What do frogs, otters, and climate change have in common? They're all subjects of the excellent back to school education opportunities offered by The Wild Center! This fall, many children are learning from home, at school, or a mixture of both. Some of the usual weekend destinations that families love are closed or have limited services. At The Wild Center, indoor exhibits are currently closed, but for little learners there are innovative, unique online options, available through Facebook and the Wild Center website. Best of all, you can get involved from anywhere, whether you're in Alaska or just down the road in Tupper Lake.
Offered Monday through Friday at noon, Lunchtime Live offers exciting learning opportunities led by Wild Center naturalists and animal care specialists. Past topics have included climate change, otter updates, herpetology, and naturalist chats about the habitats of the Adirondacks. You can even see live animals interact with the staff who care for them as they share information about the animals, making for an exciting and engaging lesson you won't find anywhere else.
Become a junior naturalist
If your little learners are like me and you think naturalists have some of the coolest jobs on the planet, or are simply totally interested in wildlife, then the junior naturalist activity set is the thing for them. Available online, the junior naturalist program is a series of eight activities, which you can spread out over eight weeks. The activities cover environmental topics that will help kids learn about the Adirondacks and make them junior naturalists! Little learners will become mini experts on insects, sustainability, herbivores and food webs, birds, fish, reptiles, and semi-aquatic mammals like otters. Includes videos and activities that can be completed in your own backyard!
Kids love field trips. Really, really love field trips. Thanks to The Wild Center's virtual visits, kids at home can enjoy a virtual field trip, allowing them to explore the wonders of The Wild Center from their own home. Using super cool 360-degree photo technology, kids of all ages can click their way through The Wild Center's interior exhibits, going wherever they want. Get close to a fish tank or pop from room to room with ease. You can even view the virtual visit in VR, for an extra immersive visit.
One of the best ways to learn and get curious about things is by observing. Whether your little one is watching you feed the dog and asking "why?" or gazing at the stars and again asking "why?" they can learn so much by watching the world around them. Otters — river otters, in this instance — are cute, fascinating aquatic mammals and some live right here at The Wild Center. From the comfort of your own home or even the middle of Lake Champlain, you can watch these otters eating, playing, and even napping thanks to the live ottercam! It's otter-ly delightful and a great way to learn more about these awesome Adirondack mammals. Your kids may still ask "why?" but it's about otters, so it's all good.
Wherever you are, enjoy the natural history of the Adirondacks through The Wild Center's virtual learning activities and experiences. This is also a great way to help you plan a trip to Tupper Lake!