Mix together flour and baby oil and you have a play dough that feels like silk. The naturalists at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji made this concoction for a Nature Playtime for Tots snow program last January. The toddlers spent time outside in the real stuff and then had a blast making creations in the faux snow inside the nature center.
The naturalists at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji made this concoction for a Nature Playtime for Tots snow program last January. The toddlers spent time outside in the real stuff and then had a blast making creations in the faux snow inside the nature center.
Nature Playtime for Tots begins its 2016 season 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, with a "Sleepy Times" theme focusing on hibernating animals.
“We will be learning about what different animals do to get through the winter,” said naturalist Charles Vigdal. “Some migrate to warmer climates, some stay active and try and find food, but many hibernate in the winter months to conserve energy and wait for warmer temperatures. We will learn about these animals and take a short hike to try to find some of the homes animals live in over the winter.”
Nature Playtime for Tots has become a popular essential in the Iowa Great Lakes area for families with toddlers. The program is held at 10:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month year-round, and each session concentrates on a different environmental theme, from monarch butterflies to mud to scat.
The program includes a hands-on lesson, time outdoors, games and crafts.
“We see the biggest smiles on the children’s faces,” said community relations coordinator Kiley Roth. “When we get children to start enjoying the outdoors at a young age, they really begin to appreciate nature as they get older. That fosters a passion for the environment and the desire to preserve it. It’s never too early to get your child, or grandchild, outside having fun and learning.”
Because the Nature Playtime for Tots program continues to grow, please make sure to call 712-336-6352 to pre-register your child, ages 2-5. Then mark your calendars for the remainder of the Nature Playtime for Tots programs in 2016:
10:30 a.m. Feb. 10: We Love Nature!
10:30 a.m. March 9: Spring Fling
10:30 a.m. April 13: Bird Babies
10:30 a.m. May 11: Let’s G.O. (Get Outside)
10:30 a.m. June 8: Wild Wetlands
10:30 a.m. July 13: Get Muddy
10:30 a.m. Aug. 10: Monarch Mania
10:30 a.m. Sept. 14: Everybody Poops
10:30 a.m. Oct. 12: Super Seeds
10:30 a.m. Nov. 9: Turtle Power!
10:30 a.m. Dec. 14: Paw Prints
The Dickinson County Nature Center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and is located at 2279 170th St., Okoboji. For more information about the nature center and any of its programming, visit our website or call 712-336-6352. You can also keep up with the latest news on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Image credit: Author Photo