Photo of headbands with pipe cleaner antenna

Be a bee! Learn how to make your own antenna

November 13, 2017

After Halloween, has your child been begging you to let him or her wear his or her costume again? Do they want to dress up every day? Here’s a fun craft to make that might curb their dressing up craving — bee antenna. You’ll need: A headband Four pipe cleaners…

Photo of a snake sticking out its tongue

Feeding the nature center snakes

November 13, 2017

The naturalists make sure to wash their hands after handling the mice before picking up the snakes. They don’t want the snakes to associate people with food or being let out of their enclosures with food either so that they don’t expect to be fed every time the enclosure door…

Photo of a fish handprint

Under the Sea handprint fish craft

November 6, 2017

It’s getting cold outside, and when it’s cold outside what do we dream of? Warmth! OK, some may have said snow, but I think many dream of having warm summer days back. And when I think of summer, I usually think of the water or the beach, so I decided…

Photo of two trumpeter swans in the snow

Feeding the Kenue Park trumpeter swans

November 6, 2017

Check out the trumpeter swans on the wetland year-round with our live web camera. Click here. You can also find more videos on our Videos page or watch what Teddy the turtle eats here.

Photo of a leaf jack-o-lantern

Perfect Halloween nature craft: Spooky leaves!

November 1, 2017

Seasonal crafts that you can make with supplies you find outside are some of the best crafts. And what is there in abundance at this time of year? Leaves! So, for this craft, your first goal is to head outside with the kiddos and pick up three to five of…

Photo of a tarantula

Venom and barbed hairs: Why tarantulas are actually quite cool

October 30, 2017

Spiderwebs. Big black spiders. Furry tarantulas. Halloween decorations are often centered around arachnids — the family of creatures with four pairs of legs that includes spiders, scorpions, mites and ticks — of some sort. (Teach your kids why they should appreciate all nature.) I think it’s just because spiders and their relatives are…

Photo of an arrow made out of acorns

Leave behind your nature art

October 23, 2017

Andy Goldsworthy is an intriguing nature artist who makes art, takes a photo and then leaves his art behind. (See some of Goldsworthy’s art here.) From piles of leaves that look like three-dimensional pits to rocks balanced in arches, his art inspires you to head outside and see what you…

Photo of a turtle in a play wetland

What does Teddy the Turtle eat?

October 23, 2017

Teddy — named after conservationist former President Theodore Roosevelt — is an ornate box turtle. That means he is an omnivore and will eat both plants and animals, just like humans! See naturalist Ashley Hansen feed Teddy and learn what his favorite foods are in this video! You can also…

Photo of a leopard frog

Frogs are the real living dead

October 17, 2017

The title “living dead” is very Halloween-appropriate. And that’s exactly what northern leopard frogs are in the wintertime. Northern leopard frogs are native to northwest Iowa and are aquatic creatures, meaning they live in the water. Like American bullfrogs, which are not native to northern Iowa, northern leopard frogs will…

Photo of acorn hand craft

The perfect fall craft — a handprint acorn!

October 16, 2017

‘Tis the season of acorns. Come to Kenue Park and you will see many, many of the tasty morsels that animals like squirrels love to munch on during the winter. That makes an acorn craft the perfect fall activity, one that we did during our Colors of the Wind-themed Nature…

Photo of a caterpillar finger puppet

Make your own caterpillar finger puppet

October 9, 2017

Finger puppets are an incredibly easy craft to make at home, because they need hardly any supplies but create hours — let’s be honest here, minutes — of fun. We’ve made a bee finger puppet on our blog before, and you can download the template on our Five Bee Myths…

Why can’t I see the queen bee in the indoor bee hive?

October 9, 2017

“Where is the queen bee?” That’s usually the first question we get when people see the indoor bee hive at the Dickinson County Nature Center. The queen bee is pretty identifiable. Her abdomen — the longest part of her body — is almost twice the length of a worker bee.…