Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New & Returning Children & Family Programs

By Kate Blakely

This time of year, inchworms seem to dropping from trees everywhere you look. Do they make you exclaim with excitement or shiver with fear? In a new class for kids, “Heroes and Villains,” we will learn about the ways these critters and more interact in nature.

“Heroes and Villains” is one of several exciting classes in the Children and Family series this spring. Most classes are new, but we will repeat some favorites, says Kavanah Anderson, education and programs coordinator. The topics will rotate seasonally.

When you are surprised by a spider, do you stand your ground or does it send you running? The argiope garden spider can be a formidable sight, with its size, striking yellow and black pattern, and zig-zag web. Beetles, earthworms, ticks, centipedes—these creatures all play a role in the natural world. Do you ever wonder what relationships they have with each other? Do they help or hurt each other? Come to “Heroes and Villains” and find out. The class is on Wednesday, April 25, from 2:30-4 p.m. It's for children ages 9-11.

A favorite from last year is “Drip Drop: Be a Raindrop for a Day,” coming up Saturday, April 28, at 10-11:30 a.m., for ages 7-9. As they say, April showers bring May flowers. From showers to flowers, water makes an incredible journey. Children can join us for a trip around the Gardens as we learn about the water cycle. We’ll study how and where rainwater travels, how gravity affects water’s journey, and how water drains through different types of soil. We’ll also conduct scientific experiments to study water’s movements.

Participants will learn how to make “rain in a bag,” a miniature water cycle they can take home with them. So get your imagination running, and come on out to the Gardens. We’ll all be raindrops for the day! Please don’t forget to register in advance.

Caregivers, make sure to come along for our family classes. We ask adult chaperones to accompany our youngest Gardens visitors. There’s an important reason behind this.

“One of the main motivations in our request for adult participation is to help caregivers develop a relationship with nature alongside their children so that they’re exploring nature together,” Anderson says. “Our hope is that this relationship continues beyond their time in the Gardens.”

All Children and Family programs are $6, or $5 for Gardens members. To register, please call 919-668-1707.

To read about all our educational offerings for adults and children, please see our website. To be added to our email list for classes and events, please email us with a request.

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