The Nature Friends program is for 4- or 5-year old children with an adult. Maximum group size if 20 child-adult teams. Programs are outside unless weather does not permit.
In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
Many different animals and insects that live in and by a pond. (Emphasize the small, small creatures of the pond.) Using a flannelboard, show an example of a pond and a simple food chain, i.e. dragonfly eats the mosquito.
Activity: Pond Study
To introduce a spatial aspect, provide a simple map to the pond. Explain that each adult-child team will be creating a mini-pond in a tub.
Demonstrate how to use dip nets. Step one will be to add a couple of inches of pond water. Begin searching with the nets. Challenge each group to find 4 or 5 different things (i.e.) a dragon fly larva, a fairy shrimp or water flea, and a diving beetle. Bring groups together at the end to share what they discovered in the pond. Carefully return your mini-pond to the big pond. PFDs should be available.
Craft: No craft – use the time for pond discovery.
Gummy frogs and or worms, fish crackers, beverage
(or muskrat haystacks made from Chinese noodles mixed with melted chocolate)
Gung, Gung, went the little green frog one day.
Gung, gung went the little green frog.
Gung, gung went the little green frog one day.
And his tongue went thurp, thurp, thurp.
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.