If you and your children love animals, then you’re in for a big treat! Cultural institutions such as zoos and aquariums in the United States are bringing nature and wildlife closer to your homes to add fun to your family time. These virtual tours are a perfect way to spark your children’s curiosity from the comfort of your couch!
San Diego Zoo, learn with arts & crafts:
The cameras of the San Diego Zoo (California) look into the lives of all kinds of animals as diverse as elephants, tigers, giraffes, koalas, pandas, and even friendly penguins. In addition, the zoo’s website offers a section with dozens of educational activities for families to enjoy and learn more about the animals as well as video tutorials to make a zebra puppets, a wolf-shaped book organizer, homemade koala cuddly toys, or even learn how to make figures of different animals with plant leaves. Educational video games that revolve around fauna life are also available, to continue learning while having fun.
Houston we have… an elephant:
Establishing a schedule with routines is, according to experts, fundamental to better manage situations like the one we are experiencing. The Houston Zoo (Texas) offers a detailed daily schedule of activities, including virtual tours of animals and other initiatives.
Discovering the seas, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium:
Delving into the immensity of the sea is now easier, not only by visiting such special aquariums as the Monterey Bay Aquarium (California), but also by enjoying its multimedia content, which brings underwater life and the ecosystems closer. The aquarium’s live cameras offer images of corals, jellyfishes, sea birds and even sharks, and the website includes a section to learn from home with numerous interactive activities, from drawings to colouring, riddles, and exploration games for children to become scientists and “discover” marine species.
Meet the star of the Georgia Aquarium, the beluga whale:
One of nature’s most impressive animals is the beluga whale, the star of the Georgia Aquarium. This whale lives in an aquarium that reproduces a cold-water ecosystem in which other fishes and specimens co-live. In addition, other galleries of the Georgia Aquarium allow to explore several ecosystems and animals such as sharks, manta rays, piranhas, dolphins or crocodiles. The website offers children’s activities classified by age and a series of five documentary episodes that explore marine life, with the help of the centre’s education experts.
A Safari from home.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (Ohio) is famous for the array of species and habitats that can be visited. While closed, virtual safaris are hosted daily to explore the “homes” of some of the most amazing animals living in this center. The Home Safari Facebook Live puts the spotlight on the habits of varied animals as Komodo dragons, hippos, bonobos, armadillos, alligators, and owls, among others, and also includes a didactic activity to be completed at home, that will help to learn about animals skills and features while kids (and parents) have fun together.
Three, two, one… action, in NYC zoos.
New York City has been featured in thousands of films, and some of the zoos are also part of the show! Live cameras located in the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo are broadcasting the daily lives of their own “stars”, showing a unique and closer perspective of the daily routine of wild animals and exotic species living in most visited zoos and aquariums of the city.
Under the sea, on your own screen.
Technology and social media also allows you to zoom in the depths of the oceans from home and explore the colorful scenery and the varied ecosystems under the sea. National Aquarium, in Baltimore (Maryland) features a complete virtual tour, floor-by-floor, to discover all the creatures and species; and the New England Aquarium, in Boston (Massachusetts), broadcasts in Facebook Live the daily activities of the animals, including their feeding time and some recommendations to protect the most endangered species. Sea turtle lovers will learn and enjoy the resources shared by the research, rehabilitation, education and conservation Loggerhead Marinelife Center, in Juno Beach (Florida), including virtual tours around its sea turtle hospital and aquariums, as well as Facebook Live Sessions on ocean preservation and sea creatures.