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Living Things Change Their Environment Activity for Kids

Build a Dam DIY

  • Duration: 30 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: $0 to $10

Make a beaver dam to see how it blocks flowing water!

Material List

  • 1Foil baking pan
  • 1Foil bread pan
  • 1Pitcher of water
  • 1Handful of sticks
  • 1Handful of leaves
  • 1Handful of rocks
  • 1Container of chocolate frosting
  • 1Plastic spoon
  • 1Pencil
  • 2Books


  • 1Use the pencil to poke 2 holes in one end of the bread pan.
  • 2Stack 2 books next to the larger baking pan.
  • 3Place the bread pan on the books and hang half of it over the baking pan.
  • 4Take some chocolate frosting and coat the middle of the bread pan.
  • 5Place some sticks and leaves on the frosted area.
  • 6Place some rocks on top of the leaves and sticks to hold them down.
  • 7Add more frosting to hold everything in place.
  • 8Now test the dam by pouring water into the back part of the baking pan.
  • Tips:Your design may not work the first time. You can try putting the rocks on the bottom or using different materials. It may take a few tries.

How It Works

Beavers use things in their environment to build dams in streams and rivers. They use mud like glue to hold everything together. When the water flows up to the dam it slows down and could even stop flowing. Beavers change their environment by flooding it. They do this to protect themselves from predators.

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