Summer Nature Connections

Connect with Wehr this Summer at a Milwaukee County Park, Our Center, or Yours! Active nature and science programs packed with hands-on discovery, taught by professional naturalists.

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At Wehr Nature Center or A Milwaukee County Park

Insect Safari (Ages 4-12)
Discover and visit with the little creatures that run our world. Students learn how to identify invertebrates by watching classmates in costumes model characteristics. Invertebrate life cycles are discussed using models and live animal examples. A discovery hike gives students a safe close-up experience with backyard invertebrates using collection tools and magnifiers. Children study adaptations by looking at legs, body parts, and wings of awesome crawly creatures they collect on their hike.

Willow Pond (Ages 4-10)
In this original puppet show, miraculous changes happen to a tadpole as he transforms into a toad. Toad meets many other animals living in and around Willow Pond who are changing and growing faster than you can say “metamorphosis.” A seasonal hike follows the show.

Nature’s Neighborhood (Ages 5-12)
Habitat is more than a home; it is the place where you find the food, water, shelter, and space you need to survive. Like people, animals and plants get what they need to survive from their “neighborhoods”. Children will explore these natural neighborhoods as they visit forest, wetland, and grassland habitats. Students learn about wildlife as they search for a “Dream Home” and “Groceries” for a variety of local critters.

Water Explorers (Ages 6-12)
Students will be amazed by the life they find in and around the pond! Children will peer into the private lives of the tiny creatures that are the backbone of the pond food chain as they use scoops and handheld microscopes to collect and observe macroinvertebrates. Students discover the diversity of plants and animals that live in wetlands along the pond’s edge as they play “Wetland Bingo”. Costumes are used to model the amazing adaptations of aquatic creatures and how everything is connected in the pond food chain.

Nature’s Story Time (Ages 3-6) 

Series of interactive nature story times that include include age-appropriate finger plays, songs, games, and art activities. Park programs also include a short hike.

Caterpillar’s Lunch Box 
Learn about caterpillar and butterfly as they grow with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

Cricket Song  
“Chirp, chirp” will captivate children as we explore crickets and how they grow with Eric Carle’s The Very Quiet Cricket. 

T is for Turtle  
Children learn about turtle and tortoise adaptations with Eric Carle’s story The Foolish Tortoise and meet a live turtle (if weather permits).

Let’s Get Growing  
Take an imaginary journey to the garden that Jack grew as we read Henry Cole’s Jack’s Garden and explore plants as they grow.

Who’s in the Pond  
In creating an “indoor pond”, children get up close and personal with some pond critters. The program is based on In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming.

At Your Site

Awesome Owls (Ages 6-11)
Students delve into the nocturnal world of Wisconsin’s owls and discover facts about the feathers, hearing, and night flying of these beautiful “Tigers of the Sky”. They learn to listen for owl calls right in their own backyard. An owl pellet lab is available for an additional fee of $1.50/child.

Welcome to the Night (Ages 6-11)
Students explore the night through a lively bat story learning about echolocation. Students visit the Bat Lab to study bat adaptations and biology and the Night-time Visitor station to explore owls, fireflies, and flying squirrels.

Friends Underfoot (Ages 6-11)
Did you ever want to “dig a hole to China” when you were a kid? Join us as we dig deep into the world beneath our feet. Children will meet chipmunks, ants, earthworms, and more in this interactive, underground adventure. Children will get up close and personal with earthworms or beetles and participate in a variety of activities that allow them to see what it’s like to live in the world beneath our feet.

Let’s Leave it to the Beaver’s (Ages 6-11)
Beavers are one of nature’s big time builders. They have their own built in kit of teeth, paws, and tails. Using a combination of two beaver tales, Bartholomew the Beaver by Ruth Dixon & Beaver Pond Moose Pond by Jim Arnosky, children are introduced to the extraordinary lives of these master builders. Through interactive theater, simulations, and real beaver artifacts, participants will learn about the beaver’s amazing adaptations which they use to create their perfect home.

One Butterfly…Three Countries (Ages 6-11)
Children take an imaginary journey with the Monarch Butterfly as they participate in a life cycle story about the Monarch’s travels to Mexico.

Sensational Snakes (Ages 6-11)
“I’m a grassy, grassy, sassy, sassy, flashy, flashy, tail twisting, tail turning, tail snapping green snake.” These fun rhyming words from Libba Moore Gray’s book, Small Green Snake will help introduce children to the world of the often misunderstood snake. Learn about astonishing adaptations and visit with a live snake from Wehr Nature Center.

Papermaking (Ages 7-13)
Children create their own homemade sheets of recycled paper after a demonstration of the papermaking process. 20 children maximum per session. Additional equipment fee of $1 per student.

If You Went to a Pioneer School (Ages 7-12)
Take a step back in time and experience life in a one-room pioneer school. A naturalist in character will conduct a typical day in an early Wisconsin school house. Some of the interactive activities children will do include: writing with quill pens and ink, using slates and slate pencils, playing pioneer games, and learning about classroom “discipline”.

Tales of Tracks & Trails (Ages 7-12)
Children discover the tales told by our wild animal neighbors. The program includes an engaging slide show of animals and their clues, an interactive wildlife mystery story, and an opportunity for each child to create their own wildlife track guide.

Nature’s Story Time (Ages 3-6)

Series of interactive nature story times that include include age-appropriate finger plays, songs, games, and art activities.

Caterpillar’s Lunch Box  
Learn about caterpillar and butterfly as they grow with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Super Salamander
The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer is used to help children learn about what an animal needs to survive and thrive. The life cycle of an amphibian is also covered. A live salamander is brought (if weather permits) for the children to observe.

Web Weavers  
Silky webs and Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider captivate children as we explore spiders and how they live.

Frog’s Mystery  
Learn about mysterious changes that happen as tadpole grows throughout the summer in Leo Lionni’s Fish is Fish.

Wiggly Worm  
Wiggle and giggle with worms while exploring their underground world in Linda Glaser’s Wonderful Worms. Children will have fun visiting with live worms.