Surviving the Sands of Time
Nearly one third of our Earth is covered with deserts, and there’s one on every single continent—including Antarctica! But how can that be? I bet you probably thought that deserts are always hot, but the truth is, a desert is any landmass where there is more water evaporating than falling from the sky. That’s what makes them so unique and such beautiful ecosystems for the people, plants, and animals who have adapted to these extreme landscapes. In this adventure, we’ll learn how they do it, why they stay, and how the desert is constantly changing every single day.
Ask About Today
If you lived in the desert for a month, what things would you bring to survive and why?
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Journey into the Desert
Plants, animals and other organisms that live in deserts have evolved to survive harsh conditions, scarce water and barren landscapes. Follow this video to learn so much more about them.
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Dangerous Desert Animals
If you think the plants and animals of the deserts must have a hard time surviving in that environment, you’re probably…wrong. Many have special adaptations that help them survive the intense heat and limited water supply. Watch this video and see if you can name the adaptations of the animals featured.
Content alert: This video features desert animals hunting and eating other desert animals. Skip it if your camper is younger or more sensitive.
Secrets of the Sahara Desert
One of the largest deserts in the world is by far the Sahara Desert. It covers a whopping 3.6 million square miles—that’s about the size of half of the United States! That explains why there’s so much still unknown about it. Watch this video to get a look at some of its greatest mysteries.
Life in the Desert
When you think of life in the desert, you probably don’t imagine festivals with marching bands, camel races, and—yes—even television and cell phones. While desert life is tough, it also is filled with a sense of community and pride passed down from generations.
Create a Paper Pop-Up Desert
Create a 3D version of your very own desert with these simple follow along directions! Pause the video at each step while you catch up.
Tip: For a less-messy version, use colored construction paper instead of paint!
Art of the Desert
Feeling more in the mood for painting? Follow along with Ruchika and create your own acrylic art piece using just four basic colors.
Sponge Bomb Time!
After all this desert talk, you probably feel the need for some WATER! And we couldn't agree more. You’ve learned a lot today, including how just about every living thing in the desert soaks up the limited water like a “sponge”. Well now it’s your turn to get sponge-y! Make your own sponge bombs (that will never run out like water balloons), and see how many people you can tag!
Be kind: Ask an adult's permission before cutting up (or throwing) any sponges!