Kids

This noodle art is so fun it’s batty

Photo of nighttime scene with noodles

Bats are a hot topic around Halloween. (We love bats — read about how they use echolocation here.) And we love crafts that are both nature-related and fit into the season, so today we tested out a new bat craft. It’s simple, great for all ages and utilizes things you already have around the house.…

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Bats use echolocation to find prey

Bats can see about as well as humans. However, they are nocturnal — which means they are active at night — and think about how well you can see at night. (Read about nocturnal animals in Iowa.) Without a light, can you see a mosquito? You might feel it bite you, but you sure wouldn’t…

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Make your own glowing pool

We had more than 180 people attend the Family Glow Walk in October 2018, and one of the hits were our glowing sensory ponds. Light-up rubber duckies, neon fish and bright bobbers floating in luminescent water drew kids in like moths to a flame. Wonder how we did it? We’ll let you in on the…

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Make glowing bubbles

Photo of glowing yarn bubbles

We’re getting ready for the 2018 Family Glow Walk, and the Dickinson County Nature Center has an under-the-lake theme for its areas. Walk amidst neon fish. See a lake kayak wreck. Play in neon sensory bins. Have fun with glow-in-the-dark beach balls. To make the scene even more fun, we’ve created bubbles that glow under…

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Are you a naturalist?

How much do you know about the animal ambassadors at the Dickinson County Nature Center? Take this quiz to find out if you know as much as our naturalists!

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Thumbprint bees

Photo of thumbprint bugs

One of our volunteers made coffee filter butterflies with her granddaughter, and in exchange, her granddaughter showed her how to make thumbprint bees. We thought they were so cute, we would try them ourselves. And just to make it more exciting, we did a variety of thumbprint invertebrates! All you’ll need is: White paper Washable…

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Are there bears in Iowa?

Photo of a black bear

The grizzly bear in the lower level of the Dickinson County Nature Center has huge paws. At least, it seems like it. However, grizzly bears actually have an average of 15-inch paws, not even including the claws. But here in Iowa, we don’t realize how big grizzlies and other bears are. We just don’t get…

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Make a coffee filter butterfly

Photo of coffee filter butterfly

It’s not any surprise that we love butterflies at the Dickinson County Nature Center. We also love butterfly crafts! This coffee filter butterfly is one that we made at the 2018 Bee & Butterfly Festival. It’s simple, but kids really love the colorful creations they can make. Plus, you can glue them to a magnet…

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Fast frog facts

Photo of northern leopard frog

Leo the northern leopard frog — named after conservationist Aldo Leopold — is always a hit with kids when he comes out during programs. That is often because he makes the programs more exciting when he escapes from the grasp of the naturalist with his squirmy, slippery body. But visitors also love to see his…

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