two brown lions lying on grass

Photo by Gary Whyte on

Ducksters: Lion Short, quick facts.

A-Z Animals: Lion Includes a fact chart and written information.

Sheppard Software: Lions – This article offers a lot of information about the life of lions, and includes quite a few picture. How to Make an Easy Origami Lion

Activity Tip: Use the origami lion as part of a diorama project.


Lions 101 | Nat Geo Wild

Lion Brotherhood – Amazing Documentary

The White Lions – Full Documentary [HD] NATURE

Origami: Lion

Connect with!

Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

YouTube Channel

Lions FW



Squid World– Squid Facts and InformationSquid 2 Giant Squid – Quick facts chart, information, and pictures

FactZoo: Colossal Squid – Largest Invertebrate, Largest Eyes of All Animals – Learn about the largest invertebrate in the world (that we know of).


Squid Egg Laying Egg And Babies Squid Hatching Process In The Ocean

Monsters Of The Deep: Giant Squid – Nature Documentary

Kraken Project; In search of the Giant Squid | Full Documentaries – Planet Doc Full Documentaries

Connect with!

Note: If this, or any other post on, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Create Your Own Animal Study

A great way to begin your study is to make a list of animals you want to learn about, then brainstorm some ways you can learn about the ones you are most interested in. 

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to learn about animals is to get information from the library, used bookstore, or on line. Look for videos that feature or include the animals you are interested in too. If you have Netflix, Amazon, or another streaming service, search for your interests there as well. Our family LOVES animals and we’ve studied quite a few of them. You’ll find our animal resource pages listed here on this blog, they include links to other sites and videos. Some have game ideas, projects, and/or experiments.

Here are some great field trip ideas!

Books, videos, and websites are excellent learning tools, especially when you can’t learn about animals first hand, but learning via experience and observation is even more awesome. Here are a few of the ways we’ve learned about animals first hand. Don’t forget to bring your writing journal, sketch book, paints, or camera. Oh and maybe an animal guidebook too!

  • Go outside. Your own yard or neighborhood may have a variety of animals you can watch on a daily basis. Consider bringing some to you by putting up a bird feeder. If you dig in the dirt, you may find bugs, worms, moles, and other interesting creatures. Take some of those worms fishing with you!
  • Start a compost bin.Turn your food scraps into a bug experiment.
  • Go for a hike. If you have a park, preserve, or a wooded area near you, check it out to see who’s there. You may be pleasantly surprised.
  • Visit a wildlife preserve. Do a quick search on line or talk to other people who may know of a wildlife preserve in your area.
  • Visit a pet store. Make arrangements with a pet store to get a tour. You can do this with a group or a few families if they won’t allow a private tour. Ask questions.

  • Talk to a pet owner. Make arrangements to visit someone who owns or cares for an animal you are interested in learning about.
  • Go to a zoo. There are all kinds of zoos these days! Check and see if there is a specific zoo or center that features the animal you are most interested in learning about. Get a zoo membership so you can visit as often as you like and to stay informed about the special programs they offer. Don’t forget petting zoos too! You’ll get to touch the animals while you’re there.
  • Visit an aquarium. If you are into sea creatures/life, then you’ll want to visit an aquarium. If you have a zoo membership, some aquariums will allow you in for free or offer you a discount to visit them.
  • Visit an estuary. If you are near or can get to the wetlands around you, you’ll be able to check out all the different types of animals while you are there.
  • Go to the beach or inter-coastal areas. A less expensive way to see local sea life is to visit the areas around the ocean. You’ll be able to collect shells, observe various birds, crabs, sand fleas, and other creatures while you’re there. You may even see a dolphin surfing in the waves!
  • Visit an animal sanctuary. Check your local listings for people who run/care for a sanctuary. Some places allow visitors in for a small donation – money or food for the animals.
  • Visit an animal shelter. Dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.. love to get pet and played with. Check with your shelter before you go to see if they allow this and what’s required if they do.
  • Go to a science center. Many science centers will have a small area with live animals and programs related to them.
  • Arrange for an animal related program. Most places that feature animals will have a tour or some kind of program you can arrange to attend. Find out if you need a group or can join a scheduled tour.
  • Check out a local pond, lake, or another body of water. Observe the animal life all around you. Visit during different times of the year to see who the regulars are and who braves the cold weather.
  • Walk through a public garden. If you have the chance, plan a trip to a public garden and you’ll get to see a variety of insects busily pollinating the flowers and foliage.
  • Plan a trip to Sea World, Busch Gardens, or Animal Kingdom. These places make great family vacation spots!
If you are really interested in animals and want to get more involved, here are some things you can do…
  • Volunteer. Most places need all the volunteers they can get. Many require kids to be a certain again, or require a parent to accompany minors. Some of the places to inquire at: Zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, shelters, animal clinics/vet offices, science centers, specialty animal facilities (ex: reptile house), etc..

  • Become a docent/volunteer for an animal related program. If you really know your stuff, some places will allow teens to docent or help with a traveling petting zoo.
  • Get a pet. One of the best ways to learn is to experience it for yourself long term. Research all you can before you take the plunge.
  • Join an animal rescue project. You can join something with local meetings, or that sponsors theme related festivals and awareness programs such as Turtles, whales, sharks, manatees, water preservation, etc.. Check out a local Audubon society too.
  • Look for programs. Keep your eyes and ears open for program opportunities that feature animals in your community. Libraries sometimes offer programs that feature animals – ask them if they have anything schedule or make a suggestion.
Many zoos offer courses and classes, they won’t be free, but it can make a great gift idea or a budget goal.
Honestly, this short list only scratches the surface of some of the awesome ways you can learn about the animal kingdom first hand. 
Please help make this list longer by leaving some suggestions in comments.

If you would like more tips for designing one of a kind studies, please read these posts:

Design Your Own One-of-a-Kind Study

Thank you for stopping by!
Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
YouTube Channel Patreon

On Etsy: Funschooling Press

Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Oysters & Pearls

WikipediaOyster – Information about salt-water bivalve molluscs – types, anatomy, etc..
Pearl – Information about the gemstone, pearl. Etymology, definition, physical properties, fresh and saltwater pearls, creation and much more.

American Pearl: A Brief History of Pearls: How Pearls are Harvested – Article about harvesting pearls, early history of pearl harvesting, and caring for oysters before harvest.

Sustainable Pearls: Harvesting Pearls – A short article about how pearls are harvested.
LiveScience: How Do Oysters Make Pearls? – How natural pearls begin in an oyster shell.

How Stuff Works: Animals: How do oysters make pearls? – Article talks about the natural production of pearls within the oyster’s anatomy and how cultured pearls are created.

Oceana: American Oyster – Describes what an oyster is, how it grows/reproduces, and about depleted population due to over-fishing.

Metal Floss – 15 Shucking Amazing Facts About Oysters – This list offers some interesting facts about oysters, such as their ability to filter water, hold back fierce waves, their nutritional value, depletion and restoration projects, and more.

Ideo: Commonly seen organisms in Oyster Gardens – PDF: Information about creating an oyster garden – includes predators and reef associates. Includes pictures.

Original Oyster House – 10 Oyster Facts You Didn’t Know – Info about oyster gender, oyster beds, human consumption, species, nutrition information, and more.

A-Z Animals: Oyster – Oyster facts, where they can be found, lifespan, color, food, predators, habitat and more.

Nat Geo Sites: Oysters – About oysters: As a food, habitat and range, shells, behavior, and threats to survival.

Rondale’s Organic Life: 6 Surprising Things You Should Know About Eating Oysters – Farmed oysters vs wild and the best time to eat them.

Food Network: Oyster Recipes – Fried Oysters, Char-Grilled Oysters, Oyster Po’ Boy, Grilled Oysters Rockefeller, and more.

Southern Living: South’s Best Oyster Recipes – Offers a variety of ways to enjoy oysters including: Grilled, baked, as a pot pie, stew, and a few other methods.

NYT: Cooking: Butter-Fried Oysters – A classic recipe.

YouTube: Oysters & Pearls Playlist –  Videos include: How pearls are harvested, how pearls are formed, and how to shuck and eat an oyster.
Here’s one of the videos that can be found in the list…

Connect with!


All of the following animal related posts can be found on Funschooling & Recreational Learning.

ArthropodaInsects, Spiders, Ect.


Butterflies Independent Butterfly research project with questions, activity suggestions and resources.

10 Creatively Cool Butterfly Activities – Ten open-ended, hands-on activities that encourage research skills, creativity and thinking skills.

Fireflies – Research resources for fireflies, including links to a couple of experiments and a craft idea.

Glow Worms – Research resources for glowworms. Includes links to sites, videos, and activity suggestions.

Hunt For June Bugs – June bug information, observational activities, links and videos.

Spiders – Spider resource page includes links to: An article about types of spiders and facts, information, identification chart home remedies, printables, and craft projects. Videos have also been included.


Frog Research ProjectA research project based on frogs. Fun facts, questions, resources and activity suggestions.


Bird Eggs – Egg experiments, a recipe idea, links, and resources.

Bird Watching Activities – Bird watching activities, bird treat ideas, and links to bird-related activities and information.

Owls – This post links up to numerous owl resources: dissect a virtual owl pellet, owl anatomy, physiology, sounds, mythology, teacher resources, and more.

Penguin Resources – Penguin Resources: Penguin information, lesson plans, and videos.

WoodpeckersLinks to sites with information about woodpeckers.

Fish/Sea Life

Frogfish Resources include sites to information, pictures, and videos.

Sharks – Links to – Basic facts, online puzzles, printables, and informative videos.

Oysters & Pearls – Oyster information includes: How pearls are made, the American oyster, facts, how to make an oyster garden and informative videos.


Bats – Information about bats, includes sound games, and resources.

Bat Resource Page – Bat resources for all ages and learning styles.

BearsResources include: Bear types, puzzles, and videos.

Black Cats – Find why black cats are considered good luck to some and bad luck to others and do a balancing activity.

Deer – Resources include: Sites and videos about deer, and how to draw them. Deer activity pages too.

Dolphins – Research Resource – Dolphin resources for all ages. Links to lesson plans, anatomy information, videos, and more.

Domesticated Cats Resource Page – Domestic cat resource page. Links to historical info, information about wild cats – big and small, articles, folktales, crafts, educational resources, treat recipes, and DIY toy instructions.

Mantees – Information includes: Fact sheets, activities, videos, and manatee cams.

Reindeer/Caribou – Information about reindeer/caribou, a related activity, and resources to get you started. 
Reindeer Games and Activities – Reindeer related activities including learning about reindeer – caribou, and making a diorama, a reindeer resume activity, links to word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, crafts, and a variety of videos.

Snowshoe Hare (Rabbit) – Information and links for the snowshoe hare. Includes drawing activities too.

Wolves – Wolf resources include information about: Types, anatomy, environment, myths, and more.


Basilisk Lizard – Resources include: Printables, videos, information, and craft projects.

Lizard Resource Page – Research companion to a Lizard research guide with a lot of links to lizard related information.

Sea Turtles – Resources include: Links, videos, crafts, and coloring pages.

Animal Related Games, Activities & Misc. Posts

Animal Antics – This is a creative game that uses simple items and encourages players to use their imagination.

Animal Tracker – Instructions for an animal tracking activity.

Animals – May Vol. 1 – Resources for: Gars, Dolphins, Crocodiles, Rhinoceros Beatles, Blue Heron, and Axolotl Salamander

Homemade Treats & Toys for Pets – Treat and toy ideas for dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils and rabbits.

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!

Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!


*Manatee Family – Photo By Fran W.
*Personal note about the photo: The larger manatee in the photo above is nursing her newborn calf. The larger of the young manatees, to the right of the mother, is learning how to care for the younger manatees. She travels with the mother and helps her care for the younger manatees. It is a truly beautiful site.
General Information
Defenders of Wildlife: Florida Manatee – Fact Sheet
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission: FWC’s Manatee Program – Find out about a program designed to help manatees.
Wikipedia: Manatee – General information about manatee, including: Taxonomy, description, behavior, ecology and more. 
Also on this site: West Indian Manatee – African Manatee – Amazonian Manatee
National Geographic: Manatees – Aquatic life, populations, parenting & diet, threats to survival, photo gallery, videos and more.
National Geographic for Kids: West Indian Manatee – Offers very brief information.
Soundwaves: Fieldwork: Famous Manatee “Chessie” Sighted in Chesapeake Bay After Long Absence – Information about Chessie, a manatee that has been spotted in the Chesapeake Bay area.
Activities To Do
Manatee Curriculum – A curriculum written by Maia McGuire and Ruth Francis-Floyd filled with information and activities.
Super Coloring Pages: Manatees
Save The Manatees: Printable Coloring Pages – PDF format
Crazy For Jigsaw Puzzles: Manatee – Play online
About: Homeschooling: Manatee: Word Search, crossword puzzle and other manatee related activities.
Cams & Videos
EarthCam: Manatee Cam
Below, you will find a few of the many videos that can be found in the manatee playlist that has been created for this topic. Enjoy!
Baby Manatee Feeding

Meet Snooty the Manatee

Ocean Stories 2 – Manatees and Molas

Thank you for stopping by!
Connect with


Activities, Foods, & Resources for February

Feb 7: Charles Dickens Born 1812 – Learn about the author of many well known books.
Feb 15: Susan B Anthony Born 1820
Women’s Suffrage Research Resource – Susan B. Anthony is well known for her role in the suffrage movement in America.

Feb 14: Valentine’s Day – Over 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent in the U.S. each year! Make one of your own with the designs suggested in this post.

Fifteen Day Celebration: Chinese New Year – Celebrate the Chinese New Year with fun, cultural activities: Tangrams, Zodiac symbols, crafts, coloring pages and more. 

Seasonal Foods & Food Related Days

Feb 3: Bubble Gum Day – Learn about the history of bubble gum and do some experiments.

Feb 8: Bake Pizza Week Begins also Hershey Chocolate Founded 1894
Feb 9 Happy Chocolate Day & Pizza Pie Day
Chocolate Activities – Learn about the history of chocolate, make an old fashioned chocolate egg cream, print chocolate puzzles and get links to other resources.
Pizza Project – 
Pizza history, recipes, games, and activities.

Feb 17: World Cabbage Day

Cabbage – Cabbage experiment suggestions, a recipe for homemade coleslaw, and links to cabbage information.

Feb. 22 Cook a Sweet Potato Day
Sweet Potato Resources – Sweet potato resources include: Nutrition facts, educational info and recipes.

Feb 27: Strawberry Day

Strawberry Craze – This strawberry research project includes links to other strawberries posts on Fran’s World, and to informative sites.
Bean Resource Page – Nutritional information, types of beans, experiments and more.
Oranges – General and nutritional information, diseases, educational resources, ideas for orange peels and videos.
More Days To Celebrate

Feb 3: Feed the Birds Day
Bird Watching Activities – Bird watching activities, bird treat ideas, and links to bird-related activities and information.

Feb 14: Library Lover’s Day
7 Ways Your Library Saves You Money – Tips for using your library to save money.

Feb 20: Love Your Pet Day
Homemade Treats & Toys for Pets – Treat and toy ideas for dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils and rabbits.

If you’re interested in more holidays, birthdays, events, fun food days and other unique days, please check out the long list of February Special Days on Still Learning Something New.
Connect with!

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles
Defenders: Sea TurtlesBasic facts about sea turtles: Diet, population, range, behavior, reproduction, etc.
SeeTurtles: Sea Turtle Facts – Habitat & Diet, Human Threats, Life Cycle, Species
World Wildlife Federation: Sea TurtleGeneral information.
Sea Turtle ConservancyInformation about sea turtles, their habitats and threats to their survival.
SeaWorld Parks & EntertainmentHabitat & Distribution: Distribution, habitat, migration, population, etc.
National Geographic Kids – Green Sea TurtleGeneral information.
Wikipedia: Sea Turtles Description, taxonomy and evolution, distribution and habitat, life cycle and more.



Connect with!


Animal Tracker

Many animals leave signs that they have been around. This activity will have you identifying the signs that tell you what it may be and how you can track them.

You will need: Sketchpad and pencil or a camera
Optional: A pocket microscope

What to look for…

This activity suggests that you observe only. Touching is not recommended.

Insects: Look for plants and leaves that have been chewed. Trees with holes. Watch a patch of flowers being pollinated. Movement in the grass. Eggs under leaves. Various stages of larvae. Listen for them. Look for evidence of insect scat as well.

Spiders: Look for their webs between trees and under things. Each spider makes a unique web and can be identified by it if they are not present.

Birds: Look in trees for nests, listen for them. Make a bird feeder and bring them to you. Look up in the sky or on the ground. Watch them on the beach and near water too. 

Mammals: Look for tracks in the dirt, mud or in puddles, on the sidewalk, in the grass. Look for their scat, but don’t touch it.

Reptiles: Snakes can be found sunning themselves at various points of the day. Approaching them is not recommended. Observe only.
Lizards can be found running around in gardens and sunning themselves in the morning.

Amphibians: Look on land and near water. Look for them at night near a porch light.

Fish/Sealife: Watch the water for signs of jumping, schooling and feeding. Some areas may have shrimp or crabs running during certain times of the year. Look for fins out of the water as well. You might be able to catch a dolphin surfing in some areas!

Places to visit…

The beach, a pond, lake, inlets, woods, your back yard, gardens, the park, near lights at night, etc..

Times to look

Early in the morning, at dusk, early evening. Listen throughout the day.

Bring a friend!

If you would like to connect with me so you don’t miss out any of the activities being posted, please follow me via:

Email – Google + – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest

Summertime Fun: August, Volume 1

Mini Marble Run – Make a mini marble run with straws and B.B.s
Creative Inspirations #3 – Take time to get creative with the two words offered for the month.
Soda Pop Project – Learn how soda got its start and make some delicious concoctions of your own!

Bottle Roll Bullseye – An open-ended game.

Ideas For Homemade Water & Nerf Gun Targets – 8 Ideas for making your own targets with recycled items.
Think Quick: ABC Version – This game will keep you on your mental toes!
Roll-N-Score – A game made with a box or milk carton.
Pop & Play Dart GameThis dart game has a little twist to make it more fun.
Carton CreationsTurn a milk carton into a whole new creation…suggestions offered.

Hoop TossA fun game to play indoors or out!

Heads-Up Coil Flips & TricksHow nimble are your fingers and how quick are your hands? Find out with these activities!

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand WordsUse a picture to inspire a story.

Last One StandingA strategy game the grows with the players and gets more challenging.

Animal TrackerLearn how to identify signs of animal life in lots of different places!

If you would like to connect with me so you don’t miss out any of the activities being posted, please follow me via:

Summer Fun July Volume 1

Hot Dogs – July is National Hot Dog Month! Learn about hot dogs, play some games, do a puzzle and what how hot dogs are made.
Spray Art – Do a fun painting activity outdoors!

Animal Antics – You get to act like your favorite animal in this fun game!
Hoop Challenge – What can you do with a hoop?

Scented Bubbles – Whip up a batch of scented bubbles!
Creative Inspirations #2 – Spark your creativity with the two words offered.

Stacking Cup ChallengeHow many cups can you stack in a minute?

Ramp ‘N’ Roll – A great game to play inside or out!

MYO What’s Missing Picture – Boost your observation skills!

Card Flipping Challenge – Play alone or with friends…indoors or out.

Cook Your Lunch Outdoors Use the power of the sun to cook your lunch!

Hula Hoop Stop & Go – Grab your hula hoop and get ready to have some fun.

Peg Solitaire – This is a great strategy game for all ages!

Summertime Fun August, Volume 1 – More summertime activities for the month of August!
If you would like to connect with me so you don’t miss out any of the activities being posted, please follow me via:

10 Creatively Cool Butterfly Activities

It’s butterfly season! That means these beautiful flying creatures can be found fluttering all around your yard, neighborhood, park, and garden in all their colorful glory! If you like, or even love butterflies, then you may find one or more of the following activities really fun!

  • Make a butterfly poster. Base it on the butterfly facts you find most interesting or use a fun and whimsical theme.
  • Plan a butterfly garden. If you have a yard, deck, patio, or an area for a garden, design and plan a colorful garden full of flowers that will attract butterflies. You will need a small budget, lined and copy paper, and a pencil for this activity. The Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum has a cam for you to watch.
  • Make butterfly fact cards. Draw, use stickers or graphics, or take pictures of real butterflies, and make a fact card for each of the ones you find most interesting. You can use index cards or cardstock and drawing/craft supplies for this activity.
  • Create your own butterfly. Make a variety of butterflies in a virtual butterfly garden or draw your own one-of-a-kind butterflies. Make up some facts about each one. Ex: Where it lives, what it likes to eat, habits, etc..  
  • Grow your own butterfly. Kits can be found in stores and online. Make sure you get one for your area. You may be lucky enough to find one in your yard to observe as well.
  • Make a butterfly board game. Cut out a butterfly-shaped game board from cardboard, then design a game around it. Make cards, game pieces, and tokens with a butterfly theme as well. You will need craft and drawing supplies.
  • Make up a butterfly action game. Base the game on what you already know about butterflies from your observations. Consider making props from cardboard or foam for the game. Play inside or out.
  • Visit a public garden. Observe butterflies at a public garden, or any place there are flowers, to see how they behave. Consider grabbing a drawing or writing journal to capture the moment. Use a recording device as well.
  • Visit a butterfly house, farm, or garden. This is a great way to observe the different stages of life. Don’t forget your journal or camera! A fee may be required for this activity. Butterflies – Links to informative butterfly resources.

Related Posts:

If you would like to connect with me so you don’t miss out any of the activities being posted, please follow me via: