With schools across the state – and across the country – closed as society deals with the scourge of COVID-19, kids are home in need of things to keep their minds active.
Rather than just keeping kids busy during these long days of social distancing, parents and families can use the time to expand knowledge and have fun while doing so. After all, learning opportunities aren’t restricted to schools.
Fortunately, an array of educational and learning tools and games exist online. To help expand awareness and understanding of our favorite topic, clean air, check out these resources:
AirNow Air Quality
What is air pollution and where does it come from? This site offers simple age-appropriate lessons and games to explore air pollution and its impacts.
The site breaks learning tools into two age groups: Kindergarten through 1st Grade (5-6 years old), and Kids 7-10 years old. Each section offers learning through gameplay. Note that the K-1 section requires Flash so it is not compatible with iOS devices such as iPads/iPhones.
EPA Energy Kids
Crafted for kids in grades 3-8, this award-winning site presents a wide range of activities, from games to simple experiments that be done safely at home. Youngsters will find puzzles, riddles, and experiments to enjoy while learning. Parents can use the “teacher resource” section to help direct the learning experience.
National Institute of Environmental Health “Kids’ Environment/Kids’ Health”
As noted on the site, “Scientists get to solve puzzles every day, because science and research involve finding solutions from the clues that we are given.” This site gives kids the chance to play games while finding solutions to science questions, too. Kids and parents will find the site organized into sections focused on science topics, learning games, home activities, and structured lessons. There are even some sing-along songs for creative kids who like to learn through music.
Recycle City interactive map
There’s lots to do here – people and places to visit and plenty of ways to explore how the city’s residents recycle, reduce, and reuse waste.
To get started, just click on any section of Recycle City that you want to tour. You can create your own Recycle City scavenger hunt or go to the Activities area for other ways you can explore. Or try one of our cool games!
Project Learning Tree 10 Hands-on Science Projects
This site covers a range of environmental and science topics, and the learning activities are targeted to a wide variety of age groups. As with any science activity, adult supervision is highly recommended – though the projects are generally safe, some have the potential to be messy if participants don’t focus (i.e., #1 – Oil Spill Simulation). Soe of the tasks include long-term commitments and monitoring (i.e. biodegradability) so the extended nature of this social distancing experiment is well suited to the lesson.