Printable Activities Make Travel Fun

Bald Eagle Paper Airplane

1. Print and cut out Bald Eagle Paper Airplane. Fold back along A.

2. With printed side down, fold along C and D.

3. Fold tip along E.

4. Fold in half along B.

5. Note that there are two vertical lines along the body, to either side of the center fold. Fold these down to open up the eagle's wings, as shown in the final sample.

6. Tape or staple body as shown. Fold wing flaps up as shown...these can be adjusted as you test your paper airplane Bald Eagle.

©2010 Tammy Yee

Sea Otter

How much do you know about those lovable, fur-faced acrobats twisting and diving in kelp beds?

Sea otters are one of the few mammals, aside from primates (monkeys and apes), to use tools. Floating on the surface of the water, they sometimes place a rock on their chest, using it as a hard surface to smash open shelled food like clams and abalone. Have you ever wondered how otters carry all that stuff to the surface? In their armpits, in loose skin folds! Try that with an urchin--better yet, don't try it.

These resourceful animals even use kelp as an anchor, wrapping themselves in the long fronds to keep from floating away while they rest. Kelp also makes a great babysitter. Mom leashes her pup in kelp, letting it bob on the surface as she hunts for food, never having to worry about paying the sitter.

This year will mark the 7th annual Sea Otter Awareness Week. All across the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, aquariums are sponsoring events to teach the public about these endangered creatures.

For more information about otters and a list of events, visit the Defenders of Wildlife website,

Sea otter facts you ought to know:
  1. Size
    Sea otters are the largest member of the weasel family, but the smallest of all marine mammal. Males grow as large as 5 feet while the average length of adult females is 4 feet. Full grown otters weigh as much as an average 9 to 10 year old child. Baby otters weigh only 5 lbs at birth!
  2. In the wild they live up to 10 to 12 years of age; however, they can live as long as 25 years.
  3. Because they have no blubber, sea otters keep warm with their dense fur. They have the thickest, finest fur of any mammal, with up to 1 million hairs per square inch, and they need to keep clean to stay warm. This is why otters are so vulnerable to oil spills.
  4. Sea otters' webbed hind paws are ideal for a life spent almost entirely in the water.
  5. A Big Appetite.
    Otters need to eat 25 to 30 percent of their weight every day just to stay warm. A 100 lb person would have to eat 100 quarter-pound burgers a day to keep up! Their diet consists mainly of clams, urchins, mussels, crabs and fish.
  6. Sea otters are social critters. They meet and play in groups of less than 10, to more than 100, called rafts. The moms and pups stay together in one group, separate from the males.
  7. Although moms usually give birth to one pup at a time, they sometimes give birth to twins. Unfortunately, only one pup will survive.

Fold an Origami Sea Otter

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Origami: State Butterfly of Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia

The Western Tiger Swallowtail is a commonly found in western North America, from British Columbia to North Dakota in the north to Baja California and New Mexico in the South.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, found throughout the Eastern United States as far north as southern Vermont and west to Eastern Colorado, is the official state butterfly of Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.

Butterflies emerge from their chrysalis in February to May, gathering near pools and streams where they drink and replenish minerals.

Difficulty: Easy


1. Print and cut out origami swallowtail butterfly.

For the next few steps, follow instructions to Monarch Butterfly Origami:
2a. With printed side facing down,
2b. Fold in half diagonally along B.
2c. Unfold and repeat the diagonal fold along C.

3a. With printed side facing up,
3b. Fold in half horizontally along A.
3c. Unfold. Your origami should be creased as illustrated.

4. Carefully fold along creases, forming a "tent" as illustrated.

5a. Fold the right "tent" corner up along D, as illustrated.
5b. Fold the left "tent" corner up along E, as illustrated.

6. Your Origami Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly should look like this:

7. Turn butterfly origami over, printed side down.

8a. Fold up along F. Note that corners will pull in to either side.
8b. Crease corners flat, as indicated by arrows.

9. Turn your origami butterfly over.

10a. Fold butterfly in half vertically, so wings are together.
10b. Crease one wing down, diagonally, to form body.
10b. Fold down the other wing, diagonally, as shown.

11. Open wings up. Your butterfly is done!

©2010 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved.

Pacific Northwest Marine Mammal and Seabird Word Search

Click Here For Answer Key

Pacific Northwest Marine Mammal and Seabird Word Search ANSWER KEY

Pacific Green Sea Turtle

Did you know that all the hatchlings in the nest of the Pacific green sea turtle are either male or female? The sex of the turtles is determined by the temperature of the nest. Cooler nests produce a clutch of males, while warmer nests produce females.

These young turtles, raised at Sea Life Park
on the island of Oahu, are waiting to be released.

Go, turtle, go!

Green sea turtles are agile swimmers, but on land they are cumbersome. Between May and August, female turtles clamber ashore in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to lay their eggs. The eggs incubate for 50 to 60 days. On a clear, moonlit night, the hatchlings dig themselves out of their nests and scramble to the water. Only 2 inches long, the tiny turtles must avoid ghost crabs, sea birds, and fish on their way to the open sea.

Sea turtles make distinctive tracks in the sand
as they drag their heavy bodies ashore.
See the long tail on this turtle? This is a male.

Turtle or tortoise?
Turtles live in the water. Tortoises live on land.

Have turtles been around forever?
Well, maybe not forever, but turtles are very successful creatures that have been swimming around for the past 200 million years. Fossils of the giant prehistoric turtle, Archelon, have been found in North America. Archelon was 12 feet long, with massive flippers! Today there are about 230 living species of turtles and tortoises.

What is the Hawaiian name for turtle?
Hawaiians are astute observers of nature. They recognized many species of plants and animals. The Pacific green sea turtle is called honu, while the Pacific hawksbill sea turtle is called ea or honu'ea.

Resources: Plants and Animals of Hawaii by Susan Scott and The Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals by Dougal Dixon, et al. (Ed.).

For more information about green sea turtles and Hawaiian marine life, visit Earthtrust

For information about marine turtles and neat kid's activities, visit Turtle Trax (click on their Table of Contents).

©2009 Tammy Yee. All rights reserved.

Hawaiian State Mammal: Hawaiian Monk Seal

Illustration by Tammy Yee

Scientific name: Monachus schauinslandi

On July 6, 2000, the residents on the island of Kauai were treated to a very special event. A baby Hawaiian monk seal, or pup, was born on the shores of Poipu beach. Yellow tape was set up around the mother and pup to keep onlookers at a safe distance. Volunteers kept a watchful eye on the seals 24 hours a day, insuring that the pair was not disturbed.

Well, you might ask, why all the hoopla? After all, California sea lions gather in rookeries by the thousands. First of all, Hawaiian monk seals usually steer clear of the populated, major Hawaiian Islands. They are usually found in the French Frigate Shoals, Northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. Secondly and more importantly, Hawaiian monk seals are endangered. Today, there are less than 1,500 Hawaiian monk seals in the entire world.

Monk Seal Hawaiian monk seals are one of only two mammals that are endemic, or found only in Hawaii. Adult seals weigh 400 to 600 pounds (females are generally larger) and feed on fish, squid, and crustaceans. Pups are black at birth, and grow at a rapid rate as they feed on their mother's rich milk. Mother doesn't eat the entire time that is spent nursing her pup...that means no meals for six weeks! By this time, poor hungry mom has lost almost a third of her of her weight, and the chubby pup has put on more than a hundred pounds! Imagine if your baby brother or sister weighed 150 pounds when he or she was only six weeks old.

"Winged Feet"
Hawaiian monk seals are pinnipeds (PIN-uh-pedz). Pinniped means "winged feet", and with their flippers and sleek bodies, these mammals are well-adapted to life at sea. 

Illustration by Tammy Yee

Color a Monk Seal Pup
Seal or Sea Lion?
True seals have no external ears, and their hind flippers can't turn forwards. Seals, like the monk seal, harp seal, and harbor seal, are very awkward on land. They drag themselves about with floppy, undulating motions. But once these blubbery pinnipeds enter the water, look out! Their torpedo-shaped bodies cut through the water with ease, and they can dive to tremendous depths. The Antarctic Weddell seal can dive to 2,000 feet and stay underwater for up to 73 minutes! 

Sea lions and fur seals belong to the Sea Lion family. These pinnipeds have external ears, and they can turn their hind flippers forwards, making it easier for them to move on land. The California sea lion is the most popular of all, and is commonly seen in marine shows and circuses.

Hawaiian name: ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, quadruped that runs in the rough seas.

Recommended reading for children:
The Hawaiian Monk Seal, by Patrick Ching. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1994.
The Story of Hina, by Patrick Ching. Island Heritage, 1999.

Sources: Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia, Dr. Philip Whitfield, Ed. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1984.

NOAA Monk Seal Recovery Plan
With Senator Dan Inouye at NOAA's Recovery Plan Ceremony. Painting by Tammy Yee.
In the past few years, the Hawaiian monk seal population has plummeted to 1,200 individuals, making it the United States' most endangered marine mammal. The oldest living seal species, it is one of only two remaining tropical seals--the Mediterranean monk seal is also critically endangered. A third tropical seal, the Carribean monk seal, has been extinct since the 1950s.
NOAA's recovery plan, revised after intensive research, will focus on a captive care program to nutritionally supplement vulnerable juvenile female seals.

You can help the Hawaiian monk seal by:
  • Keeping distance from Hawaiian monk seals. Seals and pups are sometimes seen on popular beaches on the Main Hawaiian Islands--human interaction can disturb the mother-pup relationship and introduce disease.
  • Cutting loops from six-pack holders and other plastic items before throwing them away. Marine animals can swallow them or become entangled in the plastic holes, which may lead to death.
  • Disposing of unwanted fishing lines, nets and other garbage. Don't bury trash in the sand, as it will eventually be uncovered.
  • Educating yourself and others about the Hawaiian monk seal:
    NOAA Monk Seal Recovery Plan
    Star Bulletin: Saving Monk Seals

To learn more about Hawaiian monk seals and for a monk seal dot-to-dot, visit the Native Hawaiian Library Other online resources: The Waikiki Aquarium Hawaiian Monk Seal Research, The Seal Conservation Society or Earthtrust

School paper got you down? Need info on wildlife? Visit The Animal Diversity Web

Hawaii: Kamehameha, The Lonely One

June 11 is King Kamehameha Day in Hawai'i. This official holiday was established in 1871 by King Kamehameha V to honor his grandfather, Kamehameha I. The celebration begins with a parade of floral floats, costumed riders on horseback, and marching bands that begins in downtown Honolulu and ends in Waikiki. Across from the 'Iolani Palace, the regal statue of Kamehameha I is draped in fragrant flower lei

Legend surrounds the birth and death of Hawai'i's greatest warrior-king. Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great or Pai'ea Kamehameha, was born in North Kohala on the island of Hawai'i, sometime between 1748 and 1761. It is said that he was born on a stormy night, during which a bright star, Kokoiki, appeared in the heavens. Some historians believe that Kokoiki refers to Halley's Comet, which was visible in the night skies in November or December of 1758.

Kahuna, or Hawaiian priests, witnessing the celestial event prophesied the birth of a child who would grow up to be a mighty chief, destined to unite all of the Hawaiian Islands. At that time, Hawaii was besieged by warring clans. The ruling ali'i (chief) of Hawaii island ordered the infant to be put to death.
Thus the swaddled newborn was spirited away to Waipi'o Valley, where he was raised in secrecy by foster parents. He was named Pai'ea, after the hard-shelled crab found along the Hawaiian shore. Pai'ea was safe and well cared for in Waipi'o Valley.

In time, the aging ali'i no longer felt threatened by Pai'ea. After five years Pai'ea was allowed to return to his parents in Kailua-Kona. There he was given the name Kamehameha, or "The Lonely One," and finally allowed the training and care befitting a young ali'i.

Kamehameha grew up to be the great leader as the priests had foretold. The young warrior was present when his uncle Kalani'opu'u boarded Captain James Cook's ship, the HMS Discovery in 1779. Bright, ambitious and resourceful, he used foreign weapons and skills to his advantage. In 1790 he and his warriors confiscated a small schooner, the Fair American, that was captured in retaliation for an earlier skirmish with another American vessel. The lone survivor of the Fair American was an Englishman named Isaac Davis. Davis, along with another prisoner named John Young, eventually became a trusted advisor to Kamehameha, teaching him the use of the muskets and cannon aboard the small ship.

Kamehameha soon amassed a formidable army and a huge fleet of war canoes. By 1810, the islands of Hawai'i, Maui, O'ahu and Kaua'i were under his rule, and the Hawaiian Kingdom was established.

With unification came peace and prosperity. Kamehameha the great warrior became known as a great statesman. Among his accomplishments were the establishment of trade with foreign countries and the development of the sandalwood industry. He was also known as a just ruler, introducing the Law of the Splintered Paddle, which protected the weak from the strong and insured that every man, woman and child had the right to "lie down to sleep by the roadside without fear of harm." In 1816 he introduced the Hawaiian flag, with its Union Jack in the upper corner and 8 stripes representing the eight main Hawaiian islands.

Kamehameha died on May 8, 1819 in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawai'i. As was the ancient tradition, his bones were hidden to protect their mana, or power. To this day, no one knows where he rests.

King Kamehameha I

Also known as: Kamehameha the Great,
Pai'ea (hard-shelled crab)

Kamehameha means "The Lonely One"

Born: 1748-1761 (possibly in November or December of 1758)

Died: May 8, 1819

Mother: Keku'iapoiwa

Father: Keouakupuapaikalaninui

Favorite wife: Ka'ahumanu

The original Kamehameha statue, now at Kapaʻau, North Kohala.

Cool Facts About The Kamehameha Statue

Did you know that there are 4 very similar statues of Kamehameha I?

The first statue was commissioned by King Kalakaua and created by an American sculptor named Thomas Gould. It was cast Paris in 1880 and shipped from Germany to Honolulu. As fate would have it, the ship carrying it caught afire sank off the Falkland Islands. Luckily, the orignal mold used to cast the statue had not been destroyed, and a second statue was made and successfully shipped to Honolulu, where it was installed in front of Ali'iolani Hale, across from the 'Iolani Palace in 1883 (and where it still stands today).

The original statue was later recovered from the shipwreck and installed near Kamehameha's birthplace, in Kohala on the island of Hawai'i.

The third statue was cast using a mold made from the Honolulu statue, and it was erected in the National Gallery in Washington D.C. in 1969.

The fourth statue was commissioned by a resort and cast in Italy in 1993. After much controversy, during which it was kept in a crate, it was finally installed in the town of Hilo on the island of Hawaii.

©2010 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved.

Hawaii: Kamehameha The Great Crossword

Crossword Puzzle

Fill in the crossword puzzle using these words:

1. His name means "The Lonely One."
4. Kamehameha the Great unified the ___________ Islands.
5. Kamehameha I's childhood name. It means "hard-shelled crab."
8. Englishman Isaac _________ later became a trusted advisor to Kamehameha I.
9. Kamehameha V, who was the ____________ of Kamehameha I, established King Kamehameha Day in 1871.
11. At the Battle of _________, O'ahu warriors were driven over the pali (cliff).
12. A Hawaiian priest.

1. Kamehameha I was born in ____________, on the island of Hawaii.
2. Kamehameha I's favorite wife.
3. On the Hawaiian flag, the stripes represent the 8 main __________.
6. The Law of the Splintered __________ protected the weak from the strong.
7. The name of the star, meaning "little blood," that appeared in the sky when Kamehameha was born.
10. A Hawaiian chief.

Hint: Most of the answers to the crossword can be found in the article, Kamehameha, The Lonely One.

©2010 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved.

Answer: Kamehameha the Great Crossword Puzzle

Answer key to Kamehameha the Great Crossword Puzzle:

2010 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved.

Mississippi State Flag

Color the Mississippi State Flag:

Humpback Whale


The Humpback Whale

The Official Marine Mammal of Hawai'i

Visit Hawai'i during the winter months, and you may be lucky enough to see humpback whales and their calves breaching offshore. These magnificent creatures migrate from Alaska each year to mate and give birth in the Hawaiian Islands. In the summer, they return to the rich feeding grounds off Alaska to fatten up. That's a round trip of more than 7,000 miles!

Big Babies

Humpback calves are born in January, after an 11 month gestation. The newborns are 11 to 16 feet long and can weigh 3,000 pounds- that's about the size of a small car! A calf is born tail first and must get to the surface of the water immediately for its first breath of air. Mom is always there to help, gently nudging her newborn to the surface. Like all mammals, a humpback calf drinks milk from its mother. And baby whales need a lot of milk. A baby blue whale drinks about 44 gallons of milk each day and gains 7 pounds an hour!

Whale Songs

Humpback whales are known for their elaborate songs. Performed by males during the breeding season, whale songs change from year to year. whale

Humpback Whale Statistics

Length: 43-45 feet.
Weight: 85,000-90,000 pounds (that's as much as 7 elephants).

Print and Fold an Origami Humpback Whale

Difficulty: Easy

Directions (use same directions as for dolphin):

1a. Print and cut out origami and dorsal fin.
1b. Snip end of tale, as illustrated, to red dot.

2a. Turn origami over. With printed side down, fold along A as illustrated.
2b. Repeat fold along B.
2c. Fold along C.
2d. Fold along D.

3a. Fold in half, diagonally along F, as illustrated.
3b. Your origami should look like this, with a "tail" flap and a "head" flap.

4a. Unfold "tail" flap. Take note of the diagonal line, highlighted here in red, on the dolphin/whale's flipper.

4b. Folding "tail" flap first, crease dolphin's flipper along the highlighted line as you fold "head" flap over.

4c. Your origami should now look like this, with the flipper folded as shown.

5a. "Valley" fold origami tip inward along E as illustrated.
5b. Fold dorsal fin in half, along solid line, as illustrated.

6. Fold tail fluke down. Tape/glue dorsal fin into place. Your marine mammal is done!

©2010 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved