There are so many fun ways to help kids develop a love for exploring rivers and lakes. Kids who love the water may want a full sensory experience through learning activities. But there are also opportunities to be had while staying dry.
Rivers are an important part of the water cycle and act as drainage channels for the Earth’s land surface. They also carry water and nutrients, providing food and drink for animals. While for us, they additionally provide transportation routes for exploration and recreation. All this makes them prime learning resources for kids. Contrast these learning activities to those about the oceans of the world to further the understanding!
10 Activities for Kids to Learn about Rivers and Lakes
We know the importance of lakes and rivers to our planet, meaning it is crucial we take care of them. Through hands on activities, kids will develop a care and concern for our bodies of water.
1. Pan for gold! Head out to a river with an old mesh strainer and see what you can find in the water. Discuss the gold rush and how miners discovered fortune in the rivers.
2. Map out some of the world’s largest rivers. Discuss with your kids where some of the largest rivers on Earth are, and how they contribute to the water cycle.
3. Read a book! There are many great kids’ books about ponds, lakes and rivers.
4. Make a tin foil river in your own backyard. This will help children understand riverbeds and what helps water flow down a river.
5. Look under rocks. There is a wealth of living organisms under river rocks. Find a shallow area of a river, creek or stream and start lifting rocks. Your kids will be amazed at what they find! You may find a variety of small creatures and organisms that provide food to river life.
6. Make a homemade boat. This is a fun way to talk about how rivers have played an important role in commerce and transportation for us over time.
7. Set up a play dough river. Include some small river animal toys and plants for kids to build their own play dough river.
8. Compare salt water and fresh water through an experiment where kids can learn about the density of salt vs. fresh water. Lakes and rivers provide us with a fresh water source, and it is so important to preserve this.
10. Learn about frogs! Teach your kids about the frog life cycle and the species of frogs found in fresh water all over the world.
Kids will develop a love and concern for protecting our fresh water sources through crafts, hands on games and fun learning.