Learning resources for kids

NCC Nature Day (Photo by HSBC Bank)

NCC Nature Day (Photo by HSBC Bank)

Experiencing and learning about nature can be challenging right now, so to help parents who are staying home with their children this spring, NCC has compiled a list of learning resources. From games, to apps, to videos, we've gathered some fun and interactive resources to teach your child about the importance of nature in Ontario.


 

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:

  1. Scavenger hunt – Send your children on a nature scavenger hunt in the backyard. These worksheets encourage children to use their senses to find treasures in their backyard.
  2. Bird sound mnemonics Learn about the calls that different birds make from Bird and Moon. Turn this into a game by mimicking bird calls and having your child guess what bird it comes from.
  3. Forestry teaching kits – From the Canadian Forestry Association, these teaching kits contain games and activities to help educate youth about the value of forests and the importance of conserving them.
  4. Homeschool activitiesReForest London has developed an online version of their Seeds to Forest education program for elementary school youth to learn about nature through a wide selection of at-home activities.

Watch, learn and share

Eastern loggerhead shrike (Photo by Dave Menke/USFWS)

Eastern loggerhead shrike (Photo by Dave Menke/USFWS)

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 an Ontario species at risk, park or ecosystem. Children can research a nature topic, create drawings or build models of their topic and present them to their families (in person or virtually):

 

 

  1. 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 off with a virtual tour of some of the amazing wild spaces that make up Ontario here.
  2. National Geographic's YouTube channel offers nature videos from around the world, including footage from Ontario and Canada. Explore the wilderness of Wabakimi Provincial Park, take a 360 degree viewing experience of Canada's Wild Rivers or learn a about the pitcher plant in Algonquin Provincial Park.
  3. TVO Digital Media offers many short educational video clips on Ontario species including videos on Algonquin wolves, Jefferson salamanders and loggerhead shrikes!
  4. Striking Balance is an eight-part documentary series that explores Canada’s biosphere reserves including Ontario’s Long Point and Georgian Bay.
  5. Leo's Fishheads by TVO Kids allows your kids to learn all about aquatic wildlife in Ontario.
NCC Nature Day (Photo by HSBC Bank)

NCC Nature Day (Photo by HSBC Bank)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Bird Academy Play Lab by The Cornell Lab let’s kids play bird-related games that explore flight, song, dance, feathers and more. 
  3. Download the iNaturalist Canada or eBird app to help teach your kids about identifying animals and plants, and encourage them to become citizen scientists! NCC offers a few educational videos on the what, why and how of citizen science.

Staff picks

NCC Nature Day (Photo by HSBC Bank)

NCC Nature Day (Photo by HSBC Bank)

Here are some of NCC staff’s favourite nature activities! We would love to see what your kids come up with, so feel free to upload their creations on social media and tag @ncc_cnc #time4nature!

  1. Be a nature reporter – Have children discover nature in their own backyard and record the plants, insects and birds they discover.
  2. Be a researcher – Have your child research an Ontario-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. 
  3. Be a nature campaigner – Have your child make a list of ways they can take action in their own community to help the natural world. They can make a poster about one action they can take and encourage others to take.
  4. Be an environmental artist – Encourage your children to create while outside in the backyard, balcony or even in front of a window. Kids can draw, paint, sculpt, write or compose what they see in nature.

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