Today’s blog is a little bit of a departure from our informational or educational blogs. Today, we want to focus on the importance of educating children about wildlife. Studies have shown that children learn new topics and remember information easier than adults do (BBC 2006).
By educating younger generations on the importance of caring for our wildlife, we can help create a strong foundation for the future. Children who are taught the importance of respecting and helping wildlife will be more empathetic towards wildlife issues throughout their lives.
So how can you get children involved with wildlife? Why not play some fun games involving animals this holiday season?!
Below is a list of games we have compiled for families of all ages to enjoy over the holidays.
Road Trip Bingo Cards
– We’ve created 5 different bingo cards for you to save and print out (simply click on the follow links).
– These are great if you’re driving between cities over the holiday season and want to give your kids an interactive game.
– This game could be for the entire family.
– Split into two teams and try to guess what animal each person is acting as using noises and actions.
– Just write different animal types onto pieces of paper, place in a bowl or hat or mug, and start acting!
– You could use any animals, be we’ve compiled a short list of animals found in Alberta:
• Mammals (deer, porcupine, beaver, moose).
• Birds (snowy owl, crow, magpie, bald eagle, screech owl, pygmy owl, red-tailed hawk, duck, Canada goose, swan, loon, chickadee, gull, great-horned own).
• Aquatic (fish, frog, salamander).
– Play musical chairs as usual, but when a player is “out”, they must make the sound of their favourite animal and everyone else has to guess what it is.
Draw an Animal
– It could even be as simple as providing your kids with colouring utensils and paper, and having them draw their favourite animal we’ve had at AIWC this past year. Just pop on over to our Instagram page to choose an animal!
Christmas Bird Count
– For the older kids and adults who are somewhat experienced at identifying birds in their areas.
– This is a yearly tradition that’s been around since 1900!
– The Christmas Bird Count is exactly what it sounds like: count and identify birds in your specific area.
– There are several locations across Canada that have organized bird counts between December 17 and January 4.
– Check the Bird Studies Canada site to get more information and find a count near you: https://www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/cbc/
If games aren’t your thing, we have several items in our gift shop to help get kids involved and learn about wildlife. Keep in mind for your next occasion that we have items such as our children’s book, The Scared Skunk, and several stuffed animals to represent those we often have in care at AIWC. All proceeds go to helping orphaned and injured wildlife admitted to AIWC.
Do you have any wildlife games that you’d like to share? Comment below!
By Tayler Lafreniere, AIWC Volunteer
BBC News. 2006. Why the young learn more easily. Available online at: https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6172048.stm. Accessed December 18, 2017.