Learning Outdoors

Resources from Environmental Education - 7/2/20

The SDW Environmental Education team will be sending bi-weekly newsletters throughout the summer months. Our hope is that some of the activities will inspire your family to spend time outdoors playing, exploring and having fun! Feel free to share your adventures with us on our social media pages!

Nature Walk Bingo!

EE teachers Laureanna R. and Michelle H. created an awesome nature walk bingo sheet! Access the full PDF file and see if you can get a bingo by finding these items in your community!
Big picture

Backyard Fun

The University of Michigan put together an awesome list of 10 simple ways to play in your backyard or any outdoor space that you have access to. Water balloon piñatas sounds like a fantastic way to cool down during these hot days! Or maybe outdoor bowling is more your style? Find some plastic bottles from your recycling bin and use any ball to create your own bowling alley! You could even decorate the bottles any way you wish! See all of the great ideas at this link.
Big picture

Art Pages - Fireflies

This week EE teacher Sally T. is exploring Fireflies through her art pages. She invites you to read a short story about fireflies before jumping in to create you own firefly art out of puzzle pieces! You can also watch the amazing video below to experience what it is like to be in a forest filled with these incredible insects. Do you have fireflies near your home?


Access the art pages by clicking on this link.

Firefly Experience

Moving in Nature

There are many ways to get outside and move your body in nature. Maybe you enjoy running, biking, swimming, or hiking? Or maybe rock-hunting is your favorite? Check out the read-aloud story below for another way to move your body -- yoga! This story about a day in Rachel's garden invites to you move your body along with the pictures! After you listen to the story, maybe you could try some of these movements in your own garden, backyard or neighborhood park!
Rachel's Day in the Garden - A Kids Yoga Stories Audio Yoga Book for Kids

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Our virtual scavenger hunt is still happening! Remember, the person with the most points by August 25th will get an awesome prize!


Here are the general guidelines:


-Stay close to home

-Take a picture and post your findings on Twitter and/or Facebook

-Tag us on Facebook (@SDWEnvironmentalEducation) or Twitter (@SDWEnvED)

-Use the hashtag #ExploreWithSDWEE

-Receive points for your findings


For more info and the list of items to search for, check out this LINK. The winner will be announced on August 25th! Happy hunting!

Garlic Mustard

EE teacher Rita K. has pulled an incredible amount of Garlic Mustard throughout the spring and summer months at the Fox River Sanctuary. Thank you Rita!

Chances are, you have some garlic mustard around your home or community too. Garlic Mustard is an invasive species that spreads quickly through wooded areas. It spreads so quickly that it doesn't leave much room for other plants to grow. Pulling it out and making sure to get the root is a great way to slow it down. Check out this link for more information about Garlic Mustard.

Big picture

I Spy...

This week our "I Spy" feature comes from EE teacher Sally T.


I spy....One, two, wait! Do you see three armour clad critters with huge mandibles, the things on their heads we call pinchers?

Big picture
Big picture

You are looking at stag beetles. They were living in our wood pile and showed themselves as I moved logs. They are a bit scary looking but are harmless to humans. These three beetles are males and get their names because their mandibles look like antlers. They use the mandibles to court females and to fight other males if necessary. Females are smaller in size and have much smaller mandibles. Stag beetles feed on sap flows in trees and fluids created as wood begins to rot.


One of them gripped my glove holding tight with its pincher- like feet. I took off my glove and had him join the other two. They were very still for about 5 minutes after which they skedaddled at almost warp speed!

Adopt a Storm Drain

Another great way to get outside AND make a difference in the community would be by participating in our new program! Here's a snippet from the flyer:


"Helping to protect our watershed is an important part of taking care of our environment. With this in mind, we are launching a new program to help make the Fox River a cleaner body of water. We are hoping that in the days, weeks, and years to come that you will Adopt a Storm Drain in the city of Waukesha to help."


For the full details about this program - check out this link.

Big picture

Science Joke of the Week

Big picture