At-Home Learning Resources


As we are all being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to provide educational activities for students to do from home in order to continue their learning during this difficult time. Below is a list of activities that can be done in accordance with social distancing recommendations. Some of these activities involve going outside, some involve craft supplies or printing worksheets, and some are activities that can be done on the computer. We hope you enjoy, and let us know if you have any resources that you think should be added to this list! 

Snack-Sized Science: Snack-Sized Science are short, interactive science demos with the EarthEcho team meant to help young learners get excited to investigate the fascinating world of SCIENCE while at home! Activities are intended to engage families and students, grades 3-7, but all are welcome to play along. Tune in every Wednesday and Friday at 9:00am PT to join in on the fun with these easy, interactive science demos.

Science Made Fun: Alka Seltzer Lava Lamp This is really fun and easy experiment that can be done with pretty simple, everyday items!

Outdoor Activities! 

Calculating Stream Flow Float Test: Want to get outside? Find your nearest stream (with an adult) and use this activity to calculate the stream flow. 

Northwest Conifer Identification: Use this dichotomous key to identify evergreen branches or twigs you find outside! 

Animal Olympics: Get moving! This game gets you exercising and teaches you about the fun features of different animals. 

Discover the Fun of Backyard Geology: This hands-on activity is a great way to learn about geology from your home!

Family Activity: Bursting Buds. In this activity, children will use observation and scientific inquiry to explore the properties of budding plants in the springtime.

Free Family Field Trips: Nisqually Reach Nature Center is loaning out marine science kits which allow families to complete two self-guided surveys on gorgeous Luhr Beach. These surveys are part of the regular CLAMSS Nearshore field trips, and now you can do them with your family!

BirdSleuth Explorers Guidebook: You can download this guidebook for free and dive into a scavenger hunt, sound mapping, and more!

Check out this list of resources for activities that involve going outside!

To find outdoor trails and activities in your area, check out AllTrails. 

Water Quality Activities

Well/Aquifer Activity: A fun activity using household objects that demonstrates the relationship between groundwater, streams, and wells! You may already have most of these things on hand, but with a little imagination they can turn into a whole watershed!

Runoff Animation: This is a great (short) animation that demonstrates how our actions can affect surface runoff and water quality. 

Hyporheic Zone Video: This exciting video explores that wacky world of things living in the hyporheic zone (the area between pebbles in the stream bed)!

Home Watershed Activities: Compiled by our friends at South Sound GREEN

The Watershed Sleuth Challenge: In this Watershed Sleuth Challenge, you will learn more about your watershed—what it is, why it’s important, and what you can do to help protect it, as you earn badges at each level of this three-part course.

Project WET Home Lesson Plans: Project WET has provided four different lessons related to water than can be done at home.

Tree Planting Activities

Trees and carbon sequestration: Explore these resources that emphasize importance of acknowledging trees as living beings, and seeing them through the lens of native ways of knowing our connection with forests, trees and plants.

Salmon Toss Activities

Salmon Defense Video Featuring Billy Frank Jr: This animated video teaches you about the difficult journey upstream through the eyes of the salmon. 

Salmon Activity Book: This activity book contains games, coloring, mazes, and more! 

Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Salmon Activity Booklet includes images to color of all 5 Nisqually salmon species, their names in Lushootseed, facts about each species, and a Lushootseed matching game.

Salmon Challenges Game: This game allows you to be the salmon! Collect and lose points as you find obstacles and answer questions about a salmon’s journey. 

Eye On Nature Activities

NWF Poster contest: Design a poster to be featured on the promotional materials for the annual Nisqually Watershed Festival at Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. This year’s theme: Amphibians of the watershed! Click the link for more information on how to enter.

Diving Ducks Puzzle Game: Complete this online jigsaw puzzle, then learn about how to identify different species of diving ducks! 

All About Birds: This website has a great assortment of online games!

Make a DIY Backyard Bird Feeder: This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to make bird feeders using household items! 

PBS Kids: For younger kids, PBS Kids has great nature games. 

Endangered Species Board Game: Print out the game board and play this board game which teaches you about endangered species! 

Live Wildlife Cams: Check out this youtube channel to watch live video of different kinds of wildlife, and record how many different behaviors you can observe! 

Bird Song Hero: This is a fun game that helps you practice the key skills you need to ID all the bird songs you’re curious about. 

Animal Migration Activity Guide: This activity guide is full of fun ways to learn about animal migrations in the US. Designed for elementary age kids, it can be used in a classroom as a worksheet or at home for some easy activity ideas.

Who Painted the Flowers? This Coast Salish story published by the Burke Museum includes a link to their curriculum in the comments. “Stories are a way to teach people about social and cultural values that relate to aspects of tribal life and survival.” 

Build a Bird:  Use this activity by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to sharped up your bird anatomy skills. 

Art Lesson: How Do Birds Get Their Names? This guided activity walks through how many birds are named, and gives kids an opportunity to create their own bird and name it! 

NetLogo wolf-sheep-grass simulator: This is a great online simulator through which you can explore the relationships between wolves, sheep, and grass and the exchange of energy in an ecosystem. Each parameter (like number of sheep, amount of time grass needs to re-grow, and the amount of times it takes wolves to reproduce) is customizable, so you can change each one and see how it affects the outcome! 

Science & Nature Activities for Cooped Up Kids: The Cornell Lab has a great list of fun activities than can be done from home.

BirdSleuth Explorers Guidebook: You can download this guidebook for free and dive into a scavenger hunt, sound mapping, and more!

CLAMSS Materials

Discovering Estuaries: What is an Estuary?: In this lesson, participants learn how to identify estuaries, relate to Puget Sound’s ecosystem and learn how important estuaries are locally and globally. (From South Sound Estuarium)

Sanctuaries at Home: Learn about the Ocean, Atmosphere, and Great Lakes While at Home thanks to National Marine Sanctuaries. 

Free Virtual Marine Biology Camp: Oceans Initiative is launching this free, online camp for students at home to learn about marine biology! Tune in Monday and Thursday at 11am PST.

The National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series for Teachers: Educators, tune into this webinar series presented by NOAA. “The National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series provides educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. This series targets formal and informal educators that are engaging students (elementary through college) in formal classroom settings, as well as members of the community in informal educational venues (e.g. after school programs, science centers, aquariums, etc.).”

Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants: “Join NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries as we connect you to the network of underwater parks encompassing over 600,000 square miles of pristine marine ecosystems.” These live events connect students with experts in science and education, and provide an opportunity to explore marine sanctuaries near and far from the comfort of home.

NOAA Live! Webinars: While you are home, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Regional Collaboration Network in conjunction with Woods Hole Sea Grant and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is offering this series on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 EDT through June 12th, 2020. Each webinar features a different NOAA expert/topic and a moderated question and answers session throughout so that you can get a peek at what our NOAA scientists do in all the various NOAA offices. These webinars are geared toward grades 2-8 and allow students to connect with scientists. #NOAALive4Kids

For Parents

Craft Ideas for Kids: Check out this list of fun craft projects you can do at home, including making a dome from cardboard.

Fatherly.com: A great list of games and activities for kids at home.  

This page will be updated as we find more resources to help students, teachers and caregivers through this unusual time. Please contact maya@nisquallyriver.org with questions, concerns, or any additional resources that we could add!