If you care for wildlife, your kids probably do too!
Wildlife for Kids helps you further foster the love of wild animals in your kids while also developing their creativity and having family fun.
There is so much about wildlife that kids will love and learn, and this can create young wildlife defenders, or Kids for Wildlife!
Kid and wildlife: a moment of mutual fascination
So, one idea is to bring the wilderness to your home!
We're not talking about bringing a baby elephant home, by the way. Just giving out some ideas for indoors activities involving wildlife...
Also a walk in the garden or in Nature will provide the perfect opportunity to get kids in touch with wild animals: so further down are some ideas for outdoor activities.
Having fun activities centered on wildlife, or having wild animals on the background of family games, gives you the opportunity to discuss these subjects with your kids and start them thinking about the beauty of wildlife and why we should protect it.
In more details, here's a few Kids’ wildlife ideas for indoor activities:
Download wild animals coloring (coloring books with wild animals),
Holidays activity: Each night, draw the wildlife spotted during the day and add wildlife stickers
Use any occasion to learn more about different animals.
Animals are fascinating: some are very clever, some funny, some plain weird - just check some animals you may have never heard of in the animal facts page. Select and learn about a new animal every week. Make it part of your routine.
For inspiration, you can use our Environmental Event Calendar to see whether there is a special animal or cause for today's date.
For instance, the third Saturday in February is World Pangolin Day! Can your children draw a pangolin? If not, search it on the internet or go to your local library and borrow a book about it.
Other dates good to know featuring wild animals:
- 15 February: Hippo Day
- 7 April: Beaver Day
- 23 May: Turtle Day
- 29 July: International Tiger Day
- 10 August: World Lion Day
- 22 October : World Rhino Day
Select books featuring wildlife - Note: it's better to read books about wildlife that rely on real facts than books that use wild animals to say humans stories... Just dressing a tiger with a tutu and sending it to dance class is not teaching anything about wild animals to your kids...
You can also invent your own wildlife stories about animals you like.
Or just rely on the talented people out there that write them! See these great stories: the fable of the pheasant coucal, Dandy the baby pheasant coucal, Pelican Post from animal rescuer and great friend of mine, Greg Grimmett.
You can buy them from non-for-profit organisations (puzzles, jigsaw, card games, question games...) or you can make simple ones yourself.
For instance, use another board game or even better: create a board game with your kids. It only need to have a path with a start and a finish and positions on which players will land. In each square or island a player can land when throwing the dice, write an action: pick up a card, go two steps back, jump three steps ahead, etc.
Now for the fun part: create cards with wildlife questions (you can use our animal quiz)! Adapt to the age of your kids and specific interests, and you're playing!
Have games around wild animals, coach kids to make their own animal mask and costume, and instead of hiring a clown or a fairy, invite a wildlife presenter with real animals!
It does exist!
If you live around Brisbane in Australia, see these cool wildlife presenters! Or search for wildlife presenters near you on your favourite web browser...
Listen to birds calling in your garden, and buy CDs of animal calls and natural sounds from around the world.
Don't stop there either: imitate wild animals! Get out there and bellow like a koala, roar like a tiger, trumpet like an elephant, click like a dolphin!
For example, wild animal toys or stuffed wild animals, wild animal wall stickers, wild animal wallpaper, wild animal stickers (a whole time favourite!), even wild animals full-queen comforter for your baby to start even younger!
Attracting a wild bird by tricking it with a bit of bark... and being pretty astonished it worked!!
The more time your kids spend outdoors, looking at all wild things around them, the more sensitive to Nature they will become.
Kids’ wildlife ideas for outdoor activities include:
You don't need to go too far: there's lots of interesting bugs, snails and birds out there! Especially if you are consciously making your garden wildlife friendly (see below).
Get them to plant native trees and bushes, and create shelter and food for wildlife: see more on how to create a wild garden.
Who can hear the first bird?
Who can find the first insect? Fungus? Lichen?
Who can find an animal that flies?
That eats insects?
Ideas will come from the landscape: from drawings at the beach incorporating algae and shells, to little nest or tree-house in the forest...
Animal poo is actually really interesting, so make it fascinating by telling the stories behind poo.
- you can see what an animal has eaten from its poo,
- animals communicate with their poo and wee about their age and gender, even about whether they are stressed or are ready to have babies!
- birds produce their wee and poo together!
- wombat have square poo...
Who's done that? (Left: possum, Right: Mum and baby kangaroo)
Especially if they are funny wildlife facts!
Sharing knowledge about animals and their habitats will make Nature walks fascinating for your kids.
If you don't feel knowledgeable enough, do a quick search and get up to speed before you go on your walk. Everyone will enjoy it even more!
Kids love to get involved and do things, especially with their parents.
Let your children be part of things you do as an adult to help the environment and its wild inhabitants.
For instance, kids can participate in any activity you do to help wildlife conservation. Always explain why you do it and involve them in the reflection behind the actions.
Kids can have a huge ripple effect when they bring these ideas to school with them and talk to their friends and teachers about starting a recycling program at school and other great "help save the planet" ideas they learnt with you!
Most kids instinctively love wildlife big and small
All the activities above are fun and can be done with children of any age, from the comfort of your home and garden or at the occasion of a walk in Nature.
If you are still hungry to become more involved with your kids for wildlife, there is more you can do: these are the Kids for Wildlife actions below!
Kids can volunteer and fund raise for wildlife. Many animal conservation organisations have kids' programs. Children have so much energy and passion, they are really great ambassadors for wildlife.
Raise money for an animal your kids love by organising a bake sale, a sausage sizzle, a garage sale, a car wash day, a car rallye, anything that's fun for you and/or uses your natural talents!
Kids that have motivation and support can change the world: see the inspiration young lady that has a goal of raising $100,000 for conservation as a fundraiser for wild animals.
Young Tegan has raised more than $70,000 for wildlife conservation.
She has just turn 14!
Many activity days organised by animal conservation organisations are kids friendly. You can go plant trees, count wild birds or bats, monitor mangroves, pick up garbage on the beach, again, this is an endless list.
You can also encourage you children to write to the local paper or to local and national politicians about wild animals. Get your kids to choose their favourite endangered species, or a local wild animal they care about, draw a nice picture of this animal, and send it with a pledge to help save their environment.
A fun way to make a difference for wild animals is to “adopt” one from an animal defender organisation. You can adopt a tiger, a turtle, an orangutan, a koala, a panda, an elephant -even a sloth, an okapi or a warthog! - at the wildlife adoption center of WWF
Pick an animal that your kids love and “adopt” it, meanwhile having lots of activities around that particular species:
Adoption packs sent by the wildlife organisation can also include soft toys, facts and information to give you a head start.
Kids are our future and if we want them to preserve wildlife, there is no time too early to start getting them involved with wild animals.
Meanwhile the natural beauty of wildlife, all the interesting facts about wild animals and the exciting playground of Nature are providing the perfect opportunities for healthy, fun, learning and creative activities.
Get your kids wild today!