Explore Nature Around You With This Family Summer Playlist

 (Illustration using images from KQED Deep Look and KQED Science.)

This summer will be different. Most of us have had about two months of quarantine and are eager to get out, see friends and explore nature. Even though our physical bubbles might be smaller this summer, there are still many ways to have fun and discover something new. Check out our special video collections below for students and their families to get you ready to appreciate the wonders of nature big and small.

Check out individual videos below or watch them all with this playlist.

Deep Look

This KQED video series explores big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small. Your family will get a new perspective on our place in the universe and meet some familiar and extraordinary new friends in nature. Here are the top picks from the teen and a tween in my family.

How Your Dog's Nose Knows So Much
Dogs have a famously great sense of smell, but what makes their noses so much more powerful than ours? They're packing some sophisticated equipment inside that squishy schnozz.

Why Does Your Cat's Tongue Feel Like Sandpaper?
It's not vanity. For cats, staying clean is a matter of life and death. And their tongue, specially equipped for the job, is just one of the things that makes cats such successful predators.

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Kangaroo Rats Are Furry, Spring-Loaded Ninjas
As they forage, kangaroo rats need to continually scan the surrounding sandy environment for any predators – foxes, owls, and snakes – that could be anywhere. Kangaroo rats use their exceptional hearing and powerful hind legs to jump clear of rattlesnakes — or even deliver a stunning kick.

Glasswing Butterflies Want To Make Something Perfectly Clear
Some butterflies use cryptic camouflage to blend in with their surroundings. Others? Bold wing patterns that dazzle or confuse their enemies. But glasswing butterflies are different – they possess transparent wings, covered in an anti-glare nano-coating, to help them hide in plain sight.

For more Deep Look, check out this list of the series producers’ kids favorites.

Gross Science

This PBS Digital Studios series tells bizarre stories from the slimy, smelly, creepy world of science. Here are two that will get you hooked on the series.

White Sand Beaches are Made of Fish Poop
Before digging into white sand beaches this summer, get the scoop on fish poop, parrotfish poop to be exact. These creatures poop out sand… and that’s just the beginning of what makes these guys weird.

Why Dogs Eat Poop
It's called "coprophagia," and lots of dogs do it.

Bonus Activities
While summer will be different this year, here is a fun list of outdoor activity ideas from Red Tricycle. Also check out PBS Science explorations organized by age.

Find more playlists and free resources for families and educators in our At-Home Learning collection.