Close-up photo of claws

Can you tell which animal it is by its extreme close-up?

February 20, 2018
Photo of colored ice balloons

Add some color to your snowy world with ice balls

February 12, 2018

Our naturalists are incredibly creative, and it’s fun to watch their ideas take shape. For Nature Tots in January, Bryanna Kuhlman, our environmental education coordinator, and Ashley Hansen, our naturalist, put together snow activities that included snow volcanoes, snow painting and playing with ice balloons. If you’re looking for a…

Photo of two house finches at a feeder

What birds are at your feeder? Keep track for the Great Backyard Bird Count

February 2, 2018

A house finch munching on sunflower seeds in the feeder. A cooper’s hawk watching hungrily from a perch nearby. A woodpecker knock-knock-knocking on a tree trunk. Your yard is most likely full of different avian species, flying about during their busy day-to-day lives. (Did you know grackles don’t like safflower…

Graphic of animal Valentines

Download FREE animal valentines to print at home

February 1, 2018

Why go to the store and buy pre-made Valentines that everyone will have for this year’s February 14 classroom party? Instead, download our free animal ambassador Valentines, print them on cardstock at home, cut them out and you have unique Valentines for the whole class. CLICK HERE FOR PDF DOWNLOADS…

Photo of a barn owl

10 animals that you didn’t know mated for life

January 30, 2018

We often get the question, “Do ospreys mate for life?” The answer isn’t quite clear. In general, yes, they do. However, they aren’t above choosing a new mate if theirs is not longer able to reproduce or is sick or injured. Like humans are considered monogamous but sometimes change partners,…

Photo of a giant snowflake on a door

Giant three-dimensional paper snowflake

January 30, 2018

What’s more fun than making a paper snowflake? Making it three-dimensional and giant! We all made paper snowflakes as kids, folding and cutting sheets of paper and then unfolding them to see what design your snowflake came out to be. While researching snowflakes for a blog post, I stumbled upon a…

Photo of dinosaur toy in cloud dough

Easy snow dough recipe for hours of fun

January 22, 2018

I will admit that my craft ideas don’t always turn out the way that I plan them. This craft was supposed to be called “snow dough,” but because I bought unbleached flour instead of bleached flour, it looks more like sand. I thought I might just play it off and…

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

Are snowflakes all unique?

January 22, 2018

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…

Photo of a popsicle snowflake

Celebrate winter with a craft stick snowflake

January 15, 2018

During the holiday break, my mother-in-law was putting her former-teacher skills into action. After a Christmas cookie decorating contest for the family in which she gave out awards such as “Most symmetrical tree” and “Most wordy,” she broke out a snowflake craft for her three granddaughters to work on while…

Photo of polar bear in slime

Snow slime recipe to make at home!

January 8, 2018

We have a little snow outside, but sometimes that makes us hungry for even more snow. We want to play in the white stuff! If you’re itching for some fun snow to play with, why not make your own? To make your own snow slime, you’ll need just a couple…

Photo of a girl coloring snow with food coloring

How to create snow masterpieces

December 26, 2017

It looks like snow is on its way this week, so we’re all going to be wondering how to have fun once we’ve done the obligational snow angels, sledding, snowball fights and tubing! One of our favorite ways to have fun in the snow is to let out some colorful…

Photo of a hedgehog

How does a hedgehog roll up?

December 26, 2017

Pretty much every time that we pick up Honey the hedgehog, she rolls into a ball. Her pointy spines stand erect, and you can’t see any other part of her. (See a video of Honey the hedgehog here.) The reason that hedgehogs do this is the same reason that turtles…