The Nature Friends program is for 4 or 5-year old children with an adult. The maximum group size is 20 child-adult teams. Programs are outside unless weather does not permit.
Under Your Feet by Joanne Ryder
A variety of animals make their home in the ground. Many animals spend most of their lives under our feet. Name several and show puppets or pictures of them. (Chipmunks, gophers, groundhogs, moles, ants, worms, etc.)
Paste pictures of worms on a stick. Encourage children to decorate their ‘soil’ cup and the worm with a variety of the craft supplies provided. (Provide paint, crayons, markers, stickers, googly eyes, etc.) Push them up through a hole in bottom of a paper cup. Fingers can be used as a worm puppet inside the paper cup. Use your puppet for the following poem.
Wiggle Worm (use puppet)
One day when
I was playing,
I met a
He squirmed up,
He squirmed down,
He squirmed around and around.
Take a hike looking for animal homes under our feet. For example, mole homes, ant hills, chipmunk holes, etc.
Explore a tub with damp, not wet, soil (use top soil not potting soil) and worms from a bait shop. Count the critters that you find. Encourage the children to hold the worms they find. Return them to the soil immediately after handling.
Dirt and Worms
Place gummy worms in chocolate pudding ‘mud.’ Crushed cookies can be added for ‘dirt.’
Activities provided by:
Polk County Conservation Board
Nature Friends is funded by Polk County Conservation Board, West Des Moines Park and Recreation, and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.