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Caring for Our Animal Neighbors

December 10th is International Human Rights Day, and some groups have asked us to also consider animal rights on that day. How are animals like us?

When the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt spoke about where human rights begin, saying it is “In small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.” Even very small children can begin to understand the need to protect and provide for those that are more vulnerable.

As winter approaches in Connecticut, animals are feeling the chill. Learning how to care for our animal neighbors helps young children build their empathy skills for people, too.
A photo of a young girl standing in snow by a body of water, looking at a group of ducks. Text reading Learning Snacks: Caring for Our Animal Neighbors overlays the image.

FOR KIDS: FOR THE BIRDS!
During the winter, it can be harder for birds to find food. Watch this video from Nature Cat, and play the online games Nature Cat’s Fine Feathered Feast or Nature Cat’s Adventure! Practice feeding the birds and learn what different types of birds like to eat.

FOR PARENTS: ENCOURAGING OUTDOOR EXPLORATION
After playing the animal games, make an outdoor bird feeder with your child. There are so many benefits of spending time outside as a family! Try observing the birds in your neighborhood with this guide.

FOR EDUCATORS: TAKE A FIELD TRIP IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD!
Try some virtual field trips this week! PBS LearningMedia’s Backyard Birds lesson offers an interactive way for students to learn about the different birds that visit their own backyards, along with paired readings and activities.

It’s also a great time of year to teach students about hibernation. Watch this video with younger students and use this lesson to encourage discussion about how different animals hibernate during the winter months. NOVA ScienceNOW offers this lesson for older students.


IT'S A SEASON OF CELEBRATION WITH PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS is celebrating the winter holiday season with a festive lineup of special holiday programs. Tune in through December 25. Here’s the complete schedule.