This program is presented as a series and involves four one-hour sessions once a month from May through August. This series could be extended for more than four months or it could be held once a week, there is a lot of flexibility. Each session has a specific theme, “Track Tricksters,” “Birds N’ Butterflies,” “Life on the Prairie,” and “Wet N’ Wild Wetlands.” These themes are for the spring/summer months and can easily be changed based on the season. For this series, parents must attend with their child.
- Toilet paper rolls (without toilet paper on them), stickers, markers, crayons, stapler – to make ‘magic binoculars’
- Pictures of birds that live in your area, pictures of butterflies, stuffed birds, and display of butterflies – old calendars often have great pictures.
Prior to this session, you will need to collect cardboard toilet paper roles to make binoculars with. To get the binoculars ready staple two rolls together.
First, talk to children about birds using posters, stuffed birds, and pictures. Talk briefly about the adaptations that birds have, different beaks for eating seeds, bugs, etc.; different colors for where they live; different nests, show pictures of nests and the birds that make these nests.
Activity 1: Make Magic Binoculars (indoors)
Then explain that we are going to make our own binoculars to view birds. Hand out the cardboard binoculars and let the kids decorate them with markers, crayons, stickers, etc.
Next, explain that we can use these binoculars to look for butterflies as well. Show posters or pictures of butterflies in your area.
Activity 2: Bird-n-Butterfly Hike (outdoors)
After the children have learned a little about birds and butterflies take them on a nature hike. They will use their new binoculars to look for birds and butterflies. Remember to listen for bird songs, noises and look for nests.
Activities provided by:
Linn County Conservation Board
Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center
10260 Morris Hills Rd
Toddville, IA 52341
(319) 892 – 6485