Whether you’re a caretaker looking to keep little learners engaged or an educator gathering some activity inspiration (and a lot of you are both!), we turned to some fantastic public gardens and rounded up six videos that teach and entertain through science, nature, arts, and culture. From bees to seeds to tostadas (?!) this collection is sure to make your YouTube “favorites” playlist.
The Public Gardens Playlist
1. Make a Bee Hotel
Some bees live in hives, but many bees native to North America live alone (we call them “solitary”) — and they need habitat! You can use simple upcycled materials at home and follow along with this 3-minute video to build a bee hotel with Atlanta Botanic Garden.
2. Let’s See About Seeds
Take a virtual field trip to Chicago Botanic Gardens and learn about how different seeds get out into the world to make more plants. Watch this 2-minute video, “How Seeds Travel,” and look out for seeds in the world on your next walk!
3. Becoming a Plant Scientist at Home
In this 3-minute video, kids can learn to “Observe Like Scientists”with New York Botanical Garden. An educator introduces prompts to stimulate curiosity and imagination. This is a great video for learners to watch before printing and practicing in their own free Nature Discovery Journal
4. Let's Wear Plants!
All you need is some tape and a little time in your yard, neighborhood or a nearby park to make a nature bracelet with Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Austin, TX) in this 3-minute video. It’s a great way to get a bit of fresh air and exercise and spend time observing colors and shapes in nature.
5. Time for a Desert Dance Break
Public gardens are places to learn about plants, and to experience culture and arts too! Get inspired in this 3-minute video of the Bracken Irish Dancers among the cacti at Desert Botanic Garden in Phoenix, AZ. Then take a dance break in your own garden or local park!
6. Cooking Up Indigenous Plant Knowledge
Did all those activities make you hungry? If your family likes watching cooking shows together (or if you want to watch alone when the kids take a nap), Houston Botanic Garden serves up a real treat by inviting cookbook author Adán Medrano to discuss Texas and Mexican plants and demonstrate two recipes with fresh ingredients from his garden in this 37-minute video.
Written by: Angel Horne