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…

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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…

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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…