Lunch for a coyote

The Growing Up WILD activity “Lunch for a Bear” has been adapted to Iowa’s largest resident omnivore, the coyote. Omnivores are the most flexible eaters of the animal kingdom. They eat both plants and animals, and many times what they eat depends on where they live and what is available at certain times of the … Read more…

Worms, wiggly worms

Explore the fascinating world of worms! “Earthworm” is a general term used to describe many different species of worms that live in the soil. While they do not have an obvious head or tail you can identify the head by which way the worm crawls. Did you know that worms absorb oxygen through their skin? … Read more…

Young Field Scientists

A field study plot is an area set aside for making observations over time. By observing a particular plot of ground, scientists can learn about how the plants in the plot grow, what animals use those plants, and other valuable information about the area. In a small field study plot the most common animals you … Read more…

Gardening and Local Foods

Why a school garden? Why garden? Eat local! School gardens provide hands-on learning in a wide variety of disciplines including science, math, language arts, and visual arts. Being involved in school gardens get children active, engaged, and teaches them important life skills such as responsibility. School gardens also positively influences students’ health and nutrition attitudes … Read more…

Animal Tracks

Winter is a great time to go looking for wildlife! Most animals like to hide and can be difficult to observe. Luckily, they often leave clues about themselves behind that we can find. One of the easiest clues to find are footprints or tracks. By finding and observing animal tracks you can learn a lot … Read more…

Let’s Talk Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming up, and as everyone knows we often refer to this day of giving thanks as “Turkey Day.” This year before “Turkey Day,” gather your students or children and talk about turkeys! Ask children if they have ever seen a turkey. Where was it? What did it look like? Talk about what turkeys … Read more…

We need seeds!

Fall is the perfect time of year to explore the wonder of plant seeds! Collect enough seeds from the same plant for each child – maple tree seeds or “whirligigs” are perfect if you have! Hand out one seed to each child and allow them to feel the seed and study it. Start your discussion … Read more…

Are you a wild animal?

It’s time to explore the difference between wild and domesticated animals! Animals that are wild are called wildlife. Wild animals are animals that take care of themselves without depending on people. This means that they get their food, water and everything they need to survive on their own from the environment. Domestic animals are animals … Read more…

Back to School with Nature

It is that time of year again – back to school time! As children are picking out new backpacks and sneakers, teachers are preparing themselves and their classrooms for another year filled with growing and learning. This year, as you are preparing your classroom, try to incorporate nature into the overall design and layout of … Read more…

Hop, hop, grasshopper

In a Grasshopper’s World For this activity you will explore the fascinating world of grasshoppers with young children! Grasshoppers are insects. They have six legs, two of which are long and muscular and used for hopping. Grasshoppers have three main body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have two antennae. Begin by asking children if … Read more…

Wildlife Water Safari

Take your children on a wildlife water safari this month! By definition, animals that are not tame or domesticated are considered wildlife. A habitat is the place or “neighborhood” where an animal lives.  A suitable neighborhood (habitat) must have food, water, shelter, and space in order for an animal to survive there. Prep your children … Read more…

Get Ready to go Fishing

Here fishy-fishy! Isn’t that how you catch a fish? Maybe not! Begin by asking children if they have ever gone fishing? Where did they go and what did they do? What do people use to catch fish?  Where do fish live? Have they ever eaten fish? Create a mock fishing lake for children to go … Read more…

Grow As We Go

All living things grow and change in their lifetime.  Some animals, people included, start life looking the same as or very similar to adults. Other animals look very different from the adults when they are young and change significantly over the course of their lifetime. Frogs and butterflies are examples of animals that change, or … Read more…

Aqua Charades

Every molecule of water that was present when the Earth’s oceans were formed millions of years ago is still present today. That means the water you drink is the same water dinosaurs drank! All living things need water: plants, animals and people. Water is important to us for many purposes such as drinking, bathing and … Read more…