Hi Kids,  

This fun page is just for you. It's loaded with fun facts, crafts, outdoor activities, jokes, games, videos, and stories. Nature-themed activities change every few months, so make sure you check back for new fun stuff to do.

Your Groundhog Friend,
Willy the Woodchuck
Nature Rules!

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Summer is the perfect time to stay out late and look up into the sky! From our backyards, we can see stars, the moon, satellites and even planets. Using telescopes, we can expand our sights to galaxies, nebulas and more. Keep scrolling to learn how you can experience space and the universe.   

  • The Milky Way is our home spiral galaxy where our solar system and Earth are located.  
  • Everything in our solar system revolves around the sun. Planets, comets, asteroids, meteoroids and moons are kept in place by the sun’s gravity.  
  • Have trouble naming all of the planets? Try making a silly sentence to help remember. For example, Mom Visits Every Monday, Just Stays Until Noon = Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupitar, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
  • The International Space Station is the most expensive object ever built, costing $150 billion.
  • Astronaut space suits cost $12 million.
  • Have you ever wondered what space smells like? According to astronauts, it is a mixture between steak searing on a grill and hot metal.
  • Most astronauts become 2 inches taller in space.

All About Space – Planets, Stars, Gravity & Earth

You are not the only one interested in learning about space. Kids sent questions about planets, stars, gravity and Earth to Ms. Booksy. Watch this short video to discover more fun facts!

Moon Phases Craft

The moon is beautiful at night, but some days it seems like it plays hide and seek. Sometimes we see the moon bright and full. Other times it shrinks to a sliver in just a matter of days.

 The moon is actually always there, but some days we can’t see it. The moon gets light from the sun’s reflection. As the moon orbits the Earth each month, we see different amounts of light reflecting. These are called moon phases.

Try this craft below to learn about the shape of the moon during different phases.

Materials:

  • 1 Oreo cookie for each moon phase
  • Popsicle stick or other tool for scraping the frosting

What to do:

  1. Slowly twist an Oreo to maximize the amount of frosting on one side when you separate the halves.
  2. Use the Popsicle stick to create the phases of the moon out of the frosting. Use the provided pictures of moon phases as your examples.
  3. Arrange the phases of the moon in order.
  4. Then eat your delicious moons!

Photo by Jen Guest

Marshmallow Constellations

Constellations are groups of stars making a pattern.  

Try to make a few constellation shapes using toothpicks and marshmallows. Check out the picture for a few examples. If you want to learn more about constellations, check out Mindy’s Constellation Exploration webpage, listed in our “Games” section.  

Photo by Jen Guest

Willy's Scavenger Hunt

Walk in your neighborhood or visit a local forest preserve and complete our scavenger hunt.

DOWNLOAD THE SCAVENGER HUNT FORM

 

Top Five in the Night Sky!

1.) Mercury

July 12 is the best time to see Mercury. It will be at its highest point above the horizon to the west. Look at the horizon just after sunset and you should see it. If you are having a hard time finding it, download the Google Night Sky app and point it to the west.

2.) Full Moon

On July 27, take time out to appreciate the full moon. This full moon is also called the full buck moon, since male deer have begun growing their antlers.

3.) Mars

Also, on July 27, Mars is at its closest point to earth. It will be brighter than any other time this year, and you can see it all night long. A telescope will help you see some of the cool details of this red planet! If you are having a hard time finding it, download the Google Night Sky app and scan the night sky.

4.) Meteor Shower

On the night of August 12 into early morning of August 13, watch the Perseid meteor shower. Here is your chance to see a shooting star! This meteor shower produces up to 60 meteors per hour. Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky!

5.) Full Moon

September 25 is the night of the full harvest moon. The harvest moon is the full moon nearest to the start of fall or the autumnal equinox. During this time of year, the full moon rises almost as soon as the sun sets, first appearing around dusk. Because there’s little darkness between sunset and moonrise, farmers have more time to work into the night harvesting crops, which is most likely how this moon got its name.

Mars (Photo via Shutterstock)

 

Why did Mickey Mouse go to outer space?

 

WATCH THE FULL PLAYLIST

Jet’s Planet Pinball by PBS Kids 

Try hitting the ball to the targets to discover the solar system. Each target is a new planet that orbits our sun. Use the satellites and meteors to your advantage to bounce the ball straight to the target.

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Mindy’s Constellation Exploration by PBS Kids

Help Mindy connect the stars to make a shape in the sky. These shapes are called constellations. Unlock individual constellations to hear the Greek story on how each one got into the sky.

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Infrared Concentration by NASA Space Place

Test your memory skills by matching real photographs taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The board starts small but grows bigger and bigger each round. Take a moment to read the short captions with each image to learn more about galaxies, nebulas and other objects in space. 

PLAY NOW

Books for kids

“Rocket to the Moon” by Lerryn Korda

"How do you get to the moon, Lester?" asks Little Nye. He can’t get there by jumping! He needs to go in a rocket. Stacking pots and pans, pails and umbrellas works very well, until he adds the engine and, “oh no!” The whole ship tumbles down. But Nella and Gracie join in, donning clever homemade space helmets, and soon they’re ready for liftoff. Meet four friends on a magical rocket trip to the moon.

“To the Moon!” by Paul A. Reynolds

The chance to meet astronaut Kris Kornfield is a dream come true for twins Sydney and Simon. But first they have to come up with the most creative project about the Earth’s moon. While Sydney’s work is all about the art, Simon’s is all about the data. Will they be creative enough to win the prize?

Photo by Jen Guest