Bats, rats, and water — resources for kids


By Brittany Shoots-Reinhard

FBB staff have been hard at work compiling resources that will help your entire family learn more about our fourth-quarter beneficiaries. We have found online games, books, and even put together kids’ activity sheets. Children can learn more about the natural world, geography, and environmental issues as well as understand the importance of charity as a value. You can find resources to learn more about Bat Conservation International, Apopo, and Water Ecuador below.

Bat Conservation International
Bat Conservation International has a Kidz Cave with bat-themed crafts and educational activities. Bats 4 Kids has even more information about bats and an echolocation game.

Shadows of the Night Shadows of the Night follows the life of the Little Brown Bat over a year and features beautiful watercolor illustrations.
National Geographic: Bats National Geographic Readers: Bats has pictures and information for early readers about all types of bats and their habitats.
The Bat Scientists The Bat Scientists describes the work of Bat Conservation International scientists and how they’re combatting white-nose syndrome and saving the lives of hibernating bats in North America.



First, check out the kid’s activity guide about Apopo put together by FBB staff.

Apopo founder Bart Weetjens talks about the founding of Apopo in this TED talk. The Apopo website has accessible information about why they use rats and videos showing a day in the life of a HeroRAT detecting landmines and tuberculosis. For younger children, National Geographic Kids: Amazing Animal Heroes describes Apopo’s HeroRATs and two additional stories.

Landmines and war are difficult to talk about with children. Secrets in the Fire and Dear Olly are two novels involving themes of war and the harm done by landmines.

Apopo uses clicker training, which is an effective means of training pets, too. You can find out how to clicker train your pet on the ASPCA website.

University of Michigan’s Museum of Diversity runs an amazing website called Animal Diversity Web. They have information about a variety of animals, including giant pouched rats, like the ones used by Apopo, and many, many species of bats. For younger children, Bats and Rats is a phonics book comparing bats and rats—they’re both nocturnal mammals, but have many differences, too.

Water Ecuador
FBB staff developed an activity guide about water use and conservation for children that is a great starting point. The Syrian Crisis Response beneficiary International Rescue Committee is providing Syrian refugees with water, and the Pathfinders are also working with Water Ecuador and other charities on their international service trip. All of these are referenced in the FBB Water Activity Guide for Kids.

National Geographic has a variety of resources about freshwater conservation, including a kid-friendly water calculator, an interactive guide to freshwater, information about hidden water use in consumer goods, and water conservation tips.

Water Use It Wisely is a great online source of games, resources, and conservation tips.

The EPA has learning resources organized by age group, so you can select the most appropriate tools for your children and games that are fun for everyone.

Water Ecuador focuses on clean water, rather than lack of fresh water. There are tons of microorganisms in drinking water, some harmless and some harmful. Children can explore the amazing life forms hidden in a simple drop of unfiltered water by watching the video referenced in this article or collecting their own sample. They can then try to identify the microorganisms using this guide.

It’s important to help protect our own domestic watersheds to ensure our own supply of freshwater. EPA’s Adopt Your Watershed program lets you find your local watershed and find ways to help.

The Water Hole The Waterhole by Graeme Base is a gorgeous picture book that shows animals from all over the world visiting a shrinking water hole. It is a counting book, an animal book, a geography book, and an excellent way to start a conversation with your children about the importance of fresh water.
Make a Splash!Going Blue Cathryn Berger Kaye and Philippe Cousteau’s Make a Splash! and Going Blue educate kids and teens (respectively) about water ecosystems, environmental threats, and protecting oceans and freshwater all over the globe.