Photo of a caterpillar name craft

From microscopic egg to tiny larva to chubby caterpillar to gold-flecked chrysalis to adult monarch butterfly — the majestic monarch’s life cycle is something to behold, especially up close. In honor of part of that amazing metamorphosis, try out this fun caterpillar craft that shows just how much you love pollinators too. (Read about incomplete…

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Photo of a woman with a nature bracelet on

So many kids love to bring home trinkets, whether they are visiting a museum, a mall or a park. But moms often discourage bringing home more stuff that will just lie around. However, we have a fun solution for picking up tiny items on your next walk, and this way kids can wear their findings…

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I don’t really want to sit at my desk today. I want to go outside! This weekend was really the first weekend I felt the warm sun on my skin, and the winds that flew were cool instead of frigid. It felt wonderful, and it finally feels like spring is showing its face. So instead…

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Photo of pipe cleaner animals

I was flipping through Pinterest last night when I saw some photos of amazing miniature animal creations and realized that they were all made out of pipe cleaners. That’s something we have a lot of in the craft supply area at the nature center, so I figured it would be the perfect craft to feature…

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Photo of a duck mask craft

As ducks and geese starting migrating through the Iowa Great Lakes area this spring, it’s only appropriate that we feature a waterfowl mask as a craft. (Read “Seven Waterfowl to Look for During Migration.”) I’ll admit I took some creative liberties with the duck coloring in my own duck mask, so when choosing colors feel…

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Photo of a snake cuff made from a toilet paper tube

Since this week’s blog post was about how snakes slither, I thought it only appropriate that this week’s craft also be snake related. I will pretty much guarantee that after you make this fun wrist cuff that your child will not take it off for the entire day. Or at least the next five minutes,…

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Photo of a rock lady bug with a photo head

Have you ever wanted to experience the world through the eyes of an insect? Imagine the viewpoint looking up through the grass, seeing the expansive world that exists right on the surface of the earth. Well, I can’t offer you that view, but I can help you turn yourself into a bug — at least…

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Photo of broken bath bomb eggs

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 impressed. I picked it up…

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Photo of butterfly milkweed root drawing

Did you know that butterfly milkweed’s roots grow up to 12 feet deep, about the height of an African elephant? We look at prairie plants and can hardly imagine the amazing root systems that are growing beneath our feet. Those roots help to draw water down into the watershed, which cleans it before it enters…

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Photo of paint samples by the sky

Yesterday, I stopped at the local hardware store and picked up a few paint chips to take into the Nature Playscape at the Dickinson County Nature Center. I thought I would play a little game and see what colors in nature I could match to my paint chips. The outdoor play area has so many…

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