20 Wild Ways to Explore Animal Habitats With Kids
Ready to explore animal habitats around the world, from rainforests to deserts and everything in between? These fun activities are just what you’re looking for. Take a walk on the wild side!
1. Start with an anchor chart.
Anchor charts are a terrific way to help kids focus (and re-focus later) on the subject at hand. For animal habitats, try a chart showing the characteristics of each habitat, or the animals that live there.
Learn more: Fun in First
2. Use free animal habitat sorting mats.
This collection of six free printable sorting mats covers all the major habitats and is perfect for introducing the concept to little learners.
Learn more: Totschooling
3. Clip the right habitat.
Here’s another fun way to help young kids learn about animal habitats. Use clothespins to clip the correct ecosystem for the animal shown on each of these free printable cards.
Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me
4. Color and learn about biomes.
These free coloring pages describe five major habitats and show a variety of animals for kids to color as they learn.
Learn more: Kindergarten Worksheets and Games
5. Play with animal habitats sensory tubs.
Assemble an assortment of mini animal habitat sensory tubs for kids to play with using small plastic animals … or their imaginations!
Learn more: The Imagination Tree
6. Sort animals using a Venn diagram.
Grab a tub of plastic animals and start sorting them by habitat. You’re bound to find at least a few that spend some of their lives in more than one. That’s where Venn diagrams come in handy!
Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids
7. Build animal habitats with STEM toys.
Round up your favorite building blocks and construction toys and ask kids to build their favorite animal habitats! This STEM challenge is fun for kids of all ages.
Learn more: Science is for Kids
8. Snack and sort animal crackers.
Take a closer look at your animal crackers and think about the habitats those creatures live in. Such a delicious way to learn!
Learn more: Kindergarten Worksheets and Games
9. Make a felt sorting mat.
There are lots of animal sorting activities, but we love this reusable (and adorable) felt mat. It’ll take a little work upfront, but kids can use this for years!
Learn more: Slinky + Moose
10. Write a For Sale ad for a habitat.
This clever writing exercise asks kids to “sell” their favorite animal habitat. It’s good practice with both habitat characteristics and persuasive writing.
Learn more: Teacher by the Beach
11. Put together an animal habitats triorama.
Dioramas are so last year … make trioramas instead! They’re easier than they look, and you can put multiples together to make really cool displays. Get the how-to at the link.
Learn more: Relief Teaching Ideas
12. Use a paint chip to represent ocean layers.
This is such a clever way to learn about the zones of the ocean! Grab a blue paint chip and label it with the zones, then draw the animals that correspond with each layer.
Learn more: Learning By Doing
13. Fill ocean zone sensory jars.
Here’s another cool idea for exploring the ocean zones. Use blue food coloring to tint the water in each layer, and add an animal that lives there.
Learn more: Edventures With Kids
14. Watch waves in a bottle.
Understanding how waves work is an important part of learning about ocean habitats. Make one of these cool wave bottles to see them in action.
Learn more: A Girl and a Glue Gun
15. Create sand dunes in the sandbox.
Head out to the sandbox (or pour some sand into a shallow bin) and use straws to blow up some dunes—a key part of a desert habitat.
Learn more: Creative Tots
16. Build an arctic habitat with snow.
Scoop up some real snow or make your own fake flakes. Then label the North and South poles and add the right animals for a model Arctic habitat.
Learn more: Edventures with Kids
17. Learn how Arctic animals stay warm.
Discover how animals stay warm in freezing temperatures with this quick experiment where shortening substitutes for animal fat. It’s a little messy, but the learning experience is worth it.
Learn more: Discover and Learn
18. Prepare for nesting season.
Nests make up a key part of a bird’s habitat, at least during the breeding season. Give your kids a selection of materials (twigs, grasses, yarn, leaves, etc.) and challenge them to build their own nest. It’s harder than they think!
Learn more: View From a Step Stool
19. Assemble a rainforest terrarium.
This gorgeous project results in a lovely decoration for your home or classroom. Follow the steps at the link to layer your terrarium, and be sure to add a few fun rainforest animals too! (Find more rainforest activities here.)
Learn more: Natural Beach Living
20. Compare pond water with tap water.
Fill a jar with water from a local pond, then take a closer look with a magnifying glass or microscope. Compare that with water from tap in the sink; what’s the same and what’s different?
Learn more: Pre-K Pages
Love animals? Check out these 25 nature webcams from around the world.
Plus, get 17 creative ways to teach the plant life cycle .
Habitats for Kids — Introduction, Types and Examples
We all live in homes, don’t we? Just like us, animals and plants also have homes where they live. Have you ever wondered how a camel survives in a hot desert or the polar bear in the snow? Today, we are going to learn about habitats and which animals and plants live in which habitats. We will also know about the places and important facts related to such habitats. So, are you excited to learn about habitats?
Let’s Know About Habitats
A habitat is a natural home or environment where a plant or animal lives and grows. Our planet Earth has various kinds of habitats, such as hot deserts, rainforests, cold ice-covered lands, mountains, etc. Some plant or animal species are found in every habitat on Earth. It is important for us to protect these habitats because many living organisms depend on them for survival. These habitats help us study and understand the features of the animals and plants that live here and the factors that affect their survival.
Types of Habitats for Kids
Broadly speaking, there are two basic types of habitats. These include land habitats and water habitats. Land habitats comprise rainforests, deserts, and mountains among others. Freshwater and saltwater are the two main classifications of water habitats. Freshwater habitats include streams, rivers, swamps, marshes, ponds, and lakes. Saltwater habitats include oceans, seas, salt lakes, salt marshes, and saltwater swamps.
Let’s discuss the 5 major types of habitats.
1. Forest Habitat
The Amazon Rainforest
When talking about forests, the most common one is the rainforests. This habitat is marked by high temperatures and a wet climate. Rainforest forests receive ample rainfall and sunlight and hence are home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Some rainforest trees can grow up to 200 feet.
Places: Rainforests can be found in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Central and South America. The Amazon rainforest in Brazil is the biggest rainforest in the world.
Plants and animals: Orchids, bamboo, rosewood, teak, and bromeliads are some of the common rainforest trees. Bengal tigers, chimpanzees, varieties of ants, anacondas, vampire bats, orangutans, tree frogs, and macaws are a few among the hundreds of animals found in rainforests.
2. Polar Habitat
Penguins in the Polar Habitats
The North Pole and the South Pole are the major polar habitats. These comprise land that is completely covered in thick layers of ice. It can be as thick as three miles in some places. The polar habitat also experiences a group of continually shifting ice sheets and houses large icebergs. The temperatures at the poles are extremely cold. In the Arctic, minus 22°F is the average winter temperature. At the South Pole, the lowest temperature recorded was minus 129°F in Antarctica. During summer, the Sun shines all day long for 24 hours but it is not warm enough. However, in winter, it is dark throughout the day.
Places: Antarctica (South Pole) and parts of Canada and Greenland are near the North Pole.
Plants and animals: There aren’t trees in the polar habitat, but some types of small shrubs, lichens, mosses, and algae are there. Some of the popular animals include emperor penguins, walruses, narwhals, polar bears, arctic foxes, harp seals, etc.
3. Desert Habitat
Deserts are considered the driest places on Earth. They may go without rain for months or years. A desert can get fewer than 25 centimetres of rain in a year. The temperatures in a desert are extreme as well. It may become very hot during the day but extremely cold at night. The Sahara desert in Africa is considered to be the largest desert in the world. There are two types of deserts; hot deserts and cold deserts. The Sahara is the largest hot desert, whereas the Antarctica desert is the largest cold desert.
Places: Africa, Asia, North America, and Australia house some of the famous deserts of the world.
Plants and animals: Cacti, dates, and palm trees are some commonly found desert plants. The well-known desert animals include kangaroo rats, camels, desert foxes, rattlesnakes, iguanas, geckos, etc.
4. Mountain Habitat
Mountains have varied vegetation as we move from the foothills to the top. With an increase in altitude, the temperature falls and the amount of plant growth decreases. It is very cold and windy at higher altitudes. Towards the foot of the mountain, one can find deciduous trees that shed their leaves during winter. Higher above, tall coniferous and evergreen trees are large in number. Ever farther up, alpine meadows, lichens, and mosses can be found. Thereafter, the snow-covered mountains and cold weather make it impossible for plants to thrive.
Places: Every continent on Earth has mountains. So, let us know about some interesting mountain facts. The longest mountain range, the Mid-Ocean Ridge, is under the ocean. The longest mountain range above the ground is the Andes. Mount Everest in Asia is the highest mountain above sea level.
Plants and animals: As mentioned earlier, the foothills of a mountain range have deciduous trees. Higher above, coniferous and evergreen trees cover the land. Lichens, alpine meadows, and mosses are found in extremely cold regions. Some popular mountain animals include red pandas, grizzly bears, angora rabbits, snow leopards, snow lions, mountain goats, yak, golden eagle, mountain goats, ibex, etc.
5. Aquatic Habitat
Fish and Plants under the Ocean
Aquatic habitats consist of environments where water is the primary source of survival. Plants may thrive on the surface of the water or under it. Some animals live in both water and land and some survive completely underwater. There are three types of aquatic habitats and these include freshwater, marine or saltwater, and coastal. Freshwater habitats consist of rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, etc. Saltwater habitats include oceans and seas. Coastal habitats are formed where the land meets the sea.
Places: The Earth is covered more in water than land. The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on Earth. The Nile in Africa is the longest river. The Caspian Sea is the largest inland water body. The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is the deepest part of the world.
Plants and animals: Water hyacinth, algae, water lilies, and willow trees are common freshwater plants. Alligators, fish, frogs, otters, turtles, etc. are commonly found in freshwater habitats. Popular marine plants comprise kelp, seaweed, seagrass, red algae, phytoplankton, corals, and algae. Whales, sharks, sea lions, jellyfish, shrimps, marine fish, dolphins, crabs, oysters, etc. are a few examples of the vast ocean life.
We hope you have enjoyed learning about the different types of habitats for kids. Each one has its unique characteristics which sustain the plants and animals living in it. If you destroy their habitat or remove them from their natural home, the plant or animal won’t live long. Hence, it is our responsibility to protect them and save their habitats.
training, adaptation, what to do if there is a child with disabilities in the class
The abbreviation HIA stands for disability. This term is usually understood as hearing, vision, speech, musculoskeletal disorders, mental retardation, mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders.
HIA is not the same as disability. This is a pedagogical concept, and «disability» is a medical term. The status of HIA is given by the Psychological-Medical-Pedagogical Commission (PMPC), and disability is established by doctors at the medical and social examination. A child may have a disability without a disability status. For example, in children with diabetes. Conversely, a child with developmental delay may not have a disability.
Education of children with disabilities
Education of children with disabilities raises many organizational issues for schools and parents themselves. What school should this child go to? Can he study with his peers? What conditions should the school create for him? Let’s try to figure it out.
When teaching children with disabilities, there are indeed some peculiarities. In the primary grades, special educational standards apply for such students:
- GEF of primary general education for students with disabilities,
- GEF primary general education for students with mental retardation.
In middle and high school students with disabilities study according to the regular GEF. But besides the Federal State Educational Standard, there are other documents in the life of such schoolchildren that affect their learning:
- Adapted Educational Programs (AEP). They are written for one year for a specific child with disabilities.
- Adapted Basic General Education Program (AEP). It is written at the level of education, for example, the primary link.
- Individual Curriculum Plan (IEP). It is developed taking into account the educational needs of a particular child. It is mainly used in home learning.
- Special Individual Development Program (SIDP). Designed for a child with severe mental retardation or multiple disabilities who cannot master the program in accordance with the age norm.
Children with disabilities usually go through PMPK before entering the first grade. At the same time, on the recommendation of the commission, a child with health problems can go to school not from 6. 5–7, but from 8 years old.
Depending on the severity of the child’s health disorder, the Psychological-Medical-Pedagogical Commission offers him education in one of four options:
- first (qualification) — if the child is close to the age norm and is able to master the regular school curriculum on time;
- second (qualified) — if the child can master the program, but he needs more time for this;
- third (not qualified) — the child can study, but will not be able to master all the material even for a longer period;
- fourth — the child has an individual level of outcomes, usually these are children with severe mental retardation or multiple disabilities who study according to SIPR.
The conclusion of the PMPK is valid until the end of the fourth grade. After graduating from elementary school, the child again goes through a commission. Three scenarios are possible here:
- the diagnosis is removed, and the student moves to the normal class;
- the diagnosis is extended;
- the diagnosis is changed to another depending on the new indicators.
If at the end of training a child with disabilities has not mastered the program, then instead of a certificate, he receives a certificate of education and cannot continue to study at a college or university, but can undergo vocational training in available specialties. Usually these are children who studied according to the fourth option.
If a student with disabilities has successfully mastered the program and passed the final certification, he receives a regular certificate.
The conclusion of the PMPK, which determines the program for the education of a particular child, is advisory in nature, that is, parents may not give documents to the school administration. But then the child will not be able to count on the special conditions that the school must provide for teaching children with disabilities:
- accompaniment of a tutor who will help one or more children with disabilities;
- classes with a defectologist, speech therapist, psychologist according to individual programs;
- special technical aids, such as a ramp for children in a wheelchair or a verboton for children with a hearing impairment;
- special textbooks and didactic materials, such as enlarged pictures for visually impaired children.
Article 79 of the Law «On Education in the Russian Federation» distinguishes several forms of education for children with disabilities:
- in an inclusive class of a mass school,
- in a correctional class of a mass school,
- in a correctional school,
- home education,
- family education.
Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Inclusive education in a regular school
Inclusive education assumes that children with disabilities and healthy children study together in the same class, spend breaks on an equal footing, attend a canteen or school holidays.
Inclusive education has a number of undeniable advantages :
+ Children with disabilities are together with healthy children, and the children quickly get used to the fact that all people are different.
+ Students learn how to help each other and develop empathy.
However, inclusion is considered a controversial education option, because it has a number of problems :
- The school at the place of residence does not have the right to refuse a child to study, but at the same time does not have the right to take him without creating special conditions, for example, availability of ramps.
- Creating special conditions can be a problem that the school cannot solve on its own. So, not every educational organization has a budget to have a defectologist and tutor on staff.
- The administrations of some schools accept children with disabilities in order to obtain the status of an “inclusive school”, but do not send teachers for retraining. As a result, teachers simply do not know how to work with a class that has a child with health problems.
- Many parents strive for their child with disabilities to “be like everyone else”, and completely forget about his individual needs. And parents of children with a norm are not always ready for the fact that a student with disabilities is studying in their class. All this gives rise to psychological trauma and conflicts.
Correctional class in a regular school
In the pedagogical environment, this form of education for children with disabilities is called integration. Not to be confused with inclusion. When integrating children with disabilities of the same age, they are combined into a separate correctional class. It turns out that children with disabilities study separately, according to their own program, but communicate with other peers during breaks.
Benefits of integration:
+ children with disabilities follow their program and do not feel left behind;
+ they are in a team.
Problems in an integrative environment are the same as in inclusion. And the main drawback of is that the correctional class is perceived by society as something «one step lower» — a «spot» on the child’s reputation and in the history of the school.
Only children with disabilities are admitted to the correctional school. These schools cater for children with similar disabilities, such as special schools for the deaf or for children with musculoskeletal disorders. Previously, correctional schools were designated by Roman numerals according to the types of violations — from I to VIII. Now there is no such division.
There are advantages to studying in a special school :
+ children are among children with the same diagnosis and do not feel disadvantaged,
+ Programs are designed for a specific feature,
+ These schools are equipped with everything necessary for effective study, for example, headphones in a school for the deaf or enlarged maps for children with visual impairments;
+ Often students already know each other because they attended the same kindergarten.
But there are also quite significant disadvantages :
— children rarely interact with healthy peers and get used to living in a narrow micro-society,
— under the influence of the environment and stereotypes, graduates of correctional schools do not seek higher education.
A child with disabilities can be enrolled in a class of a public or correctional school, teachers will come to him at home or conduct classes remotely.
To organize home-based education, schools need to create an IEP, distribute the workload among teachers, and consider possible forms of certification.
In order to transfer a child to home schooling, a statement from the parents and a conclusion of a medical and social examination are required. At the same time, only children with diseases from a certain list have the right to it.
The main advantage of this education is that it is suitable for children with limited mobility and those with complex disabilities.
- parents need to create conditions for learning at home, for example, open the door to a teacher if the child is inactive;
- homeworkers have to learn a lot of material on their own.
Family education means receiving education outside the walls of the school, that is, self-development of the program. Responsibility for the quality of education lies on the shoulders of parents.
You can study at home on your own or remotely in online schools. In order to switch to family education, it is necessary to inform the department of education, drop out of school, choose a school for certification and organize the educational process itself.
Family education has a lot benefits :
+ children can learn at a comfortable pace and with optimal load;
+ the entire educational process takes place at home in a comfortable environment;
+ parents can not teach on their own, but choose an online school;
+ Children have time for extra activities or hobbies.
— labor-intensive for parents if they want to teach the child on their own;
— with an illiterate organization of the educational process, children will not be able to keep up with the program;
— to pass intermediate certification, you need to attach to public schools, while it is difficult to find an educational organization for certification according to an adapted program;
— distance education is not very accessible for children with hearing, vision, multiple disabilities;
— online schools are paid.
Foxford Home School offers a discount for students with disabilities. Our platform is convenient in that classes can be viewed in a recording, and students are supported by personal mentors. We have examples of successful education of children with disabilities. So, Nastya Domanina, despite the severe form of cerebral palsy, attends our classes with pleasure. However, please note that in our online school, training takes place according to an additional general educational general developmental program.
Work with children with disabilities in kindergarten
In Russia, for more than 7 years, a law has been in force, according to which kindergartens must create a special environment for the development of children with disabilities (HIA). We tell you what conditions children with disabilities need and how to build work with “special” children in a preschool.
- Disability and disability: difference
- Where children with disabilities can study
- What conditions are needed for children with disabilities in kindergartens
- Forms and methods of work of a teacher with children with disabilities
- Benefits and additional payments to educators working with children with disabilities
- Training of educators to work with children with disabilities in accordance with the FAOP DO in 2023
Children with disabilities are often confused or compared to children with disabilities. These are different concepts and it is important to understand their differences.
A child with disabilities has a regular or temporary deviation in physical or psychological development. For example, he can’t see or hear well, stutters or has other speech impairments, is mentally retarded, or has autism. Such disturbances may be temporary or permanent, mild or severe. As the child develops, they can completely disappear into the past. The diagnosis of «disability» is not always established by a doctor, it only means that this baby is special and needs an individual approach to him.
Disability involves significant impairment of bodily functions. They could appear as a result of an injury or a birth defect in a child. These deviations are difficult to eliminate or cannot be eliminated, therefore the diagnosis is not removed from the child for years, and sometimes throughout his life. Disability is established by expert doctors at the medical and social commission, has an official status and implies the availability of benefits and payments to the parents of the baby.
Children with disabilities and children with disabilities need special conditions for development and education, attention and care. They are trained according to a similar methodology, the features of which depend on the type and severity of the disease.
Children with disabilities can attend specialized or regular kindergartens. The choice of group and institution depends on the severity of the deviations in the child. There are two main training options.
1. Kindergartens or compensatory groups
These are special groups that are aimed at correcting pathologies in children. They are usually attended by preschoolers with severe physical and mental disabilities. Children with similar types of disorders are assigned to each group and are trained within the group according to a single program.
2. Combination groups
Such a group combines ordinary children and preschoolers with disabilities. The group should be no more than 15-17 people. Moreover, only a third of this number can be children with disabilities. Combined groups are suitable for children with minor developmental disabilities. But it is also important for them to create special conditions. The teacher works with «special» children according to an individual adaptive program. If children have different types of disorders, then the development program is compiled individually for each.
The decision on which form of education is suitable for a particular child is made by the psychological-medical-pedagogical commission. The pupil undergoes a full examination and receives a conclusion. In addition to the conclusion, recommendations are attached, which indicate the conditions for comfortable learning of the child.
Children with disabilities, due to circumstances, get used to constant parental care, so it is difficult for them to adapt in society. Often they have little contact with other children and practically do not participate in group games. It is important to create an environment that will help children develop basic communication skills. For example, prepare for life in society, develop speech, social and motor skills, as well as self-care skills.
Arrange the territory of the kindergarten in such a way that the child can move freely regardless of possible physical restrictions.
Create a favorable atmosphere in the group by preparing healthy children for the arrival of a child with special needs. The task of the educator is to create an environment in which every child feels comfortable, adhering to the principle of equality and not violating the rights of ordinary children. At the same time, it is important to ensure that a friendly atmosphere is maintained in the group. Encourage mixed play where toddlers play together, don’t stress the difference between a toddler with special needs and other kids. Be the bridge through which the child will find his first friends. Remember that the children’s psyche is flexible and very quickly takes for granted any features of classmates in the garden, if adults treat them calmly and kindly.
Involve not only educators, but also other specialists in working with children. The program should include: a psychologist, a speech therapist, a defectologist, a health worker, a music director and a physical education instructor. They evaluate the child’s behavior, his reactions to various situations, conduct additional individual or group classes. Then they monitor the results, make the necessary recommendations and report them to parents. Thus, it will be possible to ensure the versatile development of the child — physical, artistic, speech and social.
Study the characteristics of each child and the recommendations of the medical board. Based on this, draw up an individual development plan. Despite the possibility of joint education of ordinary children and children with disabilities, the forms and methods of education for children with a diagnosis differ from the standard ones.
During training, children with disabilities often get tired quickly, respond slowly to requests, and it is difficult for them to keep their attention on one task. These features should be taken into account when choosing a form of training. For example, you should reduce the duration of classes, change activities more often, and allocate more time for any task. But this does not mean that a child with disabilities should be separated from the main group. It is important to find abilities, identify the predisposition of the child and rely on them in teaching.
The main task of the educator in group work is to find those methods that will be accessible and interesting to all members of the group. Psychologists recommend including three main methods in the plan.
This is a psychological tool that affects children through play. In a relaxed environment, children learn to interact with other people, explore the world and expand their horizons. The game helps to understand what kind of difficulties a particular child is experiencing and correct them.
Children with disabilities may benefit from music games or sensory room exercises. This is a specially equipped room that helps to stimulate all forms of perception: olfactory, tactile, auditory, visual, gustatory and vestibular.
These are sets of exercises and games that help to relax muscles, express feelings and liberate yourself emotionally. Such exercises develop the cognitive and emotional-personal sphere. The simplest example of psycho-gymnastics is the game “Do as I do”. The teacher shows expressive movements, and the children repeat.
Fairy tale therapy and puppet therapy
Fairy tale therapy allows you to immerse the child in a certain situation on the example of fairy tale characters. Thus, he develops imagination, learns to cope with fears and live his emotions. Fairy tale therapy is effective for children who have difficulties in the physical, emotional and behavioral sphere. Fairy tale therapy is a method of working with children through fairy tales. Puppet therapy works on the principle of fairy tale therapy, but instead of a fairy tale, the educator reproduces a puppet theater.
Working with children with disabilities is an additional work and responsibility of the educator. Not every specialist has the right professional and emotional training for this job. To work with children with disabilities, the educator must complete a professional development program and learn how to use the knowledge gained in work.