Informal Education

NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKING GAMES TO GET KIDS TO DRINK WATER

Get kids to drink water (Photo: Maxpixel)

Get Kids To Drink by Transforming Alcoholic Drinking Games into Kid-Friendly Ones

This post is a bit off the main track of what I usually do, but it's very critical to the field I work in: outdoor education. I teach students of all ages, in all weather, and I find that one of the things that children (and adults) forget to do is drink water. Never mind the fact that it's a struggle just to get visitors just to bring water (4 oz bottles don't count), drinking water is even tougher when there are exciting things to do and see outside with our guides. However, it's critical to keep everyone hydrated. If you want to get kids to drink water it can be challenging to keep their attention. To this end I have put together a list of fun games that you can play with large or small groups of people to get them to drink water. Most of these have been converted from traditional alcoholic drinking games to kids-friendly versions.

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Using a Trail Camera (Home and Classroom)

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Great blue heron on trail camera (Photo: McDonald)

Wildlife Watching Unobtrusively

I find it a personal challenge to give gifts that will be meaningful and used well beyond the occasion when the gift was given. This Christmas I decided to buy a trail camera for my partner. In all fairness I thought it might be a good family gift too, mainly because I work in environmental education and I was also excited to see how one works and the potential use for educational programs or observations. What follows is a short article on my observations and suggestions for personal or educational uses of a trail camera (or multiple cameras).

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Weather Lab App Launches

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A screenshot of the Weather Lab app.

A Predictive Weather Modeling App for Students and Teachers

I usually don't mix my professional life with my personal blog, but I wanted to share with you a neat interactive weather app that I helped develop. It is a tool that can be useful for weatherphiles, teachers, and students. It is called the Weather Lab, an online and mobile application from the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) in association with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). The Weather Lab helps students visualize how weather is formed though the complex interactions of ocean currents and air masses in North America.

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