“But what’s there to do?” You can hear it echoing from houses and apartments up and down my street — from kids and parents alike! Most home-bound parents aren’t prepared for home schooling much less 24/7 entertainment. Weekend activities, soccer games, romps in the park, bedtime reading, pretty much sums up the scheduled activities many parents have grown accustomed to managing. The coronavirus forced stay-at-home has presented a whole new challenge. Since working with very active young primates is one of our specialities at GLOBIO we thought maybe we could help.
Here are some ideas for deeper connections, educational and entertaining activities to keep kids busy…. both their brains and bodies. If you have something great we have missed, and you believe we could benefit all of us please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take a look. Please include any links we should look at.
GLOBIO’s Own Apes Like Us YouTube Videos
With over fifty video segments highlighting the amazing world of great apes and primates our channel is safe and kid friendly. The latest video Baby Apes Forest School is perfect for kids. It illustrates just some of the challenges other little apes go through when their whole world get turned upside down. We will be posting new videos over the coming weeks, so subscribe (and click the little notification bell) to get updates in your email inbox.
Primate of the Month
Every month GLOBIO highlights a primate from around the world. The email delivered to your inbox includes FunFacts, video, audio, and other information, all of these are great for engaging kids and inspiring conversation about primates on our planet. Check out the latest for April – Proboscis Monkey, one of the more curious creatures on Earth – and sign up for future Primate of the Month.
BioBlitz the Quarantine – Keeping Kids Curious
With stay-at-home quarantines locking us all in getting outside in a safe space is an important mental health booster. You don’t need to travel to a far-away park or beach, your own yard can be a great place to start. A vacant lot or woodland will also work. Organizing a BioBlitz for the whole family can be a fantastic way of being out, being safe, and inspiring kids with nature and learning. Regardless of size of your “outdoors” discoveries are there, waiting to be made. Here are some ideas, guides and tools via a blog we posted here: BioBlitzzing Resources Blog
Environmental Education (EE) is a key program area for us at GLOBIO and we partner and work with a whole host of great organizations. One of those, National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), has created a wonderful page of multi-level resources to explore Environment Education at Home. Activities range from the simple to the scientific.
Citizen Science projects have been around for a number of years but have never been more valuable than now. If you are not familiar with this everybody-engaged learning effort it is defined as scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur scientists. Citizen science is sometimes described as “public participation in scientific research. Citizen science can range from something as common as birdwatching to highly elaborate data record-keeping under the mentoring of a professional scientist. Here is a list and links to a variety of Citizen Science projects for a range of ages and interests fit for families staying at home.
Grade Level Learning Resources
Scholastic launched a day-to-day learning resource for reading, thinking and growing young minds. The Learn at Home website features daily lessons that combine videos, stories and prompts for drawing and writing activities. The resources are segregated in learning levels. Grade levels include pre-K and kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3 to 5, and grades 6 and up.
Virtual Museum Tours and Learning
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City might be closed to in person visits but the website is open and alive with cool science and science learning. They have a great section specifically for engaging kids called Ology Website. Their Ology science website provides games and activities for kids and covers a range of science topics, including archaeology, paleontology, astronomy and marine biology. AMNH courses on Khan Academy delve into subjects such as human evolution, earthquakes and volcanoes, the universe, and, of course, dinosaurs. You can also peek behind the scenes on the museum’s YouTube channel, or take a tour of the universe in videos created for the Hayden Planetarium.
LIVE Webcams to Explore the World
Most zoos and aquariums are closed to the public, but they are open everyday for their animals. LIVE webcams are a great way to engage kids and the whole family on a holiday virtually. Check out your local institution for webcams and hours or start here: the Oregon Zoo has a great all-in-one resource a LIVE feed and several archived videos with associated activities, there are 10 live webcams at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where you can digitally swim with sharks, paddle with sea otters, waddle with penguins and much more. The San Diego Zoo has 11 animal webcams, and in the US capital the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has four animal webcams.
For many online learning and exploring our world is a new journey, we will continue to post opportunities here and edit this blog post over the coming weeks and months. Please check back often