By helping children distinguish between what’s real and what’s fake, you can teach kids how to think for themselves, as well as gain a better understanding of the world. Check out fun activities that’ll help your kids develop a knack for finding the facts.
Show your family these laugh-out-loud images that have been doctored just for fun. (Ever seen a photo of dogs and cats playing Twister? Now’s your chance!) Then snap back to reality by clicking through photos of places and creatures that seem too strange to actually exist… but they do. Afterward flip through a magazine and ask your kids to point out which photos they think are real and which may have been doctored, and why. The exercise will help them get into an analytical mindset anytime they see an unbelievable picture.
True or false: A hard-boiled egg can be sucked into a bottle without breaking apart. True! Prove it with your kids using this superfun experiment. After learning the facts about how the experiment works, they’ll begin to understand that sometimes things that seem fake can be proved true with science—and the same goes for the truth! Check out even more experiments, including one that shows you how to make a squishy-shelled egg.
To tell the truth
Play along with an episode of the Nat Geo Kids video series Real or Fake? as contestants figure out which of three statements is true. Then hold your own family quiz tournament with trivia questions on dinosaurs, space, and sports. Teach kids about reliable sources by giving them five minutes to find each answer in an encyclopedia or a credible newspaper article.