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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 unless designated otherwise. 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

Foxes & Coyotes in the City
April 5, 2014 at 10:30 am - 12 pm
Teacher: Leah Jonker, Family Program Leader
Join Miss Leah as she reveals how coyotes and foxes survive within an urban areas. Play predator and prey games, and learn about the unique characteristics and adaptions of these major predators. This program is appropriate for families with children aged 5 and older.

Spring Break 2014

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. We are open Monday - Friday at 9 am - 5 pm.

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; no pre-registration is required unless otherwise noted. 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 7│10:30 a.m. - 12 p.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 is a perfect program for families with children ages 3-12 years old.  

Michigan Turtles│Monday, April 7│2 - 3 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 live turtles: snapping, red-eared slider, painted, and even a map turtle. This program is great for families with children ages 3 and up. Takes place in the BIC only.

Nests & Eggs│Tuesday, April 8│10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Participate in a variety of hands on activities including listening to a story, and observing real nests and eggs to learn more about the types of animals that create nests and lay eggs. Have fun looking for nests in the preserve and creating your very own nest. Recommended for all ages accompanied by an adult.

Gyotaku: Fish Printing│Tuesday, April 8│2 Classes: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. & 4 - 5 p.m.
This program is free, but you must pre-register here, as space is limited to 20 participants per class.
Discover the Japanese art of Gyotaku, using rubber fish molds and paint to make fish prints. Most of this class will be spent learning to how to make and perfecting your fish prints. We will also learn about the basic anatomy of a fish, and the importance of this unique art form to scientists. Our summer campers love this educational art project. Muslin and paper for printing will be provided free of charge, but you are welcome to bring a plain t-shirt or canvas bag to decorate with prints. This program is open to 2nd-8th grade students accompanied by an adult, and takes place in the BIC only.

Foxes & Coyotes in the City│Wednesday, April 9│3:30 - 5 p.m.
Join Miss Leah as she reveals how coyotes and foxes survive within an urban areas. Play predator and prey games, and learn about the unique characteristics and adaptions of these major predators. This program is appropriate for families with children aged 5 and older.

Birding 101│Thursday, April 10│8:30 - 10 a.m.
Spring is here and the birds are singing.  Join Neil Gilbert, an expert birder, on a morning bird walk to search for birds throughout the preserve. We will start by learning how to use binoculars and field guides 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.

Scat, Tracks, & Other Animal Signs Hike│Thursday, April 10│2 - 3:30 p.m.
Come learn about the scat (animal droppings) and tracks left behind by woodland creatures. Discover what scat can tell us about these animals, and learn to identify it. Weather permitting, we will walk through the preserve to search for evidence of scat and tracks. This program is geared for families with children ages 4-12.

Spring Discovery Hike│Friday, April 11│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.

Squirrels & Their Cousins│Friday, April 11│1:30 - 3 p.m.
Come learn more about squirrels and their cousins with Miss Sheila. Play some fun squirrely games and go on a hike to observe squirrels and chipmunks in the preserve. This program is perfect for families with children ages 3-12.

making sunprint