Mountain Scramble: An Ecosystem Game

Mountain Scramble

What Is This Game?

Now that your kids are experts on life in the mountains, they can try keeping a whole mountain ecosystem alive! This game allows players to see how the different species of plants and animals in a mountain ecosystem depend on one another, and to experiment with how changing the amount of one resource affects the whole ecosystem. Their goal is to put together a balanced ecosystem, in which each animal has enough food to survive over a period of 12 days. The longer their ecosystem lasts, the more points they will earn for their sticker collections.

Conversation Starters

  • Was it easy or hard to keep your terrarium alive for 12 days? If it was hard, what made it hard?
  • What surprised you about the number of plants and animals you needed in order to keep your terrarium alive?
  • How might this ecosystem change if all the snowshoe hares disappeared?
  • What kinds of plants and animals make up the ecosystem where you live?

Explore Some More

Mountain Models

Using a variety of craft materials, such as pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and construction paper, make a diorama showing the plants and animals that live in your neighborhood. In the diorama, show where and how the plants and animals find food, water and shelter. If you build a model of a moose, for example, you might show it eating the twigs off of a willow bush. If you have figurines of any of these plants and animals, use them in your model as well!