Did you know that kangaroos can learn how to ask for help, just like dogs can? Learn about this cool fact and more with these free printables and unit studies about kangaroos.
In zoos, kangaroos are known to use their body language to communicate for help or assistance much as dogs and horses do. It is really interesting to know how wild animals do not have to be domesticated in order to communicate in these manners.
Can you imagine a kangaroo gesturing for a treat? Pretty cool right? WRONG! – Here’s why.
I did some contract work for the Australian Embassy for about two years and they see kangaroos a whole lot different than we view them.
I was working with “Aussies” and just knew I could talk to them about how adorable kangaroos are, because who doesn’t like an adorable kangaroo?
Turns out the cartoons were slightly lying to me. Cartoons always depict kangaroos as cute and cuddly, carrying their little babies (joeys) in their pouch. Occasionally, you would see kangaroo with some boxing gloves – still doesn’t take away the cuteness.
Issue is that Australians, many of them, view kangaroos as a nuisance much like rabbits are considered a nuisance for farmers. They are adorable to us, from a distance, but in reality, they eat all the crops and are hard to stop.
Fifty million kangaroos roam freely in groups all across Australia. There are more than twice as many kangaroos in Australia as humans and although Australians remain really proud of kangaroos being a symbol of their home, that fact remains. There are a LOT of kangaroos.
Farmers in Australia say these kangaroos damage their crops and compete with their livestock for natural (but scarce) resources.
Additionally, Australia’s insurance industry lists that more than 80% of vehicle-animal collisions reported each year are kangaroos (about 20,000 collisions).
Crazy fact: The chance of having an accident with a kangaroo is so high, that insurance companies won’t even cover people who travel between dusk and dawn in the Outback.
So, let’s just say that the relationship between kangaroos and the people of Australia is a complicated one.
They are an iconic national symbol, yet can trample over your veggies in 2-point-2 seconds.
I, for one, chose to remain biased in my Americanized view of these beautiful creatures. Adorable creatures cute enough to dawn some gloves and box a few folks if need be.
Here are some interesting facts to add to your kangaroo lessons:
Kangaroos are the only large animals that can hop. As mentioned above, they can hop up to 30 feet.
These marsupials (pouched animals) really do box. The young kangaroo box for play and adult male kangaroos use boxing to show their dominance.
A group of kangaroos is called a mob – a male is called a boomer and the female a jill.
Kangaroos can hop about 40 miles/hour, but… they cannot move backward.
I still think kangaroos are pretty cool. I am super frustrated that in visiting Canberra, Australia and Sydney I have yet to see a kangaroo when so many people claim they are “everywhere.”
They are like unicorns to me and I look forward to the day I finally see one – even if it is eating someone’s veggie garden ;-).
To learn more about kangaroos in your homeschool, check out some of these free printables and unit studies about kangaroos:
FREE Kangaroo Template | 10 Minutes of Quality Time
Parts of a Kangaroo- FREE Montessori Nomenclature Cards with Definitions | Trillium Montessori
Kangaroo Theme Page Crafts, Quizzes, Information, and Printouts to Color | Enchanted Learning
Now I Know My ABC’s ~ K is for Kangaroo | Totally Tots
Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother Too? Book | TwistyNoodle
Information – Kangaroos | Answers in Genesis
Life Cycle of a Kangaroo | Karissa Li’s Space
Australian Animals FREE Printable Pack | Simple Living Creative Learning
FREE Kangaroo Nomenclature Cards | Pinay Homeschooler
Kangaroo FREE Fact Sheet | English ESL Worksheets
Great Kangaroo facts and photos | National Geographic Kids
Fun Kangaroo Facts For Kids | Cool Kid Facts
Amazing Facts about Kangaroos | OneKindPlanet
Fun Kangaroo Facts for Kids – Interesting Information | ScienceKids
Kangaroos: Facts, Information & Pictures | Live Science
Head to the library for kids books all about kangaroos:
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too FREE Lesson Plan | Flourish Yoga
Preschool Packet “Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?” | Preschool Printables by Gwyn
Christmas in Kangaroo Land | Kids Travel Books
FREE Kangaroo Digital Picture Book | The Productive Teacher
Animals of Australia Book List | Fantastic Fun and Learning
40 Australian Picture Books by Our Favourite Australian Authors | childhood 101
Use kangaroo-themed printables for learning:
K is for Kangaroo Learning Printables | Cornerstone Confessions
Kangaroo Bible Printables for Kids – FREEBIES | Paper Gifts for Estefany
Crafts all about kangaroos:
4 Fun And Interesting Kangaroo Crafts For Kids | Mom Junction
K Is for Kangaroo Craft | All About Learning Press
FREE Printable Kangaroo Craft | Learn Create Love
Letter K Craft: Kangaroo Paper Craft | Sight and Sound Reading
Australian Aboriginal Dot Art | DLTK-Kids
FREE Australian Crafts for Kids | Danielle’s Place
Kangaroo Kraft FREEBIE | Julie Lee
Activities to add to your lessons about kangaroos:
Kk Kangaroo Day -preschool style | Mama Bee From the Hive
Kangaroo Hop! (Kangaroos can hop 30 feet. Measure 30 feet in your home and challenge your kids to see how far they can jump compared to a kangaroo.) | Mrs. Lee’s Kinder Kids
Watch videos about kangaroos with your kids:
Survival in Australia for Kangaroos | BBC Wildlife
Kangaroo Kids (Joeys) at Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield Zoo
Why Do Kangaroos Have Pouches? (Animal Science for Kids) | SciShow Kids
Kangaroo Facts – Facts About Kangaroos | 101 Animal Facts
Video – Kangaroos explained | National Geographic
I hold on to the image of the legend Steve Irwin hugging and playing with the Aussie legendary kangaroos. I completely plan on learning even more about kangaroos.
Australia is our neighboring first world country and we all plan to visit there one day – and yes, hopefully, we can see some kangaroos.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!