Boehm’s Zebra – Facts for Kids & Crafts: Waterhole Wednesday

Boehms Zebra facts and crafts - Mud Hut Mama

It’s been ages since we had a Waterhole Wednesday. The last one was in December when it was looking pretty dry around the waterhole. Well, the rain came, everything turned green and since there has been water everywhere in the reserve the popularity of our little waterhole has dwindled a bit. However we have been thrilled to have this herd of zebra around the house recently. When we arrived here, almost three years ago, the zebra were extremely nervous and it was difficult to get a good view of them so it has been incredibly satisfying to see how tame this herd has become. We can get quite close to them without scaring them off and one has even given birth close to our home. In honor of these lovely animals, I thought I would share some zebra facts for kids (as well as some theories and crafts).

Boehms Zebra Facts for Kids - Mud Hut Mama

We have Boehm’s Zebra in Malawi which differ from Burchell’s Zebra in Southern Africa because they don’t have shadow stripes and their stripes stay dark and defined all the way down to their hooves. A shadow strip is a thinner brown stripe in between the black and white stripes, like in the zebra below from Southern Africa.

Burchell's Zebra

Photo by Rui Ornelas / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-2.0

There is a big debate and numerous theories as to why zebra have stripes. I don’t believe any of these theories have been proven as the single determining factor but they are all interesting and perhaps relevant in some way:

  • Stripes might confuse predators and make it difficult for them to pick an individual out of the herd
  • In some situations and certain lighting they could act as camouflage
  • They may help the zebra recognize each other
  • The black stripes get hotter than the white stripes and might set up a micro climate that moves air to cool the zebra
  • The black and white stripes might deter tsetse flies that spread trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)

Regardless of the evolutionary reason for the black and white stripes, they are certainly a stunning contrast to the green bush around our home.

Why do Zebra Have Stripes - Mud Hut Mama

The girls and I enjoyed watching the zebra so much that we decided to make zebra masks. I used this zebra craft at DLTK’s Crafts for Kids as a guide. You can print out all the pieces you need to add to your paper plate there but we wanted our masks NOW and I didn’t have access to a printer so I just cut the pieces we needed out of black construction paper and white printer paper.

Zebra Paperplate Mask - Mud Hut Mama

You could also try the z for zebra letter craft from Totally Tots that we made in week 12.

z for zebra craft - Mud Hut Mama

Happy long overdue Waterhole Wednesday!

About Jody Tilbury

12 Responses to “Boehm’s Zebra – Facts for Kids & Crafts: Waterhole Wednesday”

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  1. Frances says:

    Yay! I’m glad your waterhole Wednesday is back! Can’t wait to show little one this post with the zebras, and I know he’s going to ask to make one of those cute mask! I do agree the zebra does look stunning with the green background! Simply beautiful!

  2. Becky says:

    Yay!!!! SO excited to see Waterhole Wednesday again!!! 🙂 My kids love to learn about the different animals you see, and every time ask me “But do they for real have a zebra in their backyard?!” We are living vicariously through you:).

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      I love how excited about wildlife your kids are. Tell them they’ll have to come see for themselves!

  3. I love this craft – you make great masks! And how cool is that to have zebras around?? My son would be very jealous! I agree with Becky that we are living vicariously through you 😉

  4. I loved this post! Great facts (and theories). I cannot believe how green it is now!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      We have had so much rain this year – I do love it when everything is green but the bush gets so thick that it becomes more difficult to see the wildlife.

  5. Thanks for sharing your pictures as well – what beautiful animals!

  6. I wish I could host a Waterhole Wednesday! My sub-development is so boring. LOL 🙂

  7. Addison says:

    Those are such beautiful animals!

  8. Penny says:

    Oh love your photos of the Zebra. Stunning images! I adore the mask and the letter Z too of course. Oh so craft you! I’ll have to post these on the FB page in the next couple of days. My likers love crafty things like that!