How to Educate Your Kids about Whales

Whale education is fun. Who doesn't love these enormous and endlessly fascinating behemoths of the ocean? If you're stuck for ideas on how to educate your kids about whales we have plenty of ideas to make it exciting for the whole family.

Weird whale facts

Kids love fun facts about anything. These weird, wonderful and fascinating whale facts are a great way to make whale education for kids a super fun learning experience.

Whales can make rainbows.

The rainbows are created as they blow water from their breathing holes. You can watch a video of whales making rainbows here.

Whales breathe air.

Despite making the ocean their home, whales are mammals just like us and need to surface regularly to breathe air through specialised breathing holes that are also called blow holes. These are the same holes that whales use to spout water into the air (and create rainbows). Humpback whales breathe about 1-2 times per minute at rest, and 4-8 times per minutes after a deep dive.

A humpback whale can hold their breath for up to 45 minutes.

They generally surface every 7-15 minutes to spout water and breathe but can dive for up to 45 minutes if needed.

Got a kid who loves dinosaurs? Blue whales are the biggest animal on planet earth, bigger than the largest dinosaur ever found.

Humpback whales are not quite as big as this but are still about the size of a bus — the same length as a T rex and bigger than a Triceratops.

The humpback whale's heart weighs around 195kg.

This is roughly the same weight as 3 average adult humans.

Some whales can live to 200 years old.

Bowhead whales of the cold Artic waters are believed to live over 200 years.

Whales can sing for a whole day and night without a break.

Humpback whales sing the longest and most complex songs of all whales. Male humpbacks only sing these long, eerie and beautiful songs in warm waters as part of their mating rituals. In cold water their sounds consist of scraping and groaning sounds. Thankfully whale watching tours in the Moreton Bay region allow us to hear the hauntingly beautiful songs filled with squeaks, thwops, snorts, barks and grunts. These songs can last as little as 10-20 minutes but male humpbacks have been known to sing continuously for 24 hours. While both males and females can make sounds, only the male sings.

Humpback whales have no vocal cords.

They sing and make noises by forcing air through their massive nasal cavities.

A whale can pee enough in one day to fill more than 3 bathtubs.

Wierd whale facts brisbane whale watching

If you stretched out a whale's intestines it would be nearly 4km long.

A sperm whale's brain is the biggest in the animal kingdom weighing a whopping 9 kgs.

A human brain weighs around 1.3-1.4 kg. They have a special cavity inside their heads that is big enough to park a car!

Older children can learn all about the anatomy, breeding and migration of the humpback whales that can be seen on a whale watching tour of the Moreton Bay region of Redcliffe.

Whale arts and crafts

Colouring and craft activities are a great way to include younger children in your whale education experience. Print out some of these free whale colouring templates and let the whale learning begin. Don't forget to include their rainbow spouts. When the colouring is finished, create a whale wall with your colourful whales.

-Add in some whale food: stick on pieces of green coloured paper or cellophane to add in some tasty plankton, a whale's favourite snack.

-Whales also like to munch on krill, tiny little shrimp like creatures. Stick on some dried kidney beans or pasta to your whale drawings to give them some krill to eat.

-Practice naming your whales in preparation for your whale watching experience. Captain Kerry of Brisbane Whale Watching Cruises lets children name any baby whales spotted on a whale watching cruise.

Educating your kids about whales doesn't have to be dry, academic and boring. It's loads of fun for kids and adults learning about these gentle giants of our local oceans.

Whale watching tours

The most exciting part of educating your kids about whales is being able to see real live, singing, breathing and water spouting humpback whales in their natural and wild environment right here in Brisbane. Did you know that 18 000 whales migrate through Redcliffe waters every year? Brisbane Whale Watching Cruises guarantee that you'll see a real live whale on every one of their whale watching cruises.

Kerry Lopez

Captain of the Eye Spy
30 July 2015