Tuesdays, February 14 to April 18, 10-11:15 a.m.
Celebrate fall with your preschooler at Adkins Arboretum's Acorn Academy! Nature Preschool programs are open to children ages 3 to 5. Classes include nature walks, stories, songs, snacks, and an art project to take home. An instant play group for moms and tots alike, the nature preschool helps children learn socialization skills while they explore the wonders of the great outdoors. Nature ABCs, 123s, and nursery rhymes are part of the fun. All programs meet from 10 to 11:15 a.m.
Thanks to a generous grant by the PNC Foundation, classes are free for Caroline County residents. Advance registration is required for all participants.
The ten-program series includes:
Roses are red, violets are blue, skunks aren’t sweet, but they need love, too. Celebrate Valentine’s Day by making a Valentine skunk puppet! We’ll learn about the life of this striped hibernator and take a forest walk in search of animal dens.
THE ICICLE ON THE CAKE
How does ice form, and where does it go? Bring your mittens as we conduct an icy experiment, look for ice along the Blockston Branch, and make a sparkly icicle craft to take home. A special icicle-inspired snack and the beloved children’s book A Snowy Day will cap off the morning.
Which animals are out and about in the cold? Become an expert tracker and find out! We’ll identify common animal tracks and make our own tracks through the woods. Return to the classroom to warm up with hot chocolate and winter animal stories.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. TREE!
Learn how to tell a tree’s age by examining its annual rings. Tree ring sleuths will make “tree cookie” necklaces, read tree stories, and explore the stumps at First Light Village.
Let’s get the dirt on soil! Budding scientists will observe soil samples with hand lenses, mix up gooey mud pies, and craft glittery “soil” shakers to remind us that there’s more to dirt than meets the eye.
DANCING WITH THE STARS
Even though the stars won’t be out until nightfall, we’ll light up as we learn about constellations! We’ll also sing and dance to starry music, make pinprick constellations to hang in the window, and enjoy sparkling cupcakes.
What has eyes but can’t see? A potato, of course! Let’s learn about the amazing spud, plant a potato bin in the Funshine Garden, and sing the Mashed Potato Anthem. We’ll also use potato stamps to make fun artwork.
No need to feel stuck in a bog! Spring is in full swing, and the wetland is swimming with life! So get ready to stomp your feet to the “Pollywog Wiggle,” make a froggy craft, and use nets to meet some tadpole friends.
Help crack the mystery of the incredible egg! How are eggs formed? How do they hatch? Which animals lay eggs? Young nature detectives will conduct an eggs-periment, hunt for eggs in the meadow, and use natural dyes to color eggs. Please bring your own hard-boiled eggs to dye!
Follow enchanted woodland paths in search of spring wildflowers. Virginia bluebells, native azalea, dogwood, and spring beauties are sure to delight. Woodland sprites will make flower crowns, play a game of fairy tag, and build fairy houses and gnome homes in the forest.