More Complex Gardening and Nature Activities for Children and Youth
Program Contact: Sarah Moore, King County Master Gardener Program Coordinator 206-543-0943 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.