A Conservation Volunteers event in 2015 attended by Virden Girl Guides. They got their hands dirty cleaning up old shingles and debris from the Jiggens Bluff property in Manitoba. (Photo by NCC)
We've compiled a list of learning resources to help Manitobans of all ages connect with nature, whatever the weather! From free games, to apps, to videos, we've gathered some fun and interactive resources to teach you and your children about the importance of nature in Manitoba.
Classic games, with a nature twist
Here are some fun games and activities with a nature twist to print out and play as a family:
- Scavenger hunt: Join your children on a nature scavenger hunt. These worksheets encourage children to use each of their senses to find treasures in their backyard.
- Pollinator Habitat Hunt
- Plant Scavenger Hunt
- Roadside Scavenger Hunt
- Spring Scavenger Hunt
- Summer Scavenger Hunt
- Winter Scavenger Hunt
- Urban Scavenger Hunt
Take a tour
Take a virtual tour of some of Manitoba's fantastic conservation projects from the comfort of home:
- Google Trekker tours of Fort Ellice and Elk Glen are a great reminder of Manitoba's beauty and the importance of natural areas.
- Take a virtual tour of Manitoba's Oak Lake Sandhills and Wetlands.
Watch, learn and share
The internet abounds with great nature videos, but we have rounded up a few of our favourites. Challenge your children to write down or draw five things they learned from these videos. Let these videos be a starting point for a larger project on a Manitoba species at risk, habitat or ecosystem. Children can research a nature topic, create drawings or build models of their topic and present them to their families (in personal or virtually):
- NCC's YouTube channel gives you access to many educational videos about nature and the work that NCC is doing to protect species at risk and important habitats across the country. Start with these videos on the what, why and how of community science.
- For an ecological, science-based showed that's designed for kids, but everyone will enjoy, check out the Wild Kratts.
- Join Metis Christian Pilon in La Terre en Nous as he travels across Canada looking for people making a difference for the planet. One of our favourite episodes is the second, featuring NCC Manitoba's Cary Hamel, talking about the endangered Poweshiek skipperling.
- National Geographic's YouTube channel offers nature videos from around the world, including footage from Canada. Explore the largest gathering of snakes in the world at the Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba's Interlake, find some of the hidden gems of Manitoba, or take a 360 degree viewing experience of Canada's Wild Rivers.
- Striking Balance is an eight-part documentary series that explores Canada's biosphere reserves. Did you know that the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve is located without our Manitoba's Riding Mountain Natural Area?
Web and app fun
There are lots of great educational websites and apps out there to teach your children about nature. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Download the Earth Rangers app, where your kids will have access to quizzes, games and real-world missions, like building backyard habitats and making forest-friendly crafts.
- Bird Academy Play Lab by The Cornell Lab let's kids play bird-related games that explore flight, song, dance, feathers and more.
- Download iNaturalist or eBird app to help teach your kids about identifying animals and plants, and encourage them to become community scientists!
- Celebrate the return of the birds. Make a list of birds you see returning to your backyard and what day and time you saw them.
- Be a researcher. Have your child research a Manitoba-based species and create a poster outlining the physical description, diet, habitat, interesting facts and threats to survival of their animal or plant of choice.
- Be a nature campaigner. Have your child make a list of ways they can take action in their community to help the natural world. They can make a poster about one action they can take and encourage others to join them.
- Be an environmental artist. Encourage your child to create while outside in the backyard, balcony or event in front of a window. Kids can draw, paint, sculpt, write or compose what they see in nature.
- Keep it clean. Children can pick up any garbage they find in their backyard or neighbourhood.
Manitoba Nature Education Program
In light of the current situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is postponing all education programming indefinitely. Watch this space for more information.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Manitoba Region is proud to offer programs that are:
- Unique nature-based interactive programs;
- Available year-round across southern Manitoba; and
- Linked to Manitoba science and social studies curriculum.
Find out more about our Nature Education Program.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has implemented measures to comply with government and health authority regulations with respect to public safety and COVID-19. All registrants will be asked to complete a health assessment prior to attending the event.
NCC's Conservation Volunteers program engages people in the protection of Canada's biodiversity. The program provides a meaningful, hands-on, educational experience in important natural areas. Our events are carefully designed to ensure your volunteer time is dedicated to critical conservation activities.
Conservation Volunteers can help staff on projects that contribute to the long-term management of properties owned and managed by NCC and our partners, right across Canada.
To speak to the community relations manager or engagement coordinator in NCC's Manitoba Region, please contact us at email@example.com or 1-866-683-6934.