Kids

Shake, wiggle and flop! Create a moving fish

Photo of floppy fish

Shake, wiggle and flop. These floppy fish are simple and a lot of fun for kids to make! You’ll just need a few supplies: Two pieces of colored paper Scissors Gluestick Markers Begin with the sheet of paper that you want to be the main color of your fish. Fold one corner in to the…

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Fen, kame, esker — what do these glacial landmark words mean?

Photo of kids bouncing on a fen

Walking along the glacial landmark tour inside the entrance of the Dickinson County Nature Center, visitors can to experience replicas of many of the places created by the Des Moines Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier when it was in the county about 12,000 years ago. From bouncing on a fen to climbing a miniature kame…

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Watch the Okoboji Osprey lifespan

From migrating north to reproduction and caring for chicks to migration south, the osprey lifespan is fascinating! Don’t forget to download the Okoboji Osprey Activity Book complete with word search, dot-to-dot and Migration Mad Libs. Click here to access the free activity book.

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Five ways to tell apart a chipmunk and a ground squirrel

Photo of a chipmunk

You see a little critter scurrying around the garden, its back striped dark brown and white. A chipmunk? A ground squirrel? The species often get confused, because they are about the same size — 8-11 inches and 5-9 ounces — and they both burrow. However, there are some key ways to tell these creatures apart.…

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It’s a fish-eat-fish world! Clothespin craft instructions here!

Photo of a fish eating fish on a clothespin

It’s a fish-eat-fish world out there. OK, I know that’s not how the saying goes, but I think it applies in an area where lakes are the main attraction. Think about what’s going on beneath the surface of our lakes when we’re out boating, waterskiing and paddleboarding. Our fish are living the everyday lives, swimming…

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Osprey Diaries: A little late

Photo of osprey on the nest

The ice is finally gone! We’ve been quite annoyed that after we arrived back our favorite fishing holes were all covered in ice, and then as soon as we began building our nest it snowed. And I mean snowed. And then a couple of days later it snowed some more. I heard someone in the…

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Okoboji seagulls aren’t sea gulls at all

Photo of a ring-billed gull

There is no such thing as a seagull. All gulls have proper names, none of which is sea. We posted this Noon Nature Fact on our Facebook page last week and had several comments on it. I knew that there were lots of species of gulls, but honestly didn’t realize that none were technically called…

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Go on a Spring Scavenger Hunt

I don’t really want to sit at my desk today. I want to go outside! This weekend was really the first weekend I felt the warm sun on my skin, and the winds that flew were cool instead of frigid. It felt wonderful, and it finally feels like spring is showing its face. So instead…

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4 ways to tell apart swans and snow geese

Photo of a tundra swan

It’s a big, white bird paddling on that body of water. But what exactly is it? Most likely, it’s a trumpeter swan if you’re in Iowa. The trumpeter swans is native to the state and is the biggest waterfowl native to the U.S., its wingspan reaching up to 8 feet — that’s taller than Yao…

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