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How do you stay warm in the winter? How do you stay entertained? Today we use things such as electricity to help us stay cozy, warm, and entertained throughout winter’s cold, dark days. But, what about the people who lived here a long time ago? We’ll explore how Native Americans and pioneers stayed warm, busy, and happy in the winter months. We’ll play Native American and pioneer games, try out snowshoes, make a warm beverage over the fire, make traditional crafts, and even celebrate the Winter Solstice!
While some birds migrate south to sunny skies and warmer winters, some birds stay here in Wisconsin to tough it out including many owls! We’ll read the story “Owl Moon” then use our detective eyes and ears to look and listen for signs of owls and other winter birds. We’ll learn all about winter birds and owls, specifically, through dissecting owl pellets, checking out ALNC’s own Barred Owl nest box, and more!
Any of us could find ourselves in a situation where we need to use winter survival skills. In this adventurous program, we’ll learn what nature provides to help us survive, learn how to dress appropriately, pack a survival kit and work cooperatively. After learning this, we’ll head to the woods to test our skills in building a fire, creating a makeshift shelter, and cooking a snack over our survival fire.
Winter is a magical event! Where does snow come from? How does it form? What causes winter? We’ll learn the answers to all of these questions and more through hands-on experiments, winter exploration, and, of course, some play! What if there’s no snow, you ask? Then we’ll just have to make our own!
Walk like a lynx on snowshoes to track rabbits and other prey! We’ll learn how Wisconsin’s mammals adapt to the harsh winter environment as we learn about the true hibernators like the groundhog, deep sleepers such as the chipmunk and those active all winter long, like the fox! Then we’ll strap on snowshoes to search the trails for signs of wildlife wintering in the woods. If no snow is present, we will hike to observe animal signs on foot. All snowshoes will be provided, however if you have snowshoes, you are welcome to bring your own.
When snow falls, we love to sled and skate. But at the end of the day, we go home where it is warm and safe. What about all those animals out there in the forests, prairie and pond? We’ll investigate and explore the world under the ice and snow and even measure the thickness of the ice on the pond and see what lies beneath! Students will learn the science behind fur and insulation and why it’s so important for surviving the winter. Continue readingFind out more »
People and animals in cold climates have come up with some special ways of staying warm. We will learn about some of their strategies to find inspiration for a day’s worth of fort building. By the end of the day, we’ll hopefully have a snowy structure with space for everyone!
Shake off some of that cabin fever by heading to Aldo Leopold Nature Center! There are many fun games to play in the cold and snow and we will stay cozy and warm while doing so! Get ready to complete challenges in the great outdoors from snowshoe races to capture the flag. Put your outdoor skills to the test and enjoy these last few months of winter! Continue readingFind out more »
Every year, people from all over the country come together to count birds for the Great American Backyard Bird Count, a citizen science project that monitors bird populations. Each checklist submitted helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. In addition to collect this info, we’ll hike using binoculars to search for birds, fill bird feeders, and have all sorts of feathery fun! Continue readingFind out more »