Country school fun facts

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…

Photo of broken bath bomb eggs

How to make your own hatching dinosaur egg

December 18, 2017

Bryanna and Ashley had been working hard making hatching dinosaur eggs for Nature Tots and had tried a couple of recipes to get the desired texture. I went to the kitchen at the Dickinson County Nature Center and picked up their egg creations. One felt quite firm, and I was…

Why do evergreen trees stay green?

December 18, 2017
Photo of a butterfly ornament in a tree

Toilet paper tube butterfly ornaments

December 15, 2017

My fingers are stained orange like I just ate a bag of Cheetos. At least that’s what naturalist Ashley Hansen said when she looked at me. But it was for a good cause. See, I just spent 10 minutes coloring an empty toilet paper tube orange to make a super…

Photo of bee box

How honeybees survive the winter

December 15, 2017

The numbers of bees in the indoor beehive have gone down. But that’s pretty normal this time of year. It just means that our bees have entered winter mode and are getting ready to survive cold weather. Baby, it’s cold outside. As the weather cools down, a honeybee hive starts…

My Giving Tree craft

November 27, 2017

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…

Photo of a box turtle

7 things Teddy the ornate box turtle wants you to know about him

November 27, 2017

When kids who have been to the nature center before return, many of them beeline to see Teddy the ornate box turtle. (Teddy has some lessons for us to learn in this video.) But how much do you really know about the ornate box turtle (terrapene ornata ornata)? Long live…

Graphic with origami instructions

It really works: Leaping frog origami

November 20, 2017

I am by no means an origami expert, but I always feel accomplished when I complete a new project. We’ve tried butterfly origami (you can find that blog entry here) and today decided to attempt making interactive origami — a leaping frog! Steps 1-4: Fold your paper hot dog, then…

Photo of a turkey in the grass

Ten turkey facts we bet you didn’t know

November 20, 2017

If you want to be the stand-out at Thanksgiving, bring these 10 turkey facts with you. Soy de Mexico. All turkeys originated in Mexico. Now it imports about 400 million pounds of turkey from the U.S. for consumption. They were wanted for their feathers. Wild turkeys can have a wing span —…

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…