Zoocation – Lizard Neighbors

Other than in Antarctica, there are no continents which are not home to some species of lizard. They live in forests, deserts, jungles, savannahs, and wetlands. In fact, with over 6,000 lizard species around the world, chances are you may have lizards living in your neighborhood and don’t even realize it!

Lizards make great neighbors because they eat insects, snails, and other pests that might hurt the plants in your garden, pets, or your home. So, if you have places where lizards can seek shelter, they may feel welcome in your yard. Even a simple pile of rocks can be a home for a lizard as long as they can squeeze into the space between the rocks to hide and rest.

Today you’ll be creating a lizard habitat for your yard just like we do for the animals at Alligator Attraction Wildlife Learning Center.

Zoocation – Lizard Lairs

What you’ll need: a small box like a shoe box or one of a similar size, leaves from bushes or trees around your home, scissors, and glue.
Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Ages: 3 to 8 years old

Start this activity by asking your child if they’ve ever seen a lizard in the wild. Have them describe the lizard to you (If they haven’t, they can still describe one from a story or picture). Ask them if they have any ideas about where that lizard may live. What do they think it might need to survive outside? If they’re stuck, ask them to name things they need to survive. Maybe the lizard needs similar things like food, a place to sleep, or protection from the weather.

These places that animals live are called habitats. Habitats are the most ideal or natural home for that animal. Explain that while natural habitats are best for lizards and other animals, sometimes people build habitats to help animals when they don’t have a home of their own.

Now, gather up your supplies and get ready to build a lizard lair! You’ll start by cutting an opening in one end of your box (If you don’t feel comfortable having them handle scissors, this is a great opportunity for you to help with this activity).

Next. you’ll camouflage your lizard lair. You can use Elmer’s Glue or a glue stick for this part. Cover all the sides of your box with glue. Now place the leaves you collected all over the box. Make sure some of them overlap and that you cover your box completely.

Once the glue has dried (this may need to sit overnight for the glue to dry completely), look outside for a good place to place your habitat. Maybe you can put it under a bush or in some tall grass or weeds. Now they can practice their observation skills checking their habitat for a few minutes each day to see if any lizards have moved in. Make sure you talk about being a good observer and just watching their habitat, not touching it or picking it up. If lizards did move in, they might scare them away!

For older children: Ask them to draw and color a picture of a lizard and its habitat. It doesn’t need to be the habitat they built for your yard. Ask them what type of habitat their lizard lives and to explain what type of habitat a lizard might live in in that environment. Could they design a habitat for a lizard at Alligator Attraction wildlife Learning Center?