Would you like to learn pandas facts? Whether you are doing a report on pandas or you just adore these cuddly animals, here’s everything you need to know: panda facts for kids, books about pandas, plus videos, games, and more!
10 Panda Facts for Kids
1. Giant pandas only live in a few mountain ranges in central China. They used to live in lower elevations, but were pushed into the mountains as people moved in to farm.
2. Pandas are endangered species. There are only 1,600 left in the wild!
3. When they are born, pandas are hairless and helpless- only about the size of a stick of butter. The panda mother must stay in the den for several days without eating or drinking, just to take great care of her tiny cub.
4. Panda bears eat bamboo for 12-14 hours a day, all while sitting up! Because once in a while they also eat fish or small mammals, pandas are technically omnivores (though have a mostly herbivore diet).
5. The giant panda’s throat has a special coating it, so that they won’t get splinters from the bamboo they eat.
6. Pandas have 5 clawed fingers, and then an extra bone scientists call “the panda’s thumb” that pandas use to grasp the bamboo while eating! That is why you will hear people say that pandas have 6 fingers.
7. Giant pandas are solitary, meaning they live by themselves. Panda cubs live with their mother for 1-3 years, and then go on their own.
8. Pandas have lived on earth for 2-3 million years, and their closest relative is the spectacled bear of South America (not the raccoon as earlier believed!).
9. Pandas don’t roar like other bears! Pandas bleat like goats, and making honking noises too to communicate with other pandas.
10. In Chinese, panda is 熊猫, “xióngmāo.” The characters mean “bear-cat.”
Panda Facts in Children’s Books!
Panda by Heather Angel
Adventures of Riley #2: Project Panda by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz.
Panda Math: Learning About Subtraction from Hua Mei and Mei Sheng
by Ann Whitehead Nagda
Panda Kindergarten by Joanne Ryder
A Panda’s World (Caroline Arnold’s Animals)
by Caroline Arnold
The Legend of the Panda
retold by Linda Granfield
How Many Baby Pandas? by Sandra Markle
Little Pandaby Renata Liwska
Pi-Shu: The Little Pandaby John Butler
Magic Tree House #48: A Perfect Time for Pandas (A Stepping Stone Book(TM))
by Mary Pope Osborne and Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #26: Pandas and Other Endangered Species: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #48: A Perfect Time for Pandas Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce
Panda Snacks and Crafts
Click on the picture to see the links!
Panda Videos & On-Line
Panda Facts: Free Lesson Plans
The National Zoo (Smithsonian) offers many (pdf) lesson plans about pandas for free:
- Exploring Animal Diets and Sizes
- Panda-Centered Animal Collage
- Giant Panda Diorama
- Panda Class Story and more!
Panda lapbook from Magic Tree House Endangered Species Series