Rocks can be the perfect way to get little ones interested in the outdoors. They’re easy to find. They can be touched, picked up and collected. There is a wide variety, from sparkly to chalk-like, smooth to holey. Read a good book about rocks and then head outside to see what rocks you can find!…

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Photo of child crossing a swinging bridge

Open all day every day, the Nature Playscape is a perfect place for families to enjoy the Okoboji outdoors. Located in Kenue Park, just outside the Dickinson County Nature Center, the playscape offers a variety of recreational play items. “Just another one of our free offerings, the Nature Playscape is a hit with kids of…

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Photo of a gray-headed coneflower

As a kid, we all picked a puffy dandelion and blew the wisps into the air. Little did we think that we were actually helping dandelions disperse their seeds. Dandelions and other plants only survive when their seeds are dispersed so that new plants grow the next season. They spread through a variety of ways…

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Photo of a monarch butterfly hanging from its chrysalis

A few more weeks and the monarch butterflies that are overwintering in Mexico will start making their way north. Once coming out of hibernation, a female monarch will find a male with which to reproduce. Around the Texas/Mexico border, the female monarch will find milkweed plants on which to lay her eggs. She can lay…

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Graphic that says Did you know? One cubic foot of snow can contain 1 billion crystals.

We’re in the middle of a blizzard in northwest Iowa. Look outside, and the white stuff looks like a blanket, like it’s all just one mass. But it’s not. In each cubic foot — that’s a box that is 1 foot on each side — there could be as many as 1 billion snowflakes. Use…

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Graphic of Iowa landforms

My husband and I took a trip to Utah this summer. We were enamored by the beautiful landscape, with red rocks rising out of sandy floors, hoodoos sprouting out of canyon lands, short scrub trees dotting desert landscapes. During a drive through Zion National Park, we overheard a student on the bus say “I haven’t…

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Crafts don’t always come together the way you think they will. I had a brilliant idea this morning to make place cards with leaf etchings on them, and I tried it out. Yikes. Ugly. If you come up with something pretty with that idea, let me know. So instead, I decided to post how to…

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Photo of an osprey sitting on the nest

It’s so cold. I’ve overheard the crazy birds that live here in Kenue Park year-round call us that fly south for the winter snowbirds. In reality, I think that they’re the snowbirds. They actually live here when it gets below freezing and the snow flies. I’ve only seen snow a few times when it has flurried…

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