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COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being conducted consistent with the latest official state guidance. WSU Extension county offices and WSU Research & Extension Centers are following protocols for vaccination, masking, distancing and hygiene. If this office is not open to the public, we are available during normal business hours via email, phone, and web conference.

More Complex Gardening and Nature Activities for Children and Youth

Program Contact: Mary Watts, KCMG Program Coordinator
206-543-0943 • king.mg@wsu.edu

Nature and Garden Bingo or Scavenger Hunt

Play regular bingo indoors with the cards and markers OR play outdoors as a scavenger hunt. Use the cards in a competition, a race, or just a leisurely stroll through a yard, neighborhood or park. All the while, learn how fascinating nature can be. Ideal timing: Summer

Download the player cards and the call cards.

 

Spiders in the Garden

Review the differences between spiders and insects. Search for, carefully observe, record, and identify the western Washington spiders you find. Build your own spider web and more. Ideal timing: August – September. Download the entire lesson or individual activities.

Leaf Exploration

Collect and sort a variety of interesting leaves, learn leaf identification terms, and determine which leaf fell from which tree. Then make a plant press to preserve your leaves and more. Ideal timing: Fall. Download the entire lesson or individual activity.

A Walk in the Rain: What Can You Discover About Water?

Using all your senses, experience and identify parts of the water cycle while learning about your watershed. Follow the rain after it falls, locate storm drains, and decide if the water in your watershed is clean. Ideal timing: September – February. Download the entire lesson or individual activities.

Pinecones Are NOT Fruit! But They Are Prehistoric!

Using cones, learn how to identify native conifers, and the fascinating natural history of these local trees. Then search for these trees and their cones as you walk in, your neighborhood, the woods or local park. Create a pinecone bird feeder, experiment on a curious cone phenomenon, and more. Ideal timing: September – February. Download the entire lesson or individual activities.

Plants Have Plumbing! The Proof Is in the Twig.

Using diagrams and pictures, learn to identify twigs of local leafless trees. Then, go outside to find these trees and discover proof of their “plumbing”. Finally, create a dragon fly using twigs and other natural material. Ideal timing: November – February. Download the entire lesson or individual activities.

Seeds Are Promises Ready to Sprout!

Split open a seed to discover it wears a protective coat covering a tiny root, leaves, and a lunchbox of food. Plant seeds so that you can watch the root, stem and leaves emerge. Then plant a bunch of seeds to create creatures with “hair” that you can actually cut and style. Ideal timing: For Scavenger Hunt, February; for Seed Creatures, anytime. Download the entire lesson or individual activities.

Where Would We Be Without Bees?

Differentiate bees and flies, as well as “social” bees (honeybees) and “solitary” bees (mason bees). Appreciate the important roll bees play in pollination. Get outside frequently in March and April to observe mason bees work. Then create a mason bee nesting house, and more. Ideal timing: March. Download the entire lesson or individual activities.

Greenhouses, Atmosphere, Carbon and Climate

Have you ever hopped into a car after it had been sitting in the Sun on a hot day? It was really warm inside, wasn’t it! The car was acting like a “greenhouse.” Learn more about greenhouses, the atmosphere, carbon and climate. Ideal timing: For Seed Starting, spring, summer; otherwise, anytime. Download the entire lesson or individual activities.

Flowers… The Ultimate Advertisement for A Plant and Welcome Mat for Pollinators

Would you believe that plants have the best marketing tool ever?! Yep, and they are flowers. For the last 200 million years or so, flowering plants, called angiosperms, have been selling their products to whatever buzzed, flapped, or crawled by. They are selling pollen and nectar to pollinators, and pollinators pay them back by doing chores—using their beak, tongue, or fuzzy bodies to move pollen around. Ideal timing: Spring and Summer. Scavenger Hunt is best in Spring. Download the entire lesson or individual activity sheets.

 

 

Feature image by Albrecht Fietz (spider web).