Animals Wild Outback Activities
Little Passports is celebrating our Animals Wild subscription for kids ages 3-5 with a wide-open frontier of free outback animal activities to share with your family. Explore the deserts and caves of the Australian outback with four printable activities, a bedtime kangaroo story, and quick facts about the frilled lizard and short-beaked echidna.
Outback Bedtime Story
As the sun began to rise over the Australian Outback, a red kangaroo pricked up her ears at the sound of a tiny yawn. “OK, sleepyhead,” she said, looking down at the pouch in her belly. “It’s time for bed.”
Her baby popped his head out of the pouch and frowned. “But I’m not tired yet!” the joey protested.
His mother smiled. Her baby always tried to put off bedtime. “But we have a big day tomorrow!” she replied. “You’re going to practice your hopping.”
The joey yawned again. “Will you tell me a story at least?” he asked. “Tell me about when I was a baby!”
“Again?” said his mom.
“Please?” the joey pleaded.
The mother kangaroo nodded and leaned back against a eucalyptus tree. “All right,” she answered. “On the day you were born, you were no bigger than a jellybean. You had no hair and your eyes weren’t even open. But right away…”
“I knew to crawl right into your pouch all by myself!” the joey interrupted.
“That’s right,” his mom said. “I was so proud of you! You made yourself right at home. And while you’re inside there, you’re growing bigger and stronger every day.”
The joey smiled with contentment. “I like it here. It’s so warm and cozy,” he said. “And I can drink milk whenever I’m hungry and hide whenever I feel scared.”
The kangaroo nuzzled her son with her nose. “Soon you’re going to be too big for my pouch, just like your sister.” The joey nodded. “I know,” he said as his eyes drooped shut. “But not yet. For now, this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.”
Draw lines between numbers and groups of beetles that match them in this free printable. Click or tap the image to download.
Color and cut out your own hungry crocodile with this free printable template. Click or tap the image to download.
Follow the number guide and color in a beautiful Rainbow bee-eater bird in this free printable coloring sheet. Click or tap the image to download.
Create a humongous flapping Hercules moth with this free printable template. Click or tap the image to download.
Creature Quick Facts
Watch Me Go!
The Outback is full of danger, but a frilled lizard has a special way to keep itself safe. When it feels threatened, this lizard pops up a super large (up to three feet wide!) flap of skin around its neck, called a frill. This makes the lizard look bigger than it really is and hopefully discourages any nearby predator from coming closer.
If this trick doesn’t work, though, the frilled lizard has an escape plan. It stands on its hind legs and RUNS! And frilled lizards are fast, reaching speeds of up to thirty miles an hour. The sight of this lizard on the run is one you would never forget. Its legs swing out and around in a funny way that makes it look like it’s riding a bike, which is why it is also known as a bicycle lizard.
What Is It?
Found in Australia and New Guinea, the short-beaked echidna is one of the oldest mammals in the world. Scientists think it may have even roamed with the dinosaurs! But what really makes this creature unique is that it seems to be a mash-up of a bunch of other different animals.
Like a platypus, it’s a mammal that lays eggs. Like an anteater, it uses its long sticky tongue to lap up ants, termites, and worms. A female echidna carries its young in a flap of skin similar to a pouch, kind of like a kangaroo. And an echidna has long spines along the top of its body, like a small porcupine. So what is a short-beaked echidna? A fascinating creature all its own!