This summer we are excited to be working in partnership with The Trustees presenting nature education programs.

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From The Trustees:

“We are more than 100,000 people like you who love the outdoors, who love the distinctive charms of New England, and who believe in celebrating and protecting them, for everyone, forever. Together with our neighbors, we protect the distinct character of our communities and inspire a commitment to our special places. Our passion is to share with everyone the irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures we care for.

We enjoy and care for more than 100 special places – nearly 25,000 acres – all around Massachusetts. And we are actively building an extended family of friends and neighbors across the state that can help in their different ways.

Through more than 100 years of hard work and high standards, The Trustees have built a sterling reputation and a stunning physical legacy.

Today, the places we care about are going fast, and the forces undermining them, including climate change, are moving faster. We need to tap the wellspring of people’s joy – in their communities, their heritage, and the natural world – and mobilize a whole new generation to care.”

Here are the lessons we will be exploring with your children this summer:

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Forts, Fairy Houses, & Other Homes #1- Building Fairy Houses

Learning Objective:

– Children will practice building “habitats” for fairies.

– Children will learn what needs to be included in a habitat to support life there.

– Children will work on the basics of construction for use in future activities (bug hotel).

Description:

Using sticks, leaves, etc. that are found around the property, children will design fairy houses along the bases of trees, etc. With instructor’s guidance, they’ll focus on including the basics that all animals (including humans and fairies) need to survive, i.e. shelter, food, water. (Activity based on idea of “fairy garden” where the house also has things like a pool of water near by to attract fairies, etc.)

Lesson: Forts, Fairy Houses. & Other Homes #2- Making Mini-Habitats

Learning Objective:

– Children will create their own “mini-habitats” for the type of small creature they wish to attract.

– Children will recognize the different elements needed to be a “habitat.”

Description:

In a cupcake tin, children will make their own “mini-habitats” for a type of creature they wish to attract. Instructor will help pick out what they should put in the habitat (i.e. guide for food, water & shelter, plus any additional items the critter might want). Cupcake tins can be left out overnight and looked at to see if a critter was attracted (i.e. is the food, water, etc. gone? Is there an animal inside?)

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Camouflage #1- Hiding in Plain Sight

Learning Objective: 

– Children will learn about how animals can hide within their surroundings.

– Children will brainstorm why the ability to camouflage is important.

Description:

Using a game of hide and seek outside, children will try and find hidden animals (with some blended into their surroundings). The animals will first be hidden by the instructor for all to find, then once topic is understood, children will hide animals for the other children to try and find.

Camouflage #2- Camo Fence

Learning Objective:

– Children will recall camouflage and its importance.

– Children will practice using natural elements to help blend the fence to its surroundings.

Description:

Using a game of hide and seek outside, children will try and find hidden animals (with some blended into their surroundings). The animals will first be hidden by the instructor for all to find, then once topic is understood, children will hide animals for the other children to try and find.

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Creepy Crawlies #1- Bug Hunt!

Learning Objective:

– Children will find different types of bugs that live in our area.

– Children will learn about the different conditions bugs like to live in.

– Children will identify different characteristics of different bugs (i.e. # of legs, body parts, etc.)       and differences in insects vs. spiders.

Description:

                  Using bug boxes, butterfly nets, and small shovels, children will find as many bugs as they can. Bugs will be put onto paper plates, in bug boxes, or otherwise displayed for investigation. Bugs will be compared by what they look like, where they were found, & other questions the children have.

Creepy Crawlies #2- Building a Bug Hotel 

Learning Objective:

– Children will learn about the type of homes bugs like to live in.

– Children will develop basic building skills through assembly of the bug hotel.

– Children will create something they can keep checking back on to see how many bugs they get!

Description:

                  Starting from a base of wood/old logs, children will help create a “multi-story hotel” to attract bugs. The hotel will have spaces for decaying leaves, damp places for bugs, and different hollow sticks/etc. to have places for bugs to hide. Children will help to source and build the bug hotel that they can then come back to check on.