Photo of suncatcher in the window

Floral sun catcher brings summer indoors

June 11, 2018

Summer is about sun, green grasses and leaves, brightly-colored flower blooms. This sun catcher craft takes all of summer and puts it in one simple piece. To make your own sun catcher, you’ll need: Two self-adhesive laminating sheets Flowers and leaves Scissors Twine First, make sure to use self-adhesive laminating…

Graphic that says cardamom, cashews, cherries, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, coriander, cranberries

Foods we wouldn’t have without pollinators

June 11, 2018

What if you couldn’t have any almonds or cashews in that nut mix you love to snack on? What if you couldn’t eat sesame chicken because sesame didn’t exist anymore? What if bananas, blueberries and tomatoes weren’t on the shelves anymore? One in three bites of food that we take…

Photo of the completed puppet

Make a toad hand puppet

June 4, 2018

Since we talked today about five facts that will make you love toads (read the blog post here), we decided to make a toad-themed craft. If you look up toad crafts, there are not a lot out there! Like we mentioned in the blog post, toads tend to get overlooked…

Photo of Al the toad

Five facts that will make you like toads

June 4, 2018

Because frogs are brightly colored, they tend to be looked on with more awe than toads. However, American toads have some pretty neat attributes when you get to know them. Come check out Al the American toad at the Dickinson County Nature Center and see how interesting he is in…

Graphic that says 95 football fields would it in Lake Minnewashta's surface area.

Iowa Great Lakes fun facts

June 2, 2018

We all love the lakes. That’s what makes Okoboji, Okoboji. But how much do you know about the lakes themselves? Did you know that Upper Gar Lake is the smallest lake in the Iowa Great Lakes at only 37 acres with an average depth of 3.5 feet? That is the…

Photo of bee with fingers as legs

Make a bee finger puppet with moving legs

June 2, 2018

Bees actually have six legs, but when it’s a craft, you can use your imagination right? This fat bumblebee only has two legs, but those two legs actually move, because they are your own fingers! (Make your own bee antenna or try out a pipe cleaner bee!) All you will need…

Free nature bingo cards to download

May 29, 2018

It’s finally summer, and we’re loving being outside. Print off these three bingo cards, head outside and see who can get a bingo first!  

Photo of a baby bunny in the grass

A quick guide to finding a baby animal

May 29, 2018

You see a baby bunny in the yard. It looks at you with wide eyes and freezes as you approach. Oh no, an orphan bunny! You think, kindheartedly. The truth is, though, that bunny is fine on its own. In fact, most baby animals that humans stumble across and try to…

Photo of floppy fish

Shake, wiggle and flop! Create a moving fish

May 21, 2018

Shake, wiggle and flop. These floppy fish are simple and a lot of fun for kids to make! You’ll just need a few supplies: Two pieces of colored paper Scissors Gluestick Markers Begin with the sheet of paper that you want to be the main color of your fish. Fold…

Photo of kids bouncing on a fen

Fen, kame, esker — what do these glacial landmark words mean?

May 21, 2018

Walking along the glacial landmark tour inside the entrance of the Dickinson County Nature Center, visitors can to experience replicas of many of the places created by the Des Moines Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier when it was in the county about 12,000 years ago. From bouncing on a fen…

Watch the Okoboji Osprey lifespan

May 14, 2018

From migrating north to reproduction and caring for chicks to migration south, the osprey lifespan is fascinating! Don’t forget to download the Okoboji Osprey Activity Book complete with word search, dot-to-dot and Migration Mad Libs. Click here to access the free activity book.

Photo of a chipmunk

Five ways to tell apart a chipmunk and a ground squirrel

May 7, 2018

You see a little critter scurrying around the garden, its back striped dark brown and white. A chipmunk? A ground squirrel? The species often get confused, because they are about the same size — 8-11 inches and 5-9 ounces — and they both burrow. However, there are some key ways…