Kids

Animal Baby Name Game

Graphic of name game

Baby names are so much fun. Whether you’re planning for your own child, getting ready for a baby shower or just having fun thinking of names, it can be quite a crazy world to look into. There are literally thousands upon thousands of names, and some can be quite crazy. It is the same with…

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Snapping turtles are fascinating

Photo of a common snapping turtle

People speculate how both gangsters and snapping turtles cut off people’s fingers, so when the Dickinson County Nature Center got a baby snapping turtle as an animal ambassador, it was named Capone after the legendary gangster Al Capone. Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are the largest turtles in Iowa, and they are quite fascinating creatures.…

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How fish survive in frozen lakes

The frozen Iowa Great Lakes are dotted with blue and black as ice fishermen set up their shacks, drill holes and search for life below the ice. And there is still plenty of life to be found, but how exactly do fish survive in those frigid temperatures? You can learn how ice is created on…

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Nature Tots kicks off for 2019

Photo of child smiling

Little campers, Nature’s Pals, Magical Rainbows — Nature Tots has a whole new slate of engaging themes for 2019. The series for ages 2-5 kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman said the program continues on each year’s schedule because of its ever-increasing attendance. “I think…

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6 things you didn’t know about white-tailed deer

Photo of deer flagging tail

1. Hollow hairs help them stay warm in the winter. Have you ever seen a deer that has snow on its back that doesn’t melt? It makes people shiver to think about walking around covered in snow — isn’t the deer freezing? However, it’s actually that frozen snow that shows just how warm a deer…

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Color this picture for a two-in-one experience

Photo of a coyote scene

I was scrolling through Pinterest when a video caught my eye. I don’t usually like watching videos, but it showed a neat craft where you color one picture, fold it like an accordion and depending on how you look at it, it becomes two pictures. “I can make that,” I thought. It took me a…

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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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