Free Environmental Education Programs You Can Do With Your Family
The following programs were created by AmeriCorps EELCorps member Katherine Smith for you to do with your family. Head outside, safely socially distanced from others, and learn about what kind of plants, flowers and animals may be in your own backyard. Several programs include a free PDF to download to get the most out of each lesson.
For Earth Week activities, click here.
Skull Identification: Exploring bone structures and animal adaptations
Have you ever been curious why animal skulls look the way they do? We explore different animal skulls, why they look different and what adaptations they have. Click here for activity pages to use with the video, including skull identification photos.
Story Time: “Hike” by Pete Oswald
This is a picture story of a father and child who go on a great adventure. Do you go exploring outside with your parents? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? How do you feel? What adventures do you find? We hope this inspires you to get outside and explore.
Make Your Own Seed Balls
Seed Balls: In partnership with Sekisui, we learn how to make seed balls! This do-it-yourself video will explore what all you need to make your own. A seed ball is essentially a small ball made of clay, soil and seed. It is a low maintenance way to plant wildflowers. Wildflowers are not only beautiful, they’re important for the health of our community and ecosystem. They really great at improving the air quality that we breathe. They increase the amount of pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, birds, and strengthen and stabilize the soil.
Story Time: “Why I Wake Early” by Mary Oliver
We explore the writings of renowned poet Mary Oliver. This selection of poems from her book ‘Why I Wake Early’ is accompanied by short writing prompts for you to do at home. Download the writing prompt here.
Story Time: “Tree Valentine” by George Ella Lyon
Here is the final poem in our George Ella Lyon series, “Tree Valentine.” After watching download this free creative writing activity to do with your children to further explore the themes of this poem.
Story Time: “All the Water in the World”
We continue looking at the writings of Kentucky author and poet George Ella Lyon. Katherine Smith reads “All the Water in the World”, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson.
Story Time: “What Forest Knows”
Dive into the writings of Kentucky author and poet George Ella Lyon with “What Forest Knows,” illustrated by August Hall. Lyon was born in Harlan, Kentucky. Can you see her experiences reflected in her book?
Free Family Activity: Nature Weaving
Nature weaving is a great activity that explores the intersection between nature and art. A practice in fine motor skills, this activity can foster both physical development as well as creative development. Head outside for some fun!
Free Family Activity: Bean Germination
Ever wondered how a plant’s root system develops? You can watch in action by making your own bean germination bag. You’ll get to see the growth process from bean to plant. Download here.
Story Time: “Outside your Window” – Summer poems, Part 2
AmeriCorps EELCorps member Katherine Smith reads the second half of Summer poems from “Outside your Window” written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld.
Story Time: “Outside your Window” – Summer poems
In celebration of the summer solstice AmeriCorps EELCorps member Katherine Smith reads a selection of poems from the ‘Summer’ section in the book “Outside your Window” written by Nicola Davies Illustrated by Mark Hearld.
Story Time: “Finding Wild” by Megan Wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Abigail Halpin
“Finding Wild” written by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Abigail Halpin takes you on an adventure. Find your own wild by heading outside after watching.
Free activity: Make your own outdoor art!
Ephemeral art is a fun and easy way to explore the outdoors. Download the free activity sheet here to learn what ephemeral art is and how to make it.
Story time: “The Snail and the Whale” written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
AmeriCorps EELCorps member Katherine Smith takes you on an adventure with “The Snail and the Whale” written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
Story Time: “Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis
This week for story time we are reading the book “Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis. Download the free activity sheet here.
Story Time: “Stellaluna” by Janell Cannon
To another happy Friday! This week for story time we are reading “StellaLuna” by Janell Cannon. In this wonderful tale we can learn the similarities and differences between being a bird and being a bat.
Story Time: “The Salamander Room,” by Anne Mazer Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
This week’s story time features “The Salamander Room,” written by Anne Mazer Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Download bonus Salamander Room Activity Sheets here.
Story Time: “Outside Your Window” by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Herald
This week for story time AmeriCorps EELCorps member Katherine Smith reads poems about Spring in “Outside Your Window” by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Herald. For more free family activities please visit ClarkAmbition.org.
Sound mapping is a great practice in auditory awareness and observation. In this program we learn about and create our own sound maps! Download our worksheet for a sound map template.
Story time with “Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt” by Kate Messner
In this program we will be learning about the basics of plant observation and identification by looking at what is blooming in our backyards. This is an easy way to start learning about the plants that surround us and ways that we can start to know and name them. Download here
Spring Ephemerals are some of the first plants to pop up and bloom in early spring. They typically bloom soon after emerging and die back in early to mid-summer. In this program, AmeriCorps EELCorps member Katherine Smith discusses the basics of native spring ephemerals, including how to identify them. Download a plant ID sheet and creative writing prompt here.
Explore three more spring ephemerals native to Kentucky. Download a plant ID sheet and creative writing prompt.