Am I the only one who didn’t know there were polar deserts? These free resources for learning about the world’s deserts will help your homeschoolers learn all about the amazing regions that make up the places in the world with the least amount of rainfall.
When I thought of desert before studying them with my kids, I only thought of hot, waterless deserts, with sand dunes and camels.
Little did I know that deserts were so much more than just desert storms and cacti.
Here is the definition of a desert:
A desert is a region that receives less than 250 mm of precipitation per year (that’s about ten inches per year).
If you think of that definition for a moment, you would totally know that means way more than just the sandy desert regions.
There are, in fact, four different types of deserts based on their geographical location.
- Polar deserts
- Subtropical deserts
- Cold winter deserts
- Cool coastal deserts
My mind was blown to know that the largest deserts are in the polar region, the Antarctic Polar Desert (5.5 million square miles) and the Arctic Polar Desert (5.4 million square miles). Yes, these freezing locations are actually desert regions, and they are the largest ones at that.
Your kids will find that many deserts are sandy like the ones we see in movies, yet most are not. Deserts can be icy cold or mountainous rocky landscapes.
Here are some resources for a few of the world’s deserts to share with your World Desert Unit Study at home:
Antarctic (Polar) Desert
The Antarctic desert is 5.5 million mi² and takes up the whole continent of Antarctica.
Antarctica Geography Printables – FREE Printables | Homeschool Creations
Fun Facts About Antarctica | Year Round Homeschooling
Antarctica Facts For Kids | Active WIld
Arctic (Polar) Desert
The Arctic Desert is 5.4 million mi² and spans throughout Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.
25+ Antarctic & Arctic Activities for Kids | Natural Beach Living
Arctic Animals – Science Experiment | Forgetful Momma
Arctic Ice Activities And Experiments | Pocket of Preschool
Sahara (Subtropical) Desert
The Sahara Desert is 3.5 million mi² and is found in northern Africa.
10 Facts About the Sahara | The Bucket List Company
Facts About the Sahara Desert for Kids, Camels, Nomads | DAD and DREW show
FREE Sahara Desert Lesson Plan | Teacher Link
Gobi (Cold Winter) Desert
The Gobi Desert is 500,000 mi² and can be found in China and Mongolia.
Gobi Desert Facts for Kids | Factsmania
Gobi Desert Facts: the ‘waterless place’ | Young Pioneer Tour
Kalahari (Subtropical) Desert
The Kalahari Desert is 220,000 mi² and stretches through South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia. The Kalahari Desert is where Meerkat Manor was filmed if you are familiar with that nature show.
Kalahari Desert Facts for Kids | Factsmania
Hanging with Meerkats in the Kalahari Desert | Nature on PBS
The Magical Kalahari Desert | Lonely Planet
Kalahari Desert Facts | Kalahari Desert
Mojave (Subtropical) Desert
The Mohave Desert is 54,000 mi² and many of us may be familiar with it, as it is in the United States (Southern California and Southern Nevada).
Mojave Desert Coloring Pages | DLTK’s Coloring Pages
Mojave Desert | KidZone.ws
Atacama (Cool Coastal) Desert
The Atacama Desert is 54,000 mi² and is in the coastal country of Chile, but it also stretches to some areas in Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia.
Chile For Kids | 123 Homeschool 4 Me
What’s So Special About the Atacama Desert? | LIVESCIENCE
Atacama Desert facts for kids | Kids.Kiddle
Chile | Globe Trottinʻ Kids
Explore these free resources for learning about the world’s deserts to add to an awesome geography unit for your homeschool.
Geography for Kids: World Deserts | Ducksters
Desert Facts for Kids | DK Find Out
Interesting Desert Facts For Kids | Cool Kid Facts
Desert Facts for Kids | Kids Kiddle
Fun Desert Facts for Kids | Science Kids
The World’s Largest Deserts | Geology.com
Ranking of the Largest Deserts on Earth (FREE Download) | Statista
Desert Worksheet Packet for 1st-3rd Graders | Mama’s Learning Corner
Videos and virtual tours of world deserts:
Deserts of the World | Clarendon Learning
Top 9 Most Famous Deserts Around The World | Travel Dot Earth
Desert Biome VR 360 | ASU – Ask A Biologist
Learn all about animals of the desert with the awesome resources below:
If you already knew about the world deserts being so different, especially from what the typical “desert” is, then that is awesome. I realized I don’t know much about geography but I am determined to help my children learn more and more through our homeschooling journey.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!