Posts tagged ‘exploring worms with kids’

February 24, 2015

Wonderful Worms in Winter!

by Melissa Harding

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Even though it was one of the coldest days of the year so far, our Little Sprouts braved the winter weather to join us in the Tropical Forest last Friday for February’s Little Sprouts program, Wonderful Worms. During our latest Little Sprouts adventure, campers learned all about worm bodies and how these wonderful little critters help plants grow. Of course, they also sang songs, met a whole mess of worm friends, and got up close and personal with some plants in the Conservatory!

To begin, campers played with dirt and “compost” sensory bins; we created a compost bin out of shredded paper, plastic fruits and pipe cleaner worms to simulate what our real vermicomposter is like inside. Our campers really enjoyed the furry, fake worms!

After singing our welcome song together, the campers explored their mystery boxes. Inside they found real worms from our worm composter, along with some shredded paper. Campers explored the texture, temperature, shape, and size of these critters. They then used flashlights to look inside them and see the food as it passed through their digestive system. After they had seen our worm friends, campers learned how worms use their muscles to move through song by singing “The Worms in the Dirt” (hint: they go “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle”.)

Next, campers and their caregivers made their own worm art using spaghetti “worms” to make tracks in brown tempera paint. This sensory activity is not only fun, but allows campers to continue to explore touch and textures. After painting, campers ate a healthy snack of apples and bananas while Mr. Steve read “Wonderful Worms” by Linda Glaser. Finally, campers climbed through the Tropical Forest hunting for brightly colored yarn “worms” on the ground.

We had so much fun and can’t wait for our next Little Sprouts program in March!

To see more images from camp, check out the slideshow below:

 

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To learn how to do your own worm study at home, check out this Backyard Connections post about worms!

Our March Little Sprouts program is already full, but please join us for four-day Sprouts over the summer. If you think this program sounded like fun, check out our summer camp “We Like Dirt” for a full week of playing in the mud! Please call Sarah Bertovich to register at 412-422-4441 ext. 3925 or visit our website.

The above photos were taken by Science Education staff and volunteers.

July 5, 2013

Summer Camp Recap: We Like Dirt

by Melissa Harding

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Summer Camp Recap is our Friday seasonal segment featuring our summer camp programs. This is the place for camp parents to find pictures of their campers in action and see all the fun things we did all week. It’s also a great place for educators to pick up craft, story and lesson ideas for their own early childhood programs!

Since the week of July 4th is always a short week, we typically have Little Sprouts camps during this time. This week is our last installment of Little Sprouts: We Like Dirt. Campers learned what dirt is, where is comes from and who lives in it. They spent the week exploring the ecosystem under the ground, playing games, singing songs and crafting with mud. What is more fun than making mud pies?

Day one focused on what makes dirt. Campers decorated summer camp shirts with their very own handprints, using brown fabric paint. While not everybody liked the feeling of “mud” on their hands, they sure had fun! Next, they learned what makes up dirt, from plant roots to rocks. They made mud and painted with it to make mud paintings and went on a dirt scavenger hunt in the Conservatory.

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Day two was all about the critters that call the dirt their home. Campers made mud pies out of clay, mud and flowers. Next, they got up close and personal with a some millipedes and a few friendly pill bugs. Campers dug in the dirt in the Nature Play Area and found lots of fun animal friends.

Day three was all about worms and compost. Campers used cooked spaghetti to make “worm tracks” with paint. During the lesson, they learned what compost is and how it is made. They each studied their very own worm, looking inside its body with a flashlight to see the dirt moving through its belly, and got to reach inside our worm composter.

Day four was all about plants. Campers printed animal tracks with sponges. They learned the parts of a plant and how each part works. They looked at roots in a root viewer and got to plant their own carrots. Campers even went on a critter hunt in the Conservatory!

Overall, we had a really fun week!

If you would like to read and learn about dirt with your own Sprout, here are some book suggestions:
I’m Dirty by Kate and Jim McMullan
Harry the Dirty Dog
by Gene Zion
The Piggy in the Puddle
by Charlotte Pomerantz
Ants in Your Pants
by Sue Heap
Inch by Inch
by Leo Leonni
Wonderful Worms
by Linda Glaser
The Curious Garden
by Peter Brown

If you would like to complete your own worm study at home, check out our post on backyard worms!

Check out the slide show below for images from the week.

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For more pictures, check out the Flickr page as well.

The above pictures were taken by our photography intern, Cory Doman.

June 14, 2013

Summer Camp Recap: We Like Dirt

by Melissa Harding

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Summer Camp Recap is our Friday seasonal segment featuring our summer camp programs. This is the place for camp parents to find pictures of their campers in action and see all the fun things we did all week. It’s also a great place for educators to pick up craft, story and lesson ideas for their own early childhood programs!

This week was the first week of 2013 summer camps! Kicking them off is Little Sprouts: We Like Dirt. Campers learned what dirt is, where is comes from and who lives in it. They spent the week exploring the ecosystem under the ground, playing games, singing songs and crafting with mud. What is more fun than making mud pies?

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Day one focused on what makes dirt. Campers decorated summer camp shirts with their very own handprints, using brown fabric paint. While not everybody liked the feeling of “mud” on their hands, they sure had fun! Next, they learned what makes up dirt, from plant roots to rocks. They made mud and painted with it to make mud paintings and went on a dirt scavenger hunt in the Conservatory.

Day two was all about the critters that call the dirt their home. Campers made mud pies out of clay, mud and flowers. Next, they got up close and personal with a spider, a cockroach, and a few friendly pill bugs. Campers dug in the dirt in the Edible Garden and found worm friends in the soil.

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Day three was all about worms and compost. Campers used cooked spaghetti to make “worm tracks” with paint. During the lesson, they learned what compost is and how it is made. They each studied their very own worm, looking inside its body with a flashlight to see the dirt moving through its belly, and got to reach inside our worm composter.

Day four was all about plants. Campers printed animal tracks with sponges. They learned the parts of a plant and how each part works. They looked at roots in a root viewer and got to plant their own carrots. Campers went on a critter hunt in the Conservatory and found a few new friends living in the soil.

Overall, we had a really fun week!

If you would like to read and learn about dirt with your own Sprout, here are some book suggestions:
I’m Dirty by Kate and Jim McMullan
Harry the Dirty Dog
by Gene Zion
The Piggy in the Puddle
by Charlotte Pomerantz
Ants in Your Pants
by Sue Heap
Inch by Inch
by Leo Leonni
Wonderful Worms
by Linda Glaser
The Curious Garden
by Peter Brown

If you would like to complete your own worm study at home, check out our post on backyard worms!

Check out the slide show below for more pictures!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The above pictures were taken by our photography intern, Cory Doman.

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