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Crafts and Nature Lessons


Tags: public programs, crafts, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, family fun, nature

Created: 2/5/2013      Updated: 5/28/2015

Part of my job as a Public Programs Educator is developing a monthly activity called “Drop by Family Fun”. The challenge is to come up with a nature based theme to teach through visuals and activities- 12 different topics each year. The themes are introduced to visitors of all ages- from small children to the adults they come with, and every age in between.

Girl creating crafts at a table

There are some things to think about when deciding on topics:

  1. Is it relevant to the Museum content?
  2. Can it be taught to different age groups?
  3. Is there a fun way to insure that participants will remember the lesson?

The answer to the last one is “Make a craft!” Is there a better way to bring a fact home than with a craft? Here are some things that we have done in the past:

  • Make a pinecone bird feeder- to learn about urban birds
  • Make a light switch plate- to remind about energy conservation
  • Make a snake bookmark- to remember what animals are venomous or poisonous

Participants take home a reminder of the fun lesson they learned at the Nature Museum during their visit. They can come back each month to discover a new subject, and hone their crafting skills once again.

Crafting has other positive effects. Children can practice fine motor skills. Adults have valuable bonding moments with children when they assist with the project. Everyone gets to exercise natural creativity.

We hope to see you soon for our monthly “Drop by Family Fun”. It takes place every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 1:00. Please see our program calendar on line or in print for the next upcoming nature topic. It’s time for me to get back to the drawing board for new subjects and crafts.

Laura Saletta
Public Programs Educator

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