16 of Our Favorite National Geographic Society Activities That Kids Can Do at Home

Inspire the explorer in your learners.

Young child looking at plants outdoors - National Geographic Learn at Home

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The new National Geographic Learn at Home site includes collections of activities that have been curated for educators, parents, and caregivers to implement with K–12 learners.

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Visiting volcanoes. Engineering robots. Exploring oceans. Kids can do all this and more without leaving their homes or spending a dime. The new National Geographic Learn at Home site is a destination with curated collections of fun, free, and engaging learning activities. All resources are created by educators to implement with K-12 learners at home.

Featured Image Credit: Rebecca Hale

Here are 16 of our favorite National Geographic Learn at Home resources:

1. Explorer Classroom (Live Q&A With National Geographic Explorers)

These live video talks featuring real National Geographic Explorers from around the world bring exploration to life for at-home learners. Students can hear from cutting-edge scientists and powerful storytellers. They can also ask questions either through YouTube chat or by registering for a chance to be on-camera with Explorers. Broadcasts air weekdays at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Each event includes a family guide with activities and resources.

2. Exploring Maps and Models of Earth (PreK-1 Activity)

Students learn about the concept of a model, what it is, and what it’s used for. Then, they’ll do some hands-on exploration using print maps, interactive maps, and globes. Finally, they will make their own 3-D model of a room. 

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Its Life Cycle (K-2 Activity)

This activity starts with students listening to a read-aloud of the beloved Eric Carle classic as they watch a time-lapse video of the life cycle of a monarch butterfly. Afterward, they create their own life cycle picture book.

4. The Life and Work of Jane Goodall (K-12 Virtual Tour and Activity)

Students can learn about scientist, conservationist, humanitarian, and National Geographic Explorer, Jane Goodall. This collection of resources includes a Kahoot!, a virtual tour of the Becoming Jane museum exhibit, and activities like designing a story graph.

5. Backyard BioBlitz (1-8 Activity)

Students will start by assembling their team of scientists (their family) and then head to the backyard for a BioBlitz. There, they will define their territory and count as many living things as possible, using different tools to identify plants and animals. Afterward, kids can discuss what they learned, and identify with which flora and fauna they share their space.  

6. Mapping Your State (2-4 Activity) 

This activity allows students to learn about all the things that make their state special while also working on mapmaking skills. They start by conducting research using multiple sources. Then, using National Geographic’s MapMaker Interactive, they will create a customized state tourism map.

7. Measuring Weather with Tools (2-5 Activity)

Learn all about meteorologists’ tools of the trade. Then use the photo gallery to identify which instruments measure weather conditions. Finally, create a deck of cards (one set of cards for descriptions and one set with illustrations) to play a matching game to test your knowledge. 

8. Forces of Nature (2-12 Interactive)

This interactive activity allows students to explore the science behind forces of nature—earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. They have the opportunity to explore an impressive collection of articles, photographs, videos, 3-D animations, and maps from more than 100 sources.

9. Seals Versus Sea Lions (3-5 Activity)

Scientists classify organisms into different groups in order to make sense of the millions of kinds of living things on Earth and how they are related. With this activity, students learn all about taxonomy using tools like photos, videos, and worksheets. 

10. Challenge: Robots! (3-10 Interactive)

Challenge: Robots! is a browser-based game that turns students into engineers at a robotics factory. First, they attend orientation and training. Then they set out to complete three challenges by designing a robot to solve a real-world problem.

11. Indoor Family Fun (3-12 Ideas)

How about trying some cool DIY projects with your family? For example, they can create a recipe using locally grown foods, research their family history and create a family flag, make a virtual tornado, and more. 

12. Planet Food (4-9 Interactive)

Where exactly does the food on our plate come from? Students will love this fascinating two-part interactive game that explores the geography of food. 

13.  Exploring Oceans  (4-10 Activity)

Students can learn all about the Earth’s ocean environment using Google Earth. This collection of activities and lessons is differentiated for a broad spectrum of ages and grade levels. Additionally, it explores the many issues affecting our oceans, such as pollution and rising global temperatures.  

14. Infectious Agents (5-8 Curated Collection)

This timely collection examines infectious agents that invade human bodies. For example, kids will learn about the impact that infectious agents, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, have on human health. 

15. Win the White House (5-8 Interactive)

Using the “Win the White House” interactive game from iCivics, students will learn about the complicated process of running for president, including developing a platform, fundraising, polls, media campaigns, and the difference between electoral votes and popular support.

16. Global Closet Calculator (6-10 Educator Guide)

This teacher guide explains how to use Global Closet Calculator, an online educational interactive tool that teaches students about the interdependence and global nature of the clothing industry. During their exploration, students will learn to make informed decisions about the products they buy.

Want more free activities from National Geographic?

Click the button below to check out all of the National Geographic Learn at Home resources, such as activities, videos, and lessons, for grades K-12.

Keep Exploring!

Posted by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Elizabeth Mulvahill is a teacher, writer and mom who loves learning new things, hearing people's stories and traveling the globe.

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