Kids

How hoarfrost forms

Photo of hoarfrost

One of the most beautiful times during winter is when frost builds up on tree branches, blades of grass and fences. The whole world takes on a bright, shimmering white hue, and it makes the bitter temperatures worth it. You might even call it a winter wonderland. This type of frost is called hoarfrost and…

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Make your own magnetic stars

Photo of felt stars on a magnet board

We have some awesome updates to existing exhibits and some brand new exhibits coming up at winter projects. One of those is to turn our kids area into a space/night theme! (Celebrate winter with a craft stick snowflake) A few parts of the renovation are underway behind the scenes, and one is a project that…

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Wallace discovered animals’ secrets to survival

Photo of a buff-tipped moth

Glowing body parts that warn predators, colors to camouflage, body parts that look like other things in nature — animals have crazy cool adaptations that help them survive. Alfred R. Wallace was a naturalist, explorer and biogeographer during the 1800s, and when he was studying creatures around the world, he found that those with the…

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FREE frog mask template

Did you know tree frogs’ last bone in their toes is shaped like a claw? Have you read about how about frogs’ bodies freeze during the winter and thaw in the spring? Do you know what a group of frogs is called? Click here to find out. Frogs are really interesting creatures, and many people…

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Five differences between chorus frogs and leopard frogs

A gentleman called last week because he had heard a sound like someone running a finger along the teeth of a comb in his basement. He had found and captured a small frog and wanted to bring it to us for the winter. Frogs usually hibernate for the winter (read about that here), but this…

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Easy pasta creatures

Photo of pasta turtle

The Great Lakes Mall in Spirit Lake hosts an annual Festival of Trees in which local businesses and non-profits can decorate a tree for a chance to be voted to win the top prize. This year, the theme is about our local food pantry through Upper Des Moines Opportunity, and each organization that decorates a…

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Ground sloths and mammoths once roamed Iowa

Graphic that says mammoth tusks were about 15 feet long

The Iowa Great Lakes were formed as a result of glacial activity in the area. West Lake Okoboji is thought to have been created by the Wisconsin Glacier about 14,000 years ago as it retreated to the north. The Des Moines Lobe of the glacier is what covered Iowa and is what outlines Clear Lake,…

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Can you find them all? Try our indoor/outdoor fall scavenger hunt

Graphic of scavenger hunt

The weather is chilly, but that doesn’t mean that kids hibernate. Your kids are still as active as ever, and they want something to occupy their time. You want something to occupy their time too. Why not print off our fall scavenger hunt? There are indoor and outdoor items to find, and you can add…

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This turkey is unbe-leaf-ably cute

Photo of a leaf turkey

To go along with our blog about turkeys this week (read it here), we thought we might as well make a turkey-themed nature craft too. You will just need a few supplies: Turkey template printed on white paper (Find the template here) Leaves White computer paper Crayons Scissors Glue Begin with a trek outside. Pick…

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