Wet ‘N Wild Wetlands
Program 4 of 4
This program is presented as a series and involves 4 one hour sessions once a month from May through August. This series could be extended for more than 4 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.
- A wetland or pond
- Aquatic nets for catching things in the water
- Small tubs, magnifying lenses, a jug of water
- Aquatic insect identification sheets
Practice before the program: Find a good place along a pond or wetland where nets can easily be dipped in water. It is also nice to have a dry area to sit and look at the specimens after they have been collected. Familiarize yourself with the organisms in the pond or wetland using aquatic insect ID sheets or books. Practice dragging the net along the bottom of the wetland in the mud and see what you can find. (If you have a lot of mud in your net, skim it along the water and then shake the net vigorously. Do this a couple times depending on how much mud is in your net, this will get a lot of the mud out of the net.) Fill the tubs with clear water. Place the organisms in the tubs. When finished, return the organisms back in the wetland!
Hike children and parents out to the wetland or pond. Talk about the various plants and animals that live in or near a wetland. Talk about what a wetland is. Explain to the group that you are going to ‘fish’ for critters in the water using the nets. Instruct the parents and children about how to use the nets.
As they find different specimens, place them in the tubs. After you have collected a variety of things, move to a place where everyone can sit and look at the specimens. Explain what each critter is and talk briefly about it. Instruct group to carefully return the critters to their home.
Activities provided by:
Linn County Conservation Board
Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center
10260 Morris Hills Rd
Toddville, IA 52341
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Iowa Early Learning Standards:
8.1, 8.2, 9.1, 9.4, 10.3, 10.4, 11.1,, 14.3
Related Kindernature Resources: Other Resources: