Best wildlife and nature home schooling resources

Best wildlife and nature home schooling resources
Watch wildlife webcams, construct habitats, grow seeds on a windowsill and make eco-friendly choices – we've rounded up the best nature and wildlife home schooling resources to help your child explore the world without straying from home.
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Best for learning about plants

Immerse your child in the world of plants and fungi with videos, games and challenges for KS1 and KS2 from Kew Learning at Home. Learn to identify fungi "villains", find out about battlefield botany and how plants can transform spaces and commemorate people and think about food sustainability and how we can work to end world hunger.

All the resources are curriculum-aligned and designed to satisfy your child's curiosity about the plants around us.

Best for wildlife webcams

The webcams provided by Wildlife Trusts across the British Isles offer us a glimpse of ospreys, puffins, badgers, peregrines, bats, owls, kestrels and more – and the view is unrivalled. Will you see birds nesting or new chicks hatching and growing during their first few weeks of life? It's hard to stop watching!

You'll also find free wildlife-themed activity sheets and nature spotter guides to try at home and in the garden on the Surrey Wildlife Trust website

Best for scientist-led wildlife exploration videos

 
The @LizzieDalyWildlifeTV Channel will lead you deep into a wild world of adventure! Biologist, natural history TV presenter, adventurer and wildlife expert shares her experience of expeditions to wild locations all over the world and offers 20 minutes of daily earth lessons LIVE from around the world. From the secrets of giant ocean sunfish to the wonders of peat bogs, join inspiring scientists, conservationists and wildlife filmmakers to find out more about the world outside your front door.

Best for interactive games about nature

The Woodland Trust's Tree Tools for Schools website is packed with wildlife ID sheets, quizzes and some bright, angaging interactive puzzles to help your child learn about plants, trees and animals through play.

Want to take the learning outside? Try nature activities like ladybird potato stamps, natural art and making a loo roll bird feeder.

Best for learning about animal welfare

Think about and debate animal welfare issues with the RSPCA's free home learning resources. You could become an animal protector, learn to photograph your pet, build a woodland den or make a bird feeder out of orange peel.

To introduce children to the five welfare needs of animals there are interactive games and videos on the RSPCA Animals & Us website, as well as more lesson-based animal welfare teaching resources for primary children on topics including farm animals, wildlife habitats and pets.

Best for a whole-family nature challenge

This June, join the 50,000+ people in the UK taking part in the annual nature challenge 30 Days Wild! Throughout the month you'll be encouraged to do one wild thing a day for your health, wellbeing and for the planet. That’s 30 simple, fun and exciting Random Acts of Wildness!

You’ll get a free, downloadable pack to help you plan your wild month, plus lots of ideas to inspire you to stay wild all in June (and beyond!). Additional, fun activities will be emailed to you, from instructions for baking hedgehog cupcakes to a beginner’s guide to wildlife photography.

Best for child-friendly gardening

The world may be an uncertain place at the moment, but there is comfort in knowing that the sun rises every day and plants and growing and flowers blooming as spring moves towards summer. Stay connected with nature with some RHS family gardening suggestions: make recycled watering devices, grow vegetables in mini allotments on your windowsill, make a potato bag monster, put together a sensory touch box or design your dream garden.

Activities, lesson plans, gardening projects and plant information sheets are available on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website – we love the Individual step by step guides to useful gardening skills and the one-off outdoor tasks which can be completed in an hour or less.

Best for an at-home safari

 
Home School Safari is an online, free to access, learning resource hub from Learning & Discovery at Knowsley Safari in Merseyside. Although Knowsley Safari is currently closed, the animal keepers are still on site every day, caring for animals and uploading photos and videos so you can see what's going on from home!

As well as explanation videos (and accompanying worksheets) about topics like animal classification and habitats, you can watch real veterinary videos showing a lion X-Rays and a tiger’s tooth being examined!

Best for environment home learning packs

Make your own bioplastic, open a bug hotel, grow a vertical garden and find out about food chains, food miles and maps – just a few of the activities in the free Home Learning Packs from the Young People’s Trust for the Environment. No special materials are required and there's minimal printing to do, so you can focus on open-ended learning projects and natural-world research topics children can explore independently.

Best for eco-friendly ideas

Find out about the nature around you and do one small action, each day – an iDot, which stands for I Do One Thing – to benefit the natural world. Don't forget to document your iDots to inspire others – if everyone in the UK did one action every day, what a huge difference we could all make together! There are lots of ideas to get you started on the website: iDots for children to complete, small changes for familes and easy eco-behaviours to try indoors as well as out.

Best for rediscovering nature as a family

 
Over a hundred years ago, Welsh poet W. H. Davies reminded us

What is this life if, full of care / We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs / And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass / Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
[...]


Today, the National Trust are challenging us all to experience the small moments of joy nature brings us in five different ways, listen to the sounds we hear around us, looking closely at the colours and movement in the world, thinking about how nature feels, discovering something new about the natural world and finally using nature to inspire us to get creative. Could your family make a piece of wild art, write a poem or draw a picture to share?

Best for inspiring the next generation of Earth-lovers

 
TED-Ed Earth School is made up of 30 adventures to help learners of all ages to celebrate and connect to nature, inspired by videos, articles and interactive resources from some of the world's best educational organisations.

Covering real-world concepts like the water we drink, the trees in our forests or the food on our plates, each Earth Day daily Quest consists of an explanatory video and a fun quiz combined with a series of interactive resource. There's lots of additional content to watch, read, and do to expand your family's learning and help us all become conscious, nature-minded citizens of Earth (whatever our age!).

Best for zoological information

Animal fact files, environmental pledges, virtual zoo days, building habitats in boxes and more – the Chester Zoo Learning Resources archive offers activities on animal behaviour, biodiversity, deforestation, ecosystems, UK wildlife and lots more. All the downloads are free and you can filter them by age and topic. Perfect for budding conservationists!

Best for zoo webcams

It might be hard to tear yourself away from some of the best live streaming on the planet, courtesy of baboons, penguins, koalas, giraffes, condors and tigers! The San Diego Zoo webcams allow you to see elephants playing ball, platypuses swimming and apes swinging around their enclosures – mesmerising viewing.

Best for local wildlife spotting advice

 
The Wildlife Trusts look after 2,300 nature reserves across the UK. There are 150,000 Wildlife Watch members in the UK, and the Wildlife Watch videos have loads of suggestions for ways to explore your local surroundings and get closer to the wildlife you share them with. Learn to identify birds from their song, make a nectar bar and a wormery and build a mini pond – and  why not try your hand at worm charming?

Best for natural history resources

Discover a huge library of dinosaur resources, make beeswax food wraps and bird cakes, press flowers and make a pitfall trap to observe minibeasts – the Natural History Museum Try This at Home activities help families explore, investigate, examine and catalogue findings from the natural world (past and present). You can also develop your natural history interests by taking part in citizen science projects, or get expert help identifying your finds.