Are you looking for fun educational activities for your family to do at home while social distancing? Parks & Gardens staff has compiled the list below of activities and free online educational resources for all ages. Additional resources will be added as they become available, so check back periodically.
How to Make a Toad Abode
Watch this video to learn how to make your yard even friendlier to our amphibian populations by making a toad abode! Now go outside and listen for amphibians calling in the spring and see how many you can hear! Visit the following links to learn all about the calls of our local amphibians and how you can help with their conservation: http://herpsofnc.org/frogs-and-toads/ and https://www.aza.org/frogwatch
Pollinator Backyard Activity Guide
Look for a patch of flowers and watch closely to see what sort of animals visit them. Then, follow the activities on your worksheet to record your observations, monitor what types of pollinators you see, and help attract more pollinators.
The Power of Pollination- Protecting the Honeybee
Honeybees’ role in the pollination process makes them vital to the food supply. In this lesson, you will learn about the importance of saving the valuable honeybee population, which is on the decline in some areas due to parasites, Varroa mites, and pesticides.
Trees for Many Reasons
Trees are important for many reasons! In this activity from Project Learning Tree, kids (and adults) can examine the importance of conserving natural resources through one of the world’s most famous environmental fables- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. When you finish the activity, think as a family about what you can do to help save the trees in our community. Actividad también disponible en español.
All living things need water, so it is important to keep natural water sources like rivers, lakes, and oceans clean of pollution. Use this activity guide from our friends at NEEF (National Environmental Education Foundation) to learn more and explore the topic of water quality.
Hidden Worlds of our National Parks
Beat the rainy day blues with a virtual visit to the “Hidden Worlds of our National Parks!” Join park rangers on a journey to places most people never see at https://artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/.
Ways of Watersheds
Complete this online lesson from UNC-TV Science. This interactive lesson will teach you all about water, the water cycle, and watersheds. When you finish the lesson, brainstorm some ways we can protect our watersheds and the land and water that surround them.
Bird Song Hero
Play The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “Bird Song Hero” game. Do you recognize any of the birds in the game? Now go outside and see how many different bird songs you can hear and identify in your backyard.
Sights & Sounds of Nature
Check out the sights and sounds of Yellowstone National Park in this cool video from PBS.org! Now go outside your home and look and listen carefully. What do you see? What do you hear? Keep a record of the sights and sounds at different times of day around your home while you’re out of school.
Backyard Scavenger Hunt
Check out this Backyard Scavenger Hunt! Activities like these can be done in your own backyard or around the neighborhood. If you do choose to go to a park or other public facility, please be sure to follow the guidelines of social distancing- remain at least six feet from others, and don’t congregate in groups of more than ten.
4-H Inspire Kids to Do Activity Guide
Download this guide for 60 hands-on educational activities to help your kids continue learning and growing. Click here to download the guide.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Academy
eek! Environmental Education for Kids
This website is full of educational games, activities and videos designed for upper-elementary and middle school students. Click here to access the site.
*Este sitio web está disponible en español – Haga clic aquí para español.
National Weather Service Educational Resources
Lessons, games, and videos to keep kids engaged in science. Weather.gov
NEEF- Environmental Education at Home
Activity guides and citizen science projects for children of all ages from the National Environmental Education Foundation. Check them out at NEEFUSA.org.
Project Learning Tree- Activities to do with Children at Home
Avoid going stir-crazy during self-quarantines with these simple family activities; they’re the perfect way to keep kids engaged through active participation as they learn about nature, and suggest ways we can lessen our environmental footprint at home and beyond. PLT.org
UNC-TV Interactive Lessons
These are very robust, highly-interactive lessons, complete with opportunities for note-taking, multiple choice online quizzes and a final project, that a student can do with a parent/teacher or on his/her/their own, and they can take 1-3 50-minute class periods to complete. Click here to access the site.