Kids

Recycled bunny bookmark

Photo of a bunny bookmark

Bindi, named after conservationist Steve Irwin’s daughter, Bindi Irwin, is the newest animal ambassador at the Dickinson County Nature Center as of August 2018. In honor of her arrival, today’s craft is bunny-themed! (Learn about cottontail rabbits) To make this adorable bunny bookmark, you’ll need: An envelope, a used one is fine Scissors Glue Googly…

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7 cute cottontail facts

Photo of a bunny

The Dickinson County Nature Center’s bunny animal ambassador, named Bindi, is actually a pet rabbit species. However, this mini rex looks quite a lot like the native rabbit in Iowa, the eastern cottontail. They both have a fluffy white tail, long ears, a brown coat with lighter colors in the undercoat and dark eyes. There…

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These fish really pop

Photo of partially finished fish

There’s something about making a craft three-dimensional. It just makes things more fun. Try out this three-dimensional fish craft — it really pops! You’ll need: Colored paper Scissors Glue stick Marker Cut your 8.5×11-inch sheet of paper in half the short way. Fold in half the long way and cut three-quarters of an oval, making…

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It would take 25 Statues of Liberty…

Photo of the Statue of Liberty

The glacier that sat on what is now the Iowa Great Lakes area was called the Des Moines Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier, and it was huge! (Read about the landform regions in Iowa) It carved out the lakes, left behind kames and eskers and created fens and kettleholes. It’s hard to imagine just how…

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Handprint/footprint flower craft

Photo of a handprint flower

Kids like to draw on themselves — or on their siblings. Faces covered in permanent marker. Arms decorated with stripes and dots. Bellies covered in color. This craft lets kids actually paint themselves for a purpose as you create a fun handprint/footprint flower! You’ll need: Fingerpaint 11×17 paper Squirt green paint onto the feet of…

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Take a look at a tallgrass prairie

Photo of pasques flowers

Although restored prairies are wonderful, preserving virgin prairie is incredibly important. Former naturalist, current recycling center manager, Charles Vigdal says that reconstructed prairie has 40-50 species, but a virgin prairie could have as many as 300 species in it.

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Personalized paper caterpillar craft

Photo of a caterpillar name craft

From microscopic egg to tiny larva to chubby caterpillar to gold-flecked chrysalis to adult monarch butterfly — the majestic monarch’s life cycle is something to behold, especially up close. In honor of part of that amazing metamorphosis, try out this fun caterpillar craft that shows just how much you love pollinators too. (Read about incomplete…

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Incomplete metamorphosis — what is that??

The discarded shell of a dragonfly nymph

The majestic monarch goes through four stages in its life cycle — egg, caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa) and adult butterfly. Insects that go through four stages have what is called complete metamorphosis. (Read about the monarch’s life cycle here) However, not all insects go through all four stages in their life cycle; some only go…

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Simple nature alphabet activity

Photo of a colored D page for dragonfly

A child saw that the alphabet on the wall at Westport Schoolhouse only went from A-J. “Did the alphabet only have that many letters back then?” she asked. The volunteer laughed and answered that the rest of the letters were just not put up, but we didn’t want to confuse children further, so the rest of…

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