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North Hills Kids Virtual & At-Home Activities
Virtual Field Trips: Zoos & Aquariums
Now, more than ever, it is important to keep our children engaged and stimulated as we all work through this period of uncertainty. North Hills Kids is here to help! We’ll be releasing weekly posts with ways your children can still benefit from programming, even if it is virtual. We also have some easy, at-home, screen-free tips and tricks coming your way. When we all work together to #stayhome, we can move closer toward gathering outside together again very soon!
In this week’s lesson plan, kids can take a virtual animal safari via various zoos’ animal cameras and participate in their online animal activities.
Zoo patrons can stay connected to their favorite animals through Home Safari Facebook Live sessions, to be offered between 3-5pm M-F. Each session will highlight an animal and provide an activity to do at home.
Go behind the scenes at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and get a hands-on perspective from those working directly with wildlife and conservation.
The Atlanta facility is home to a variety of animals whose homes are in the water, from alligators to whale sharks. The website features webcams offering a live look at beluga whales, California sea lions, jellyfish, piranhas, puffins, sea otters, and Indo-Pacific barrier reef and the ocean floor.
You can go big or very small with the live cameras at the second-most visited zoo in the US. Live cameras are trained on tiny leafcutter ants as they go about their work and at the elephants as they roam their expansive yard. Also on view are the chimpanzees, gorillas, giraffes and rhinos.
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Monterey, California, the aquarium offers 10 live-streaming cameras from both inside the facility and in the nearby ocean waters. Take a look at resident African penguins, sharks and other fishes, jellyfish, sea otters and aviary birds. Other cameras are trained on the open sea, a coral reef and a kelp forest.
The Southern California animal park has a website just for kids, featuring animal profiles, fun facts, stories, videos, activities, games and conservation information. Among current features is “A Tall Tale: Giraffe BFFs,” a story about two young male giraffes. Both were born with health problems, but with special care, they’ve grown up strong and healthy and are thriving in the larger zoo population. Craft activities include instructions for making sock puppets, animal figures, a piñata and more!
Roly-poly pandas and their antics are a perennial animal-lover favorite. The zoo website has a panda page with a live camera, information on a panda keeper’s job and regular panda news updates. It includes like behaviors, the differences between red pandas and giant pandas and how keepers tell individual pandas apart.
The Ouwehand Zoo’s tundra exhibit in Rhenen, Netherlands, is home to two polar bear cubs who play under the watchful eye of their mother, Freedom, and grandmother, Huggies. This website also includes webcams from a host of other animals for hours of entertainment!
Activities & Resources for a virtual field trip:
Take a Virtual Field Trip Lesson Plan
Zoo Field Trip Worksheet Freebie
Do more research on your favorite animal and make a guide
Research the habitat of your favorite animal & use at home materials to create a miniature habitat
If you have any other recommended zoos & aquariums to add to our list, let us know!
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