Adkins Arboretum Offers Nature Fun for Preschoolers

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Icicles, dinosaurs, wiggly worms and more! Celebrate the seasons and engage your young child with nature with Adkins Arboretum’s Acorn Academy Nature Preschool programs. The series of 10 classes for three- to five-year-olds is offered in either Tuesday or Wednesday sessions beginning Feb. 26 and 27.

Programs run from 10 to 11:15 a.m. and include nature walks, stories, songs, snacks and an art project to take home. The fee for all 10 classes in the series is $75 for members and $100 for non-members. Thanks to a generous grant from the PNC Foundation, the fee is waived for residents of Caroline County. Advance registration is required, and early registration is recommended. For more information or to register, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum Assistant Director Jenny Houghton (at right) explains to preschool students how animals use hollow trees for nesting.

Programs include:

The Icicle on the Cake
Feb. 26 and 27
How does ice form, and where does it go? Bring your mittens as we conduct an icy experiment, look for ice along the Blockston Branch and make a sparkly icicle craft to take home. A special icicle-inspired snack and the beloved children’s book A Snowy Day will cap off the morning.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Tree!
March 5 and 6
Learn how to tell a tree’s age by examining its annual rings. Tree ring sleuths will make “tree cookie” necklaces, read tree stories and explore the stumps at First Light Village.

Dirt Detectives
March 12 and 13
Let’s get the dirt on soil! Budding scientists will observe soil samples with hand lenses, mix up gooey mud pies and craft glittery “soil” shakers to remind us that there’s more to dirt than meets the eye.

Potato Power
March 19 and 20
What has eyes but can’t see? A potato, of course! Let’s learn about the amazing spud, plant a potato bin in the Funshine Garden and sing the Mashed Potato Anthem. We’ll also use potato stamps to make fun artwork.

Dinosaurs!
March 26 and 27
Did you know that Astrodon is Maryland’s state dinosaur? Travel back in time as we learn about the dinosaurs of North America. On a nature walk, we’ll look for plants that grew during the age of the dinosaurs and investigate a trail of mysterious footprints along the way.

Cloud Magic
April 2 and 3
Do you see pictures in the clouds? We’ll learn to name the clouds, take a cloud walk along the Arboretum’s meadow paths and make fluffy cotton clouds to take home. A fun cloud song and a rainy-day symphony will round out the morning.

Wiggling Worms
April 9 and 10
Welcome to the wiggly world of worms! Did you know that worms are a gardener’s best friend? Enjoy a walk to the Funshine Garden, where we will peek into a composting “worm hotel” and dig for worms in the soil. We’ll also sing a “Wiggle and Waggle” song and snack on garden veggies.

Eggs-ellent Adventure
April 16 and 17
Help crack the mystery of the incredible egg! How are eggs formed? How do they hatch? Which animals lay eggs? Young nature detectives will conduct an eggs-periment, peek inside our bluebird boxes and hunt for eggs in the meadow.

Pollywog Adventure
April 23 and 24
No need to feel stuck in a bog! Spring is in full swing, and so are the Arboretum peepers! We’ll stomp our feet to the “Pollywog Wiggle,” make a frog craft and use nets to scoop up tadpoles and other critters in the wetland.

Stream Splashers
April 30 and May 1
Let’s take a walk to a sparkling stream and see what animals live there! If the weather’s warm enough, we’ll dip our toes in the water and race twigs under the bridge.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

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