening shovel

Start by setting up your stream with tin foil on a slope. Next, pour water to watch is flow unobstructed. Have your little explorer create their own dam using the various materials, pausing periodically to test it by pouring more water. Use the garden shovel as a beaver tail to pack in the mud and sticks. Repeat to their hearts content!

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