I volunteer throughout the year at my daughter’s school, and I like to pop in for surprise lunch dates with her on random Fridays. As my preschooler and I put on our tennis shoes, she chimed, “Mama, you have a puma on your shoes. So do I!” I said, “Yup. We both have pumas on our shoes.” She continued at rapid speed, “Did you know pumas are big, big cats? I’m going to have a puma pet when I grow up. They’re very fast. I think they’re the same as cheetahs. They are faster than people! Did you know that?”
Whenever I’m in the classroom at my kiddo’s school, I’m privy to some of the most hilarious and crazy conversations. These little 6- and 7-year-olds cover a million topics in a super-short time. They like to bombard me with knock knock jokes (the punch lines are usually nonsensical) and dramatic reenactments of their morning. More often than not, whether I’m at a table of mostly boys or girls, my daughter’s classmates start spouting off animal facts.
They’re fired up about which animal is fastest or can jump the highest. They also love planetary facts. Whoa, man did leap year open up a whole line of dialogue about the planet’s revolution around the sun. Try explaining to a group of young ones about gaining an extra six hours every year, then rolling them into an entire day every four years. That opens the window for even more questions. Thinking about the planet, solar system and their love of animals is fascinating for them at this age.
My kids have big ideas for the future of the planet and how they can make the world a better place. And, they’re so openly inquisitive about the world that it makes me appreciate their endless questions and observations about every. little. thing. I realise that they haven’t yet limited their ideas of what they can achieve. Now is the perfect time to fill their minds with interesting factoids about geology, ecology, geography, and biology. Before they hit the “know it all” tween years, I’m relishing the opportunity to help them explore the world and dream about solutions to the environmental, social, and political issues that they’ll inevitably inherit.
But let’s be realistic. They’re still kids, so the learning opportunities have to be fun, interesting, and engaging if there’s any chance of them absorbing and retaining any of this earth-changing info. In my quest for activities that will do just that, I found fifteen games and apps for kids that will help them change the world. Check them out in the slideshow.