Some animals play with toys, some animals don’t. Which of these animals do you think would enjoy playing with a toy ball?
Just watch this video! Maybe you didn’t guess all of these animals would like playing: horses, pigs, sheep, cows. But…
If you thought a tortoise would play with a ball too… you’ll like watching this! Too bad we can’t ask the tortoise if it’s having fun.
This sea otter has a rock on its belly. It’s smashing food on the rock to crack open the food. But that’s not all it does with rocks…
Watch what this sea otter does with a rock! What do you notice? Why do you think it’s doing this, other than for fun?
It looks like it’s playing catch! Playing is a good way to practice using its hands. Maybe now it will be better at using rocks to eat!
Sea otters aren’t the only otters that play. This river otter seems to be playing ”don’t drop the rock.” It practices so much that it’s a pro!
Here’s a video taken in Russia. What is that bird doing? Watch closely!
A smart raven is using a lid like a toy sled! Scientists think that playing with toys helps animals (and people) learn to use tools.
This dog sleds too, kind of like the raven. Someone might have trained the dog to do this. But we know no one trained the raven!
Cockatoos are also very smart. They love toys they can destroy! Think like an inventor: what toys would you make for them?
Even paper can be made into toys for birds to destroy! Wild birds play, so pet birds need to too, or the pet birds will get sad and sick.
Watch as these goats jump on things as they play! Could playing like this help the goats? (Hint: think about where goats live.)
Mountain goats jump on tall rocks to get a better view—to look out for danger. So to play, goats practice jumping on things!
Even when goats aren’t in danger, they jump and play up high! They’re using this metal like a toy--plus practicing their balance!
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I pulled three questions from my jar. Which question do you want to explore next week?
Can animals laugh?
Watch the video to discover the answer and don't forget to vote for next week's question. There are mysteries all around us. Have fun and stay curious!