<firstimage=”http://www.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Earth-Child.jpg”>It has often been said that the kids of today will inherit the Earth of tomorrow. It will surely be one where the challenges of climate change and environmental conservation will be stiffer.
With the right eco-education, we can hope they will hit the ground running. A lot of schools and educational institutions are doing their bit by including the environment as part of the curriculum. Words like “˜carbon footprint’ and global warming’ comes to them as easily as the name of any present-day rock star.
That’s cool. But who said that ecological or environmental education needs to be bookish or donnish? Thanks to online games, it can be brought out from textbooks into the fun world. Online environmental games that teach kids about animals and conservation make the task interactive.
Children can immediately learn that each action has a contributing effect. Plus, these interactive educational websites on the environment make both the teaching and learning enjoyable without losing out on the lessons.
Here are ten games and game websites that teach kids about the environment and the world around them.
The Planet Science games cupboard is a collection of online interactive games and other fun activities like quizzes. Try your hand on Planet 10 and see if you can create a perfect world. It’s not that easy because you have to mix and match the building blocks to create a perfect world.
Or you could learn a bit about energy and its conservation from the lighter games like Energize.
Here’s your chance to see if you can do better in the hot seat. The game tests your decision making skills while holding the top job of President of the European Nations. You must tackle climate change and stay popular enough with the voters to remain in office.
The Clim’way game is again about helping the larger community reach some specific climate goals. You have to create a climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a certain percentage in a certain time frame. Your plans can include setting up alternative energy sources, reducing human consumption etc.
How would you cope in the environment of today if you were an animal or bird? Use this multiplayer online game to find out. Pitted against you will be species which may be friend or foe. Then you have the natural world to deal with too.
You will get to play through the entire life cycle of the animal you choose. Like all animal species, the objective is to survive and thrive. The basic game is free.
Earth Day has passed us by, but the games that were set up to promote it endure on many sites around the web. Kaboose.com has a small collection of simple Flash based environmental games like Clean Up Your World. The games are simple enough to introduce the youngest of the lot to the need for environmental cleanliness.
Continuing in the same spirit of cleaning up the litter around you, head for Recycle City. In the Dumptown Game, as the Dumptown Manager, you can create your own scavenger hunt and learn what it takes to help protect the environment.
As WWF says, these are games with a message. Nine games listed on one page and a tenth one on Facebook (that’s about looking after a polar bear). My picks are the blaster games. For instance, in the Toxic Blaster, I am piloting a jet-sub into the insides of a polar bear, a whale, and a man to blast away toxic molecules. But be warned, those contaminants can destroy the sub too.
The Canadian website Ecokids has quite a list of little environmental games arranged in categories like Wildlife, Climate Change, Energy, Water, Waste, Land Use etc. The learning based environmental games are also bunched up according to age levels. For instance, in The Journey of a Wildlife Photographer you have to become a wildlife photographer and check out how animals and birds have adapted to the environment.
Go along with Vermi the worm and learn the basics of vermicomposting and its benefits, plus other waste management strategies like recycling. Along the way you will meet other characters like Bubba the Worm, Hugh Hammer, Sunny Flower, and Trashcan. While learning you have to help your buddies too as they reduce, reuse, recycle what’s waste.
This huge list of environmental games and related learning activities is thanks to the North American Association For Environmental Education. From the Second Life based NOAA Virtual World to the educational from NASA where you have to design a habitable planet, the web resources cover quite a lot of environmental ground.
Thanks to online games of various hues, learning need not be a chore anymore. So finish all that homework fast. There’s lot of interactive fun to be had on the World Wide Web. And tell us if you have a favorite environmental game that you would like the world to know about.
Image Credit : woodleywonderworks