Friday, November 15, 2013

Nature Nuts: Turkeys

Last week, I took my son to Nature Nuts, a monthly preschool program. The topic was all about turkeys. Krista from Elkhart County Parks usually starts with a couple of books and shares information about the topic with pictures and props, like this stuffed turkey! 

I know, you all probably think I'm a great mom with perfect, nature loving kids. Just so you know you are not alone in your quest for connecting your kids with nature, I'll let you in on my secret. This is what my son looked like for the first half hour or so of the program. It's funny, because we'd just been outside gathering "weeds" for the Children, Nature & Art programs and he thoroughly enjoyed that! "Mom, this is fun!" Even when we got outside at first, he decided this was not for him! Sometimes, you just have to roll with it. Eventually he got into the game, with a little help from me. I wonder if he would have been in a better mood if we had started outside first. 

For the game, the children were all turkeys and they needed to go find the cards scattered in the grass. Some were good, like their babies, food, etc. And others were potential dangers, like the red fox. I think it happened to be all boys for the program this time, but there is usually a good mix. 

This is what the one-year-old happily does while I try to engage the 4-year-old. He is proficient at "walking" on his knees, but hasn't mastered walking on his feet yet. People get a kick out of seeing his unique talent.

The hill next to Ox Bow Haus is all mowed and ready for sledding once the snow arrives!

We went for a walk around the grounds.

It's such a pretty time of year and a beautiful park. We hear the trains going by all the time there. She said she most often sees turkeys near the front gate. Others who live nearby said they see them near their houses, too. We saw a group less than a mile from our house recently as well. I e-mailed the naturalist that lives nearby and she said that they've raised a brood in a nearby field for the past five years. 

Of course, we had to investigate the scat when we saw it!

Back inside, the children made turkeys with apples, raisins, bananas, marshmallows, and candy corn. Cute! 

They gathered to talk about turkey feathers. 

They also looked at various eggs and saw how large turkey eggs are. Of course, the turkey feather became a great way to tickle a little brother! 

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