Nature and Science Programs at Wonder Works

Nature Works programs are back next weekend!
July 20, 2012, 7:48 am
Filed under: Nature Works

After taking this week off, we are going to resume Nature Works programs at Wonder Works, repeating each of the four programs we did earlier this summer! Here’s the new schedule:

  • Bug Finders: July 27-28
  • Rock Hunters: August 3-4
  • Animals with Bones: August 10-11
  • Beachcombers: Aigust 17-18

Each program runs two days, Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon both days. Nature Works activities are included with general admission to Wonder Works ($6 per person for non-members).

This is what we plan to do each week:

Bug Finders: July 27-28Catch live bugs from the garden (and touch them if you want) and watch large tarantulas and scorpions brought by Sandy from Dave’s Pets-N-Stuff.  Also, hunt for plastic bugs in the Great Outdoors exhibit and hidden in play dough, make a bug collage, and get ideas for collecting bugs at home.

Rock Hunters: August 3-4.  Touch and collect real rocks and minerals, paint a smooth pebble, and dig rocks from the play-dough quarry using toy trucks and wooden trains.  Every family takes home a collection of small rocks and minerals that they find and label.

Animals with Bones: August 10-11.  Touch and play with real bones, dig plastic skeletons from play dough, hunt for plush animals in the Great Outdoors, and make tracks of local wildlife.  Pet animals with bones brought by Sandy from Dave’s Pets-N-Stuff and see their skeletons, including a snake and turtle.

Beachcombers: August 17-18Hunt for small shells and shark teeth in the sand, make a shell collection and a shell craft, dive into a pretend ocean to catch plastic sea creatures, and touch and talk about preserved shells and sea stars found on ocean beaches.

Hope to see you there!

Nature Programs at Wonder Works, Summer 2012
May 31, 2012, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Nature Works

This blog is an experiment. It’s an attempt to extend the hands-on, interactive Nature Works programming we are doing at Wonder Works this summer out the museum door, through the Internet, and into your home and backyard.

We’ll use this blog to:

  • Describe Nature Works programs as they are developed.
  • Show you Nature Works activities as they happen at Wonder Works.
  • Identify and help you learn more about the collections of rocks, bones, and shells that you make during Nature Works programs.
  • Help you discover nature in the yards, alleys, treelawns, and parks near your home.

So, here are the first four Nature Works programs we have planned for this summer.

  • Bug Finders: June 22-23
  • Rock Hunters: June 29-30
  • Animals with Bones: July 6-7
  • Beachcombers: July 13-14

Each program runs two days, Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon both days. Nature Works activities are included with general admission to Wonder Works ($6 per person for non-members).

For more information about Nature Works programs, please visit the Wonder Works website:   There is also a PDF poster that you can download:

We’ll post more information about each program during the week leading up to it.


By the way, the look and feel of this blog are part of the experiment. We’ll keep messing with the design and writing style until we get something close to right.

Meet the Nature Works poster boy
May 30, 2012, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Animals with Bones, Nature Works

This is the little guy shown on the 2012 Nature Works posters. He’s my son, Ethan. The poster photos were taken almost 10 years ago. Now Ethan is 17 years old, but he is still an avid naturalist. (Here’s a PDF version of the poster that you can download: )

In this photo Ethan is holding a box turtle that was crossing a road in southern Illinois. He was afraid it would get hit by a car, so he moved it to safety, deeper in the woods (in the direction it was heading as it crossed the road).