Kids love learning about animals, and we’re fortunate to live in a state with an amazing variety of mammals, birds, fish, and amphibians. Colorado state agencies offer many ways for kids to discover our state’s incredible wildlife.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) offers many resources for kids and teachers. On their website you’ll find a Kids page with games, coloring and activity books, a wildlife viewing checklist, and videos that teach kids how to identify animals by their sounds. Also on the CPW website is a Teacher Resources page with wildlife curriculum resources, information on educational programs, how to order wildlife posters for the classroom, and more. In addition, CPW’s Wildlife Discovery page offers a Colorado wildlife coloring book and species activity pages by grade level. Finally, Colorado’s Wildlife Company is a series of illustrated publications for kids, each exploring a different wildlife topic. The entire series is available for checkout and online from the State Publications Library.
CPW has also partnered with the State Library to offer Check Out Colorado State Parks. Under this program, State Parks passes can be checked out from Colorado libraries. The passes come with activity kits or backpacks that include wildlife viewing guides and binoculars.
One of the fun ways for kids to learn about Colorado wildlife is through our state symbols. Many of these feature wildlife, including the State Amphibian (Western Tiger Salamander), State Animal (Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep), State Bird (Lark Bunting), State Fish (Greenback Cutthroat Trout), State Insect (Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly), and State Reptile (Western Painted Turtle). Colorado State Archives’ Symbols & Emblems page gives the history of the adoption of each state symbol, many of which were proposed by schoolchildren.
Finally, the State Publications Library is a great place to find information on Colorado’s wildlife. Our blog features many wildlife articles; some that might be of interest to kids include recent posts on bald eagles; wildlife in winter; bear hibernation; helping injured wildlife; bird nests; Colorado’s small mammals; Colorado’s owl species; Colorado canines; and more. The library has also produced a helpful Wildlife in Colorado subject resource guide.
Pine squirrel photo courtesy USFWS; all other photos courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife