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Jr. Nature Explorers: ages 4-5

Our daily "Snack Walk" in our organic p-patch plot!

Join us for our 10th year of fun-filled outdoor adventures at Magnuson Park! This year we have more camps than ever to for this delightful age, so full of wonder and excitement.  Each camp has a different theme, and all are designed to encourage curiosity and bonding with the natural world, and to develop big motor skills as well as dexterity.

Our mornings are spent enjoying hands-on nature exploration, songs, games, and nature crafts in the Magnuson Children’s Garden and other nearby park areas. Sign up for one camp or several! As always, the camp fee includes an official Jr. Nature Explorers bandana and plenty of snacking in our organic P-Patch! Bring a nutritious lunch and a child-size water bottle.

Registration opens on February 4th, and camps fill up quickly, so register soon to reserve a spot in your child’s favorite theme! Visit our Registration page for all the details.

Camp Director: Emily Bishton

Instructors: Emily Bishton and Magnuson Nature Docents
Sign-in Location: Magnuson Brig/Ravenna Room

6344 NE 74th St.

Seattle, WA 98115

(download a map)

2014 Jr. Nature Explorers Camp Schedule:


Building homes for worms, ground beetles, and other creatures

Wiggly World of Worms Camp

Mon. June 9th – Wed. June 11th 

9:30 am – 12:30 pm   

Fee: $98

Camp #113797

Thanks to all the wonderful kids who made this camp chock-full of fun!

The soil underneath our feet is an amazing world of worms and other soil creatures, just waiting to be discovered. Perhaps because children live closer to the ground than we adults, they absolutely love to explore and experience this wonderful world.  This 3-day camp is filled with adventures such as digging in the garden to search for earthworms and ground beetles, and exploring our worm bin which is home to red wigglers pillbugs, and millipedes. Children will harvest its rich compost and sprinkle it through our vegetable garden, carefully returning any stray worms back to the bin. They will add fresh bedding and leftover food scraps from our lunches to feed our worm friends, and examine the stumps in our “log pile” area for other decomposers at work!  Be aware that children will come home from this camp with extra amounts of dirt on their knees, matched by the giant smiles on their faces!

 

Pollinator Power Camp

Painting "caterpillar friends" nature craft

Mon. June 16th – Wed. June 18th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee: $98

Camp #113798

Thanks to all the kids who made this camp  powerfully fun!

Pollinators are the hardest working creatures in the garden, and on mid-summer days they are in abundance on the flowers and food crops in the Children’s Garden and P-Patch.  In this 3-day camp, we’ll learn about bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, beetles, and other pollinators while practicing safe ways to watch them work, do the “bee dance”, and sing plenty of pollinator songs! We’ll also plant pollinator crops, pick bouquets, examine the “pollinator evidence” in the nearby Demonstration Orchard, and sample the edible flowers and fruits in the garden.  For our grand finale, we’ll don our special hats and have a “pollinator parade”!

 

Sharing nature journals. (We make these for every camp!)

NEW! Plant Parts Party Camp 

Mon. June 23rd – Wed. June 25th 

9:30 am – 12:30 pm  

Fee: $98

Camp #113799

Thanks to all the kids who made this a plants party to remember!

Early summer is a time when plants are growing rapidly all over the Community Garden and nearby park areas. Every day brings new more lushness into easy view at each place we take a stroll!  In this 3-day camp, our activities will focus on discovering the important jobs that roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds do for every plant, and for us.  We’ll delight in harvesting and eating fresh “garden wraps” from our organic p-patch, and in planting new crops too, along including a brand new Sunflower House!  We’ll create nature journals, and nature crafts to take home such as root viewers, leaf prints, and more.  Songs, games, and other adventures in the world of plants will make this camp quite a party!

 

Exploring the Magnuson Wetlands trails

Wonderful World of Water Camp

Monday July 7th – Friday July 11th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm   

Fee: $153

 Camp #113800

FULL, but wait list is open!

This 5-day camp is held when the heat of summer begins to take hold, which makes the world of water an even more inviting subject to explore and experience.  The Magnuson Wetlands Complex is typically still full from the spring rains, making our hike through its trails- including the new Shore Ponds area- a lively place for seeing frogs, dragonflies, songbirds and waterfowl! Children will learn about the water cycle and the value of clean water for all creatures through songs, dances, and games. They will build a “dam”, “creek” and “lake” to understand how a watershed works, and make sure all our thirsty garden plants get a good long drink.   This camp is sure to make a splash with all!

 

Magnuson Park is full of "little wonders", including our campers!

Amazing Animals Camp

Mon. July 21st – Wed. July 23rd

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee: $98

Camp #113801

FULL, but wait list is open!

Besides its well-known populations of birds and tree frogs, Magnuson Park is home to an interesting variety of other wildlife, such as coyote, squirrels, bats, field mice, garter snakes, and even some northwest native lizards! In this 3-day camp, we’ll learn about those animals plus the newest park residents, a pair of beavers! We’ll explore the park trails while learning about the daily lives of these amazing animals, play-act, sing songs, create our own “beaver dam” and other habitat features in the Children’s Garden, and more.

 

So many Ladybug larvae in the park at this time of year!

Beetles on Parade Camp

Mon. July 28th – Wed. July 30th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee: $98

Camp #113802

FULL, but wait list is open!

During the sun-filled days of mid-summer, it’s easy for children to find a wide variety of delightful beetles “parading” around in the park. Besides being interesting to observe while feeding on wildflower nectar, Ladybugs, Soldier Beetles, and Ground Beetles also feast on the pest insects and slugs that would otherwise plague our garden plants! In this 3-day camp, we’ll go on “bug hunts”, learn the who/what/why of garden flowers that attract beneficial insects, and how to “bee safe” around all insects that have stingers.  Building beetle houses in the Children’s Garden and learning beetle games and songs will give them much to share when they return home from their adventures!

 

Playing the "camera game" on the grassland trails

NEW!  Huggable Bugs Camp

Thurs. July 31st & Fri. August 1st

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee:  $67

Camp # 113803

FULL, but wait list is open!

So many cool insects live in the park, so we just had to add another bug-themed camp! In this 2-day camp, we’ll explore the Magnuson grasslands in search of grasshoppers and crickets, follow ant trails on the paths that wind through Community Garden, and search under stones to learn about their amazing colonies.  We’ll do life cycle play-acting and games, learn how strong and gentle bugs can be, and more! This camp is a great “sequel” to Beetles on Parade Camp, or a fun stand-alone camp experience. Come join the fun of this brand new camp!


Winged Wonders Camp

During our Winged Wonders puppet show, kids get to act out what they've learned in camp!

Mon. August 11th – Wed. August 13th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee: $153

Camp #113804

FULL, but wait list is open!

Magnuson Park is home to a wide variety of resident birds all year round, and in the summer the number of bird species increases greatly.  Four species of Swallows dart above the meadows and wetlands, Savannah Sparrows hop through the grasses, and Warblers sing from the treetops.  In this 3-day camp, we’ll take short hikes to the nearby grassy meadows and shady glens, have fun stretching our limbs to do the “swallow swoop”, “robin hop”, and “butterfly dip”. We’ll also explore the Community Garden perennial borders in search of Hummingbirds, Swallowtail Butterflies, Dragonflies, Bees and other pollinators, as well as the annual arrival of the Grasshoppers. Building birdbaths, puddling ponds, and dust bath bowls in the Children’s Garden will give them lasting landmarks that they can check on anytime in the future while visiting the park!

 

Warm, fresh Blackberries- yum!

NEW! Roots, Shoots, Flowers, & Fruits Camp

Mon. Aug. 25th – Friday Aug. 29th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm 

Fee $153

Camp #113805

FULL, but wait list is open!

Late summer is a time when hundreds of wildflowers and cultivated plants are ending their flowering time, and ripening their fruits and seeds. This 5-day camp will be a great time to explore and experience the entire plant cycle: from seed to plant and back to seed again! It’s also a wonderful time to gather wild blackberries and flower bouquets, gather summer-ripened seeds to take home, plant seeds in our organic p-patch plot for fall crops, and more.

Let's have a parade!

Children who attend this camp will also enjoy a special “garden harvest party” as a special way to wind up summer vacation, and to celebrate another fabulous Jr. Nature Explorers camp season!