Preschool Discovery Class at the Fort Worth Nature Center
The Fort Worth Nature Center is one of our favorite hang outs. Located on the far west side of Fort Worth, along the shore of Lake Worth, there are lots of quiet hiking trails, gently rising and falling roads to ride, and plenty of wildlife to watch, as well as some great paddling opportunities. The nature center offers many wonderful classes, too, and my children all spent their preschool years learning about turtles, vultures and pond life in their Discovery Preschool.
The Preschool Discovery class is offered once a month, on the fourth Friday of the month. Each week they cover a different topic. This month the subject was snakes.
The classes are led by Mr. Michael. He starts each class with a story. He read Hide and Snake by Keith Baker.
Then he brought out a live snake, a resident of the refuge. The kids were then allowed to come up and meet it. Mr. Michael explained some differences and similarities of the snake to people, and emphasized words like “reptile” and “scales”. He told them some facts about snakes, explaining what it means to be “cold blooded”.
He then showed them a snake skeleton to help understand the way a snake moves. When he asked what the children thought a snake ate, my four year old yelled out “Carrot!”. Mr. Michael explained that they eat small mice and rodents and are helpful to people because they do. However, my little guy still insist they eat carrots, too!
Afterwards, we went outside for a walk around the nature center, and Mr. Michael pointed out different locations that snakes would prefer for living conditions, and explained how snake will “sun” themselves on rocks or logs, to warm themselves.
We then went back inside for a fun art project, making a snake!
We started with white paper circles. It’s better if you use a thicker grade of paper than copy or construction paper, but not something as rigid as card stock.
Then completely color the circle, both sides!!
Finally, cut the circle in a spiral, and add eyes on the head. It looks great when you stretch it out!
After the class, we took the kids for a short hike and looked for snake habitats. We didn’t see any snakes, but we spotted some nice fossils. We also visited Scout, the nature center’s bobcat. Scout was busy eating a mouse, and the boys couldn’t take their eyes off her! Bobcats don’t use silverware! There are several animals which call the nature center home, and sponsorship opportunities are available for their Wild Ambassadors. To learn more, visit their website; http://www.fwnc.org/docs/AnAm/AnAmBrochure.pdf
My Mommy Tips:
- If you want to bring your preschooler to a Preschool Discovery class, register EARLY. We have been turned away because I waited too late and the class was full.
While we are on the subject of snakes, one of our favorite books is about a young python, Verdi, by Janell Cannon, the acclaimed creator of Stellaluna.