From mountains to prairies, grasshoppers to bisons, poplars to wild roses, Alberta is home to some pretty spectacular landscapes, animals, and plants. And now, your child can help steward and protect Alberta’s environment by becoming a Nature Hero.
Becoming a Nature Hero not only benefits the environment, but it’s also fun for families to do together. Best of all…it’s free! To get started, simply download the Nature Heroes guidebook. You’ll join Stuart the Swift Fox, Gary the Grasshopper, Bella the Bat and Rene the Ram, as they guide you through 10 different nature activities including things like building a bird feeder, learning how plants eat, reusing plastic bottles, and more! Keep track of each activity as you complete it. Once you have completed all 10 activities, send your tracking sheet to the Nature Kids Program Coordinator to receive your Nature Heroes certificate.
Although the Nature Heroes program is designed for children ages 4-12, I decided to give one of the activities a go with my 2.5 year old twins. I’ve been wanting a bird feeder for our front yard so building one with my kiddos seemed like a good use of time on a very cold winter afternoon. The Nature Heroes guidebook includes plans for two different bird feeders with one being more complex and the other being a bit simpler. Of course, we went for the easier one which also used materials I mostly had on hand already.
All we needed for our bird feeder was popsicle sticks (we used colorful ones to add a little pizazz to the winter landscape), glue, and string. Following the directions we glued the popsicle sticks together to form a nice little holder for the bird seed. As we applied glue and held popsicle sticks in place, we talked about where birds find their food and why putting bird feeders out for them can be helpful — all information provided in the guidebook. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly?), my husband and I even learned a few things. For example, did you know that because birds can fly into windows, you should place your bird feeders either within 1 meter of the window or more than 10 meters from the window? I had no idea!
Our family is looking forward to completing other activities in the Nature Heroes guidebook together. In fact, the next activity in the guidebook is observing the bird feeder and trying to identify the birds that visit. We’ve already hung our bird feeders — filled with bird seed — outside and are (im)patiently waiting for our first visitors.
This past summer, my girls were really intrigued with ants so I’m looking forward to several of the activities in the guidebook that focus on learning about and identifying insects. There’s also a great activity that involves making your own housecleaners. My two littles are at the age where they want to help mom around the house so this will be a great activity to make cleaners that are both environmentally friendly and kid-friendly! Bonus: maybe I can sit and relax while they clean the floors?!
Go take a look at this great guidebook and start your family’s journey to being Nature Heroes today!
Become a Nature Hero:
Nature Kids, a program of Nature Alberta, provides nature-oriented learning opportunities for families with children ages 4-12. It was created to encourage children, parents, and guardians to explore, understand and learn about the natural world in a fun way. Adults are encouraged to participate in each activity and help the young Nature Heroes keep track of their progress.