• Jun 22
  • 25 Fascinating Facts About Africa

    From Angola to Zimbabwe, Africa is an incredibly diverse continent that is comprised of many different countries, cultures and landscapes. Interested in learning more about this beautiful continent? Check out these absolutely fascinating kid-friendly facts about Africa!

     

    facts about africa egypt

    Great Sphinx of Giza | Credit: Flickr

    1. Africa is the world’s oldest populated area. Archaeologists have found evidence that the human species has lived on the content for roughly 7 million years!

     

    2. The continent of Africa is comprised of 54 countries and one territory.

     

    3. There are eight major geographical regions in Africa, each with its own unique landscape: the Sahara Desert, the savanna, the Sahel, the African Great Lakes, the Swahili Coast, South Africa and the rain forest.

     

    4. The Sahara is the largest desert in the world. In fact, it’s bigger than the United States!

     

    facts about africa savanna

    African Elephant Walking on Savanna in South Africa | Source: Flickr – miquitos

    5. The African savanna is a tropical grassland that is quite large in size, covering roughly half of the continent. This area includes the Serengeti, which is famous for its wildlife.

     

    facts about africa the sahel

    Kids in the Sahel region | Flickr – EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie

    6. The Sahel is a strip of dry land stretching across Northern Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to The Red Sea.

     

    facts about africa lake victoria

    Lake Victoria in Kampala, Uganda | Credit: Flickr – J J

    7. Lake Victoria – one of Africa’s Great Lakes – is 26,560 square miles in size, making it the second largest fresh water lake in the world.

     

    8. The Swahili Coast is an 1,800-mile stretch of Kenyan and Tanzanian coastline. Since the 2nd century A.D., it has been the site of cultural and commercial exchanges between East Africa and the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.

     

    facts about africa south africa

    Eastern Cape, South Africa | Credit: Flickr – bass_nroll

    9. Although South Africa takes up only 1% of Earth’s land surface, it is home to 6% of the world’s mammals and reptiles.

     

    facts about africa rainforest

    Nyungwe National Park Rainforest | Source: Flickr – Rwanda Government

    10. While Africa’s rainforests are home to half of the continent’s animal species, they’ve come under serious threat. Unfortunately, roughly 90% of West Africa’s rainforests have already been wiped out.

     

    facts about africa giraffes

    Giraffes in Botswana | Source: Flickr – Kasia Wallis

    11. Africa is home to the largest-remaining populations of lions, elephants, rhinoceros, cheetahs, hyenas and leopards.

     

    facts about africa nile river

    Nile River –  Murchison Falls in Uganda | Credit: Flickr – Rod Waddington

     

    12. The Nile River is the longest river in the world, spanning a whopping 4,135 miles (6,650 kilometers).

     

    13. Lagos, Nigeria is the largest city on the African continent with over 13 million residents. That’s over 1.5x larger than the population of New York City!

     

    Children in Africa

    Children in Africa | Credit: Flickr – yplouf

    14. Before it was colonized, Africa was made up of around 10,000 different states and groups. Each had their own distinct languages and customs!

     

    facts about africa nile river from space

    View of the Nile River from space | Credit: Flickr – Stuart Rankin

    15. Egypt receives only around one inch of rain every year. Thankfully, heavy rain in Ethiopia causes the Nile River to flood every summer, bringing much needed water to Egypt’s plants and crops.

     

    facts about africa Johannesburg

    Johannesburg, South Africa | Credit: Flickr – Paul Saad

    16. There are an estimated 1,500 – 2,000 languages spoken on the continent of Africa! More than 500 languages are spoken in Nigeria alone, and the country of South Africa has 11 official languages.

     

    facts about africa cape town south africa

    Cape Town, South Africa | Credit: Flickr – Loren Kerns

    17. Despite being the second-largest continent in the world, Africa has the shortest coastline! This is due to the many bays that extend out of the coastline.

     

    facts about africa strait of gibraltar

    Looking from Europe to Africa across the Strait of Gibraltar | Credit: Flickr – José Rambaud

    18. While Europe and Africa may seem far apart, they’re actually separated by less than 9 miles of water at the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain from Morocco.

     

    19. University of Timbuktu (located in the Republic of Mali) is one of the oldest universities in the world. By the 12th century, the school was attracting thousands of students from all over the continent.

     

    facts about africa Ge'ez

    Ancient Bible written in Ge’ez | Credit: Flickr – Eileen Dehli

    20. Ethiopia is the only African country with its own alphabet, called Ge’ez. It has been in use since the 5th century, making it one of the world’s oldest alphabets still in use.

     

    21. While Egypt is known for its pyramids, Sudan actually has more. To date, more than 200 pyramids have been discovered in Sudan!

     

    french sign in africa

    Sign in both French and English in Mauritius | Credit: Flickr – Ashok Prabhakaran

    22. French is the fastest growing language in Africa. In fact, the continent is home to 50% of the world’s French-speaking population!

     

    facts about africa mountain

    View of Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya | Credit: Flickr – Craig Vershaw

    23. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa, rising 19,341 feet above sea level. That’s roughly 3.6 miles high!

     

    Facts about africa lesotho

    Thaba-Tseka, Lesotho | Credit: Flickr – Michael Jansen

    24. There’s a small country called Lesotho located within South Africa’s borders! It is home to just over 2 million people.

     

    25. The baobab tree is common in many parts of Africa. Known as “the tree of life”, some baobabs are estimated to be over 1,000 years old. One boabab in South Africa has grown so large, it has a circumference of 155 feet!

     

    Ready to discover even more fun facts about Africa? Check out these fun Africa Week activities on Wizard school! 

     

    Still need the wizard school app? Click here to get it for FREE on iTunes!


    Fact sources: National Geographic | National Geographic Kids | One.org | PBS | Wikipedia

    Featured Image: Flickr – David Schenfeld


    POSTED BYWizard
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  • Mar 23
  • 20 Fun Facts About Dogs (GIFs)

    Happy National Puppy Day! In honor of this grrrreat holiday, check out these fun facts about dogs. Share your favorite fact with a friend!

    1. If your dog is wet, it’s not sweat! All of a dog’s sweat glands are located between the pads of their paws.

    20 facts about dogs puppy gif

    2. Dogs get jealous, too! Research has shown that dogs become agitated when their owner shows affection for another animal — even stuffed animals!

    20 facts about dogs sad puppy gif

    3. Scientists estimate that a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 – 100,000 times stronger than ours. Woof!

    20 facts about puppies sniffing gif

    4. Feeling stressed out? Spend some time with your dog! Researchers say that petting a fluffy friend can lower your blood pressure and helps release hormones that fight stress.

    fun facts about dogs gif

    5. Strange, but true: scientists have found that dogs try to poop in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field.

    dog head tilt funny gif

    6. According to the AKC, the Labrador Retriever has been the #1 most popular dog in America for 25 years straight.

    labrador puppy gif

    7. The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world, with 75.8 million canine residents. That’s  roughly one dog for every 4.2 residents!

    group of dogs gif

    8. The world’s smartest dogs is thought to be the border collie. One thing’s for certain – they’re great at herding sheep!

    border collie facts gif

    9. In their first few weeks of life, puppies spend roughly 90% of the day sleeping. Zzzzz…

    sleepy puppy gif

    10. There are all types of service dogs! Some are trained to detect changes in the human body, like those that can alert a diabetic to changes in their blood sugar level.

    service dog gif

    11. Dogs are born deaf, but once they’re fully grown, they can hear much better than we can. They can even pick up sounds at 4x higher frequency than humans.

    dog hearing gif

    12. Dogs have 18 muscles in their ears, allowing them to tilt, raise and rotate in all directions.

    dog ear gif

    13. The oldest living dog on record was a Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who lived to be a whopping 29 1/2 years old. In case you’re wondering, that’s 206 “dog years”.

    bluey-oldest-dog

    Photo of Bluey from the Guinness Book of World Records

    14. When dogs pant, they’re not out of breath — they’re trying to cool themselves off!

    panting dog gif

    15. When a dog kicks after going to the bathroom, they’re using the scent glands on their paws to mark their territory.

    dog kicking grass gif

    16. Evidence shows that canines began living alongside humans almost 12,000 years ago. Researchers believe they were self-domesticated wolves that were attracted to the first sites of permanent human habitation.

    dog facts gif

    17. The first living being in space was a stray dog from Russia named Laika, who went into orbit in 1957.

    Laika before going into orbit

    Laika, before being sent to space

    18. The smallest living dog is a Chihuahua named Milly, who is a mere 3.8 in (9.65 cm) tall.

    Credit: Guinness Book of World Records

    Credit: Guinness Book of World Records

    19. Dog’s nose prints are as unique as a human fingerprint.

    puppy-dog-eyes

    20. Every dog on earth is thought to have descended the Tomarctus — a creature that roamed the earth over 15 million years ago.

    Tomarctus

    Tomarctus

     

    Learn More Fun Facts About Dogs!

    Ready to learn more fun facts about about dogs? Check out “Make a Dog Talk” in the Featured tab under “Challenges” on the WonderBox app to learn more about our canine friends. Then, using WonderBox’s design tools, share what you’ve learned by creating your very own talking dog video!

    Still need the WonderBox app? Click here to get it for free on iTunes!

     

    Featured Image: Flickr/e_haya
    H/T Cesar | Random History | PetFinder | Buzzfeed 


    POSTED BYWizard
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  • Mar 03
  • 20 Fun And Fascinating Educational GIFs For Kids

    Who says GIFs can’t be educational? We’ve compiled 20 fun and fascinating educational GIFs, all of which are appropriate for kids. Get ready to learn something new!


     

    1. The effect snake venom has on blood

    This clip from The Nature of Science shows how venom from the brown snake causes human blood to clot until it becomes a jelly-like consistency.



    2. White blood cells in action 

    An amazing look at white blood cells attacking a parasite.

    white blood cells attacking


     

    3. How a lock works

    What happens when you stick a key into a lock? This image shows how the mechanisms inside of a lock function.
    how a lock works educational gif


    4. The effect freezing temperatures has on boiling water

    This amazing clip shows how boiling hot water can turn into “snow” when thrown into the air on a sub-zero day. Click here to learn more about the science behind this phenomenon. Note: Don’t try this at home!


     

    5. Where Americans immigrated from

    This fascinating animated map shows the top country of birth among U.S. immigrants for every state over the last 166 years.

    american immigrants gif


     

    6. The effect freezing temperatures have on the human body 

    This clip from BBC utilizes a thermal camera to show the effect freezing conditions has on your body. The man in the image is holding a snowball in his hand, and the green spots all over his skin are actually cold spots where snowflakes have landed on his body.


     

    7. The evolution of the alphabet

    This fascinating graphic shows how the alphabet has evolved since Phoenician times.

    alphabet educational gif



    8. How dogs drink water

    This amazing slow-motion clip shows how dogs cup their tongues to draw water into their mouths.

    dog drinking water educational gif


     

    9. How cats drink water

    Cats also use their tongues to cup water and draw it into their mouths. In addition, the microscopic ridges on their tongue also help grab water.

     


     

    10. The evolution of the United States

    This neat visual shows a brief overview of the history of the United States.

    evolution of american educational gif


     

    11. How cats land on their feet

    This slow-motion clip from Smarter Everyday shows how cats use their tail to right themselves when falling, allowing them to flip mid-air and land on their feet.


     

    12. Why your nose runs when it’s cold

    Have you ever wondered why your nose tends to run when it’s cold outside? This image explains why!

    why your nose runs when its cold gif



    13. What happens when a mosquito bites you

    This is what’s happening under your skin when a mosquito bites you and drinks your blood. Eeek!


     

    14. What happens when your eye moves

    This slow motion clip shows what really happens when your eye moves!

    slow motion eye movement educational gif


    15. The actual distance between the Earth and Moon

    A more accurate depiction of how far the Moon is from the Earth.

    planets gif


    16. How a hamster stores food

    This cool x-ray video shows how hamsters are able to store so much food in their mouths.


     

    17. How babies grow

    This neat graphic shows how babies develop from fertilization to birth.

     

    babies gif

    Click to zoom


     

    18. What happens when you swallow

    This cool x-ray shows what happens when you swallow liquid.

    swallowing gif



    19. How braces work

    This time-lapse shows how braces work to shift teeth over time.

    braces time lapse



    20. Red blood cells moving through the body

    Have you ever wondered how fast your blood moves through your body? This clip depicts a red blood cell moving through the human body in real time!

    200px-Erytrocyte_deoxy_to_oxy_v0.7

     

    View more educational videos on WonderBox!

    Looking for fun, educational videos for kids? There are thousands of educational videos and lessons on the free WonderBox app! All of the videos and lessons on WonderBox have been personally selected and screened by our team of K-8 teachers. Click here to download the free app!

    Teachers: Interested in using WonderBox in your classroom?
    Click here to request free access to the private beta version of WonderBox EDU.

     

    H/T Educational GIFs – Reddit


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  • Dec 02
  • 10 Fun Facts About Snow

    Have you ever looked closely at a snowflake stuck to a window and wondered how they get such a beautiful, interesting shape? Check out these 10 fun facts about snow!

    1. Snowflakes are ice crystals

    Snowflakes are ice crystals that fall to the earth after they have been supercooled in the atmosphere.

    2. They’re not white

    Snowflakes may look white, but they’re actually clear! Snow looks white because of the way the light reflects off of the ice crystals.

    3. Several things impact a snowflake’s shape

    A snowflake’s shape is affected by a variety of factors including air currents, humidity and temperature.

    4. Regardless of size or shape, they all have two things in common

    Almost all snowflakes have six sides and are symmetrical.

    5. Snowflakes can actually be pretty big

    Although most snowflakes are quite small, some snowflakes can actually be the size of a baseball!

    6. …Really, REALLY big!

    In 1887, a 15″ snowflake was observed in Fort Keogh, Montana. If the report is indeed true, it would be the world’s largest snowflake!

    7. Snowflakes come in many shapes

    While it’s thought (but not scientifically proven) that no two snowflakes are alike, all snowflakes fall in one of 39 different shapes! See them all here.

    8. Snowmen can be pretty huge!

    The world’s largest snowman was 122 ft. tall – and was actually a snow woman!

    9. Snowflakes are made of many ice crystals

    Each snowflake is made of as many as 200 ice crystals fused together.

    10. Snowstorms can be pretty extreme

    In March 2015, Capracotta, Italy received 8.4 feet of snow in an 18 hour period. That’s a lot of snow!

     

    Design Your Own Snowflake!

    Learn more about snow by visiting the “Snowflake Maker” tab on the WonderBox app. After you’re done, use our built-in design tools to design your very own snowflake!

     

    Need the WonderBox app? Download it for free on iTunes!

     

     

    Featured Image Credit: Flickr/Javcon117


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  • Oct 29
  • 15 Fun Facts About Cats (GIFs)

    Happy National Cat Day, Wizards! In honor of this meowwwvalous holiday, check out these fun facts about cats. Be sure to share your favorite fact with a friend!

    1. A falling cat has the ability to flip herself mid-air so that she lands purrrfectly on her feet.

    cat facts gif

    2. Cats typically have twelve whiskers on each side of their face.

    cute kitten gif

    3. Cats aren’t able to taste sweet things. They’re really missing out!

    funny cat gif

    4. Most cats don’t have eyelashes.

    funny kitten gif facts

    5. Cats have powerful night vision, allowing them to see at light levels that are six times lower than what humans need to see.

    cat night vision gif

    6. Cats sleep 12 – 16 hours each day. Sleepyheads!

    facts about cats

    7. Cats spend between 30% – 50% of their waking hours cleaning themselves.

    funny cat facts gif

    8. Does your cat like to rub up against your legs? That’s her way of marking her territory!

    cat rubbing gif

    9. “Bezoar” is the scientific term for a cat’s hairball.

    kitten fur gif facts about cats

    10. Felines are able to jump up to 5x their own height.

    cat scared gif

    11. Calico cats are almost always female.

    facts about cats gif

    12. A cat’s sense of smell is 14x more powerful than a human’s.

    cat smell gif

    13. Napoleon, Julius Caesar, and Charles XI weren’t afraid of much, but they were afraid of cats!

    dog scared of cat gif

    14. Each cat’s nose pad is unique – kind of like a human’s fingerprints!

    cat touch nose gif

    15. Sorry, Fido – you’re outnumbered! There are an estimated 88 million cats in the United States vs. 74 million dogs.

    cat dog gif

     

    Learn More Fun Facts About Cats!

    Ready to learn more fun facts about about cats? Check out “Make a Cat Talk” in the Featured tab under “Challenges” on the WonderBox app to learn more about our feline friends.

    Then, using WonderBox’s design tools, share what you’ve learned by creating your very own talking cat like the one below!

     

    Need the WonderBox app? Download it for free on iTunes right meow!

    Sources: WonderBox, Animal PlanetCatster, Cattime
    Featured image: flickr/tabako


    POSTED BYWizard
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  • Oct 22
  • Fun Facts About Planet Earth

    The Earth is unlike any planet ever discovered. Home to millions of species (including us!), the Earth remains a complex and fragile planet, unique in almost every way. Here are a few fun facts about planet Earth:

    ✧ The Earth is moving around the Sun at a velocity of 67,062 mph!
    ✧ The Sun’s gravity keeps the Earth from floating off into space.
    ✧ Glaciers occupy 10% of the world’s surface. This is roughly the size as South America!
    ✧ The Moon may look close, but it’s actually 238,855 miles away from planet Earth.
    ✧ 70% of our planet is covered in water. However, only 3% is fresh – the remaining 97% is salt water.


    Learn More Fun Facts About Planet Earth!

    How old is the Earth? What does it look like at night from space? How big is Earth in comparison to other planets? Visit “Make Earth Talk” in the Featured tab under “Challenges” on the WonderBox app to learn more fun facts about planet Earth!

     

    Featured Image Credit: NASA/Tracy Caldwell Dyson


    POSTED BYWizard
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  • Oct 21
  • Fun Facts About Reptiles For Kids

    Happy Reptile Awareness Day, Wizards!

    Snakes, lizards and turtles, oh my! Reptiles have roamed the earth for 320 million years, and were the very first species with backbones to live on land. There are over 6,500 species of reptiles, and they can be found on every single continent on earth except Antarctica, where it’s too cold for them to survive.

     

    facts about reptiles

    Fun fact: Dinosaurs are members of the reptile family!

     

    Many reptiles live long lives. Alligators, for example, have been known to live up to 100 years in captivity. However, when it comes to life span, the tortoise takes the (birthday) cake with many living to be well over 100 years old. In fact, an Aldabra tortoise named Adwaita recently lived until the ripe old age of 255!

     

    Learn More Fun Facts About Reptiles!

    Ready to learn more fun facts about about snakes, turtles, alligators, lizards and other reptiles? Check out “Build a Reptile” in the Featured tab under “Challenges” on the WonderBox app to learn more about these scaly, slithery superstars.

    Then, using WonderBox’s design tools, create your very own reptile like the ones below and share it with a friend!

     

    Fun Facts About Reptiles

    Created using WonderBox!

     

    Need the WonderBox app? Download it for free on iTunes!


    POSTED BYWizard
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