It’s all free — summer programming for kids

Photo of a girl doing a water experiment

There’s a big world outside of our TV, computer and phone screens, and the Dickinson County Nature Center plans to show kids just how much fun it is.

Summer programming for Nature Explorers and Young Naturalists is focusing on outdoor recreation this summer. From fishing to disc golf to geocaching, youth will experience ways they can enjoy the great outdoors.

“At Dickinson County Nature Center, we are excited to help kids outside exploring nature in a variety ways,” said environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman. “We hope to pique the interest of youth by incorporating unstructured play, arts and crafts and fun outdoor activities into all of our programs.  By keeping our programs varied, we hope to offer programs for all types of learners.”

Nature Explorers, for ages 6-9, will be held bi-weekly at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, beginning June 8 with a fishing program at the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery. The other programs in Kenue Park, outside the Dickinson County Nature Center, will be a scavenger hunt June 22, game day July 6, outdoor yoga July 20 and art in nature Aug. 3.

Photo of kids building shelter out of sticks

Young Naturalists is for ages 10-12 and will be held at 1 p.m. opposite Thursdays of Nature Explorers. Young Naturalists will also being with a fishing skills program June 15 at the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery, and then will come back to Kenue Park for geocaching June 29, disc golf at the Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course July 13, outdoor yoga July 27 and art in nature Aug. 10.

Photo of a child gluing eyes on a bee craft

Even toddlers have the chance to learn and explore at the Dickinson County Nature Center with the year-round Nature Tots program that continues this summer. Programs are 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month, and themes for this coming season include Wonders of the Wetlands June 14, Raindrops are Falling on My Head July 12, Caterpillars and Chrysalis Aug. 9 and Colors of the Wind Sept. 13.

“Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in numbers at a Nature Tots events,” Kuhlman said. “We are excited to be able to expand our offerings to two lessons a day to include more families in on the fun. Nature Tots is an amazing way for young learners to learn through play, stories, and activities.”

Nature Tots, Nature Explorers and Young Naturalists are all free, one-hour programs with maximums of 25 registrants. Spots fill quickly, so please call 712-336-6352 to pre-register.

For more information on summer youth programming, summer camps or other Dickinson County Nature Center events, visit our environmental education page. You can also keep up with the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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