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looking for insects

Education Programs: Families

Always free. Always fun.

Foster a natural curiosity in your family for science and the great outdoors with our programs for families with children aged 3-12. Experience the topic of the day through discovery hikes, stories, games, and nature art projects. Programs are led by environmental educators. Registration is not required. For groups larger than 10 people, please provide advance notice so we can plan accordingly. Programs take place both in the Bunker Interpretive Center, and out in the Ecosystem Preserve, so please come prepared for walking outside in a variety of weather conditions.

First Saturdays

Musical Messages: Bird Songs & Calls
April 2, 2016 at 10:30 am - 12 pm
Educator: Jeanette Henderson, Program Manager

Known for their glorious songs, birds use their musical messages to communicate. Discover why and how birds sing by listening to a story and participating in variety of “ears-on” activities. Then join Miss Jeanette on a walk through the preserve to listen and look for birds. This program is appropriate for families with children aged 5 and older.

Spring Break 2016

Looking for something to do during spring break? Come visit us at the preserve! As always, you are invited to stop in the Bunker Interpretive Center at your leisure. Together, children and their parents/caregivers can read a storybook or two, star in their own puppet show, play a fun game of nature bingo together, and go on a hike through the preserve. For groups larger than 10 people, please contact us in advance so we can plan accordingly. We are open Monday -Friday at 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

We also offer a variety of our favorite educational programs in which children and their parents/caregivers can participate at various times throughout the week. All programs are free, however donations are accepted. No pre-registration is required. An adult is required to accompany all children at all programs. Programs will take place in light rain, so dress for the weather and walking the trails.

Lost in the Woods Movie & Spring Scavenger Hunt│Monday, April 4│10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Watch the delightful movie Lost in the Woods by Carl Sams II on our big screen, and learn more about the first days of a young fawn’s life in the spring. Then participate in a family scavenger hunt through the woods to see if you can spy the many creatures that are featured in the movie. This program is appropriate for families with children ages 3-12 years old. 

Woodpeckers: Carpenters of the Forest│Monday, April 4│3 - 4:30 p.m.
Discover why woodpeckers are called the carpenters of the forest by listening to the story Woodpecker Wham! by April Pulley Sayre. Then take a hike with Miss Mercy Ann to search for woodpeckers who make their home in the preserve. This program is perfect for adults and families with children ages 3 and up.

Birding 101│Tuesday, April 5│8:30 - 10 a.m.
Spring is here and the birds are singing.  Join Miss Leanna, on a morning bird walk to search for birds throughout the preserve. We will start by learning how to use binoculars, field guides, and some great birding apps for identification, and then spend the rest of the morning in the preserve watching our feathered friends and listening to their beautiful songs. A limited number of binoculars and bird field guides will be available for use (first come, first served). This family workshop is open to 3rd-8th grade students accompanied by an adult.

Animal Games│Tuesday, April 5│3 - 4:30 p.m.
From bats to deer to squirrels, we will learn about a variety of survival techniques that these animals use to both protect themselves and capture their prey as we play our favorite animal games. We will be outside, so dress for the weather and wear your running shoes. This program is great for families with children ages 3-12 years old.

Create Your Own Adventure│Wednesday, April 6│9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Enjoy creating your own adventure on your own schedule today! The Great Migration Challenge Course will be set up on Whiskey Pond trail; discover why birds migrate and the dangers they face along their journeys as you travel along this course (instructions are at the start of the course, located just off the paved path to the BIC). You are also welcome to borrow a scavenger hunt sheet or one of our NEW Discovery Field Packs* to guide an adventure (you may pick these up in the BIC). Then, you are invited to create a watercolor painting of your adventures in the preserve using natural earth paints. Check out our NEW interactive displays (located in the BIC) to discover more about Vernal Pools, a Bird's Toolbox, Skull Detectives, and Michigan Turtles.
*Discovery Field Packs are available on a first come, first served basis. A 'deposit' of a driver's liscence is required, and will be returned to you when the pack is returned.

Home Sweet Home: Animal Homes│Thursday, April 7│10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Listen as Miss Nancy reads the story Anybody Home? by Marianne Berkes, then observe some homes created by birds, squirrels and insects up close. Miss Nancy will then take to the woods to search for the many animals that live in the Preserve during a fun trail walk. This program is great for families with children ages 3-12 years old.

Beautiful Blooms Art Lab│Thursday, April 7│2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Throughout time, flowers have been painted, sculpted and photographed by artists and scientists alike. Come learn more about the science behind these beautiful blooms, and create your own flora art pieces to take home. We will learn how to create a variety of paper flowers and tissue paper flower collages. This family workshop is open to 2nd-8th grade students accompanied by an adult.

Spring Discovery Hike│Friday, April 8│10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
The birds are singing and the sun is shining. Join us as we discover signs of spring on a walk through the Ecosystem Preserve. This program is great for families with children of all ages, and adventurous adults.

Michigan Turtles│Friday, April 8│3 - 4 p.m.
Miss Jeanette will start the program by reading one of her favorite storybooks about turtles, and then we'll learn more about some of Michigan's most common turtles. Participants will meet a live snapping turtle, red-eared slider, and painted turtle. This is a hands-on program recommended for families with children ages 3 and up. Takes place in the BIC only.

making a birdhouse

looking out from trail