Covid-19 has drastically changed life as we know it and school is just one aspect that has shifted. Many school districts around the northwest and the country have gone online for the foreseeable future. If your kid is learning online, it can be stressful and overwhelming but the good news is that there are some fun ways outside of zoom classes to learn!
Located in Eatonville, WA, NW Trek is a wildlife park and home to wildlife like bison, wolves, and elk. While they’ve been recently closed to the public because of wildfire smoke, there are plenty of online classes and videos for kids to learn about the animals that call the park (and the northwest) home! Their online academy has Zoom classes on topics like raptors in the park, animal enrichment, and wolverines.
- Individual books close 2 days before the classes and cost $10. Group programming and rates are available.
The Zoo To You program has a variety of resources for parents, caretakers, and teachers! There are blog posts with lessons and activities for kids under 8 years old and activity booklets you can download and print out at home! Like Northwest Trek, Woodland Park has videos on the animals in the zoo, including Carson the red panda! If you or any kid in your life likes animals, the Woodland Park Zoo YouTube channel has a number of great videos.
There are, of course, plenty of books for kids and adults alike about animals of all kinds! The library is always a great way to borrow books, magazines (like NatGeo!), and DVDs. Many branches are, unfortunately, temporarily closed because of covid-19 and/or wildfire smoke. If you don’t want to wait, the smartphone app ‘Libby’ is a great resource, as it has ebooks and audiobooks from your local library! Some books to consider include:
- Animal: Exploring the Zoological World
- Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart
- Zoology for Kids by Josh and Bethanie Hestermann
- Dogs: A Natural History by Jake Page
Similarly, there are plenty of shows and films about wildlife and domesticated animals all around the world. The Tigers of Scotland and Kedi are two documentaries about cats but drastically differ in focus. The Tigers of Scotland focuses on Britain’s only and very elusive wildcat while Kedi is about the domesticated street cats of Istanbul and the effect they have on human life in the city. Pick of the Litter, on the other hand, is a documentary about a litter of labrador retrievers born at Guide Dogs for the Blind in California and follows their journey to potentially becoming guide dogs!
Of course, all of these resources are just the beginning of what’s out there! There are so many ways to learn about the great outdoors and the animals we live with (or near). Do you have any favorite books, films, or other resources about animals? Let me know in the comments!