October 20, 2020
For more activities, visit our Nature Center and Facilities Facebook pages listed here:
|Agricultural Farm History Park||Black Hill Nature Programs||Brookside Gardens||Brookside Nature Center||Cabin John Ice Rink|
|Locust Grove Nature Center||Meadowside Nature Center||Needwood Mansion||Wheaton Ice Arena||Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park|
Eagle Eye Vision
Join our naturalist to learn about eagle eye vision. Can you see like an eagle?
The Meadowside Nature Center staff had a surprise visitor in the halls. The colors of this five-lined skink will fade with age, but look at how beautiful this juvenile is!
Box Turtle Vibrations
The box turtles at Meadowside Nature Center usually spend their day interpreting vibrations caused by visitors to the Curiosity Corner, but it has been a little quiet around there lately!
How do box turtles hear? Box turtles do not have external ears. Instead, they have skin on the sides of their head that forms a tympanic membrane and protects their inner ears. The hearing range of a box turtle is more limited than humans, picking up low vibrations.
Visit the Meadowside Nature Center Facebook page for pictures of Tulip the box turtle experiencing sound vibrations during her music in the tub enrichment.
American Carrion Beetle
Summertime is beetle time! The beetle is one of the most diverse groups of insects in the world. Beetles are fascinating creatures! These six-legged bugs provide pollinator services to magnolias and pawpaws as well as decomposer services – just roll over a crumbling log the next time you are hiking in Wheaton Regional Park, and you may find a beetle at some stage of its life cycle!
This adult American carrion beetle and its larvae serve the ecosystem by feasting on animal carcasses. Beautiful beetles, important jobs!
Make Your Own Butterfly
Make your own Butterfly! September is the peak of butterfly season. All around you we see so many types of butterflies in all colors of the rainbow. Be inspired by these winged insects and create your very own butterfly!
Did you know that ice rinks are painted? In fact, in order to repaint an ice rink, you have to melt the ice to do it!
Why not paint some ice of your own at home? With a baking tray, some watercolors and a towel (to soak up any mess), you can create a wonderful masterpiece! Check out the naturesource.com website for step-by-step instructions.
Ice Castle Excavation
Looking for a fun, easy, at-home activity to keep your children occupied and learning? How about an ice excavation? This is a neat, easy-to-do activity that only requires a sand castle bucket, some toys (that can get wet), and water! Check out these step-by-step instructions.
Rainbow Melting Ice Experiment
What combines ice, fun, coloring and learning? Typically our summer camps do just that, but, with no camps this year, we hope that you have fun doing this rainbow melting ice experiment from the Powerful Mothering website to bring the ice, fun, coloring, and learning to your home!
DIY Nature – Botanical Art
Botanical art is the depiction of plant life through art. While oftentimes beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, it depicts accurate information and scientific details about the plant.
This form of art is important to sharing and understanding information about the natural world and the role plants play in it. And now you can take part in the fun as well! Visit the Black Hill Nature Programs Facebook page for step-by-step instructions to create your own.
How do you stretch? Static warmups used to be taught to athletes of all sports, but scientific data now show that dynamic warmups better prepare you physically and mentally for exercise. Watch this video from former National Hockey League player Gary Roberts on how to have an effective dynamic workout at home.
Olympic Day Workout
We celebrated Olympic Day on June 23! Get into the spirit, be good to your body and move along with the athletes in this 30-minute video from the largest ever 24-hour digital-first Olympic workout.
Importance of Sleep
Would you call yourself a “Sleep Champion?” Whether you are still constantly training or dialing down your activity levels these days, sleep is crucial in restoring your physical condition and optimizing mental health. During your time off the ice, get lots of sleep, but first watch this Team USA video on the importance of sleep.
Physical Literacy and Athletic Excellence
Now is the time to grow your physical literacy and to help your friends and family do the same. There is no time like the present to focus on your ability, competence and desire to be active for life. Learn more about physical literacy and athletic excellence with these resources from USA Hockey – American Developmental Model.
Ceramic Butter Dish Insert
Copper Alloy Straight Pins
These copper alloy straight pins (pictured to the left) were recovered from the kitchen trash midden at the Josiah Henson Museum and Park. Pins like these could have been used to make or repair clothing, hold garments, or affix a hat to the head.
For more information on straight pins, visit this Mount Vernon collections page.
Preparing for Winter
The Palmers of Woodlawn Manor, like many early eighteenth century farmers, would be making final preparations in October in order to survive the winter. They would salt or smoke meat and prepare grains, dry fruit and pickle vegetables. The Smokehouse and combination Icehouse at Woodlawn was essential for this task.
To learn more about how the Palmers prepared for the winter season, visit the Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park Facebook page.
Dairy Farm at Sunnyside
In 1925, brothers Edward Palmer Beall and Frank Beall established a dairy farm at Sunnyside. Dairying continued on the property through the mid-twentieth century. This 1947 photograph (pictured to the right) shows Needwood Mansion prior to major renovations undertaken by the Stickle and Eckles families.
Plant of the Week
Join Brookside Gardens’ horticulturalist Kelley Heim as she discusses how the design concepts of layering and seasonality shaped the beauty of the Perennial Garden.
Old Fashioned Fun Games
Games have been a favorite family pastime for centuries. Ring toss, or quoits, as it was called in the eighteenth century, originated in Greece at the Olympic Games. Pick up sticks, originally called jack straws, was first played by Native Americans using straws of wheat or branches. Archeologists think that ancient Egyptians invented bowling by using large rocks, then settlers brought the game to America in 1670.
Click on this link to PBS Kids for instructions on how to make bowling pins out of water bottles.
Figure Skating Bingo
BINGO! Play a round of figure skating bingo with our unique bingo card. Mark off each one that you have experienced or that directly applies to you in your figure skating career and post your completed bingo card in the comments on the Wheaton Ice Arena Facebook page!
Visit the Cabin John Ice Rink Facebook page and test your hockey knowledge with this hockey trivia activity.
19th Century Fun – Marbles
Many of us have seen a marble, the spherical toy often made of glass. But, how many of us know how to play a game of marbles?
Marbles, both the toy and the game, was very popular with children during the nineteenth century. It so popular that the term “Lose your marbles” was used to express the feeling of being upset or frustrated. Playing marbles is a great way to spend time indoors with the family.
The children in the photo are enjoying a game of marbles, which is not recommended for children three years and younger, due to potential choking hazard.
Check out this video on how to play your own game of marbles at home.
19th Century Fun – Cup and Ball Activity
What toys did children in the nineteenth century play with for fun? One toy was the cup and ball, which is a lot harder to master than it may seem. Check out this PBS Kids video that will show you how to make your own cup and ball toy.