Nature Kids

Jumpstart or continue your child’s journey into nature play at the Museum of Life and Science! Through these classes, you and your child will explore the natural world through sensory play, games, music, nature walks, and other outdoor activities. We’ll share tips for exploring different Museum exhibits with your child and give you resources for supporting nature play through different stages of your child’s development. Best of all, spending time outdoors (with other adults!) is good for you, too!

Spring 2022

Tuesday, April 12 – Thursday, May 19, 2022

6 sessions – Discount for signing up for the whole series, drop-in for a single session optional
All sessions meet in front of the Butterfly House and will include an exhibit connection.

Session themes:

Session 1: Get to know you- getting outside!
Outdoor play helps your child learn about different surroundings and can make them feel more comfortable with the world around them. In this session, we will explore activities from Natural Learning Initiative for children that are simple, quick, and easy to incorporate into your routine.
Exhibit connection: Earth Moves

Session 2: Nature Play
It has been shown that contact with nature can enhance creativity, bolster mood, lowers stress, improve mental health, cultivate social connectedness, promote physical activity, and has myriad educational benefits. In this session, we will investigate free play with loose parts and explore ways that these activities can be scaffolded as your child develops.
Exhibit connection: Hideaway Woods

Session 3: Outdoor Learning
Contemporary research shows outdoor play-based learning can help improve educational outcomes and it is never too early to begin learning with children outside. Nature contact also plays a crucial role in brain development with one recent study finding cognitive development was promoted in association with outdoor green space. In this session, we will focus on outdoor learning and provide tips on how you can continue to learn together with your child beyond this session.
Exhibit connection: Earth Moves

Session 4: Rainy Day Activities
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” This phrase hails from Scandinavia, where it is a common mantra repeated by parents who insist that their children spend time outdoors every day. In this session, we will learn about ways to get outdoors in all weather, and when we are not able or not up for it ways that we can bring nature inside.
Exhibit connection: Into the Mist

Session 5: Animal Encounters
Insects, snakes, spiders, and larger animals can be scary. In today’s session, we will meet some of the Museum’s ambassador animals.
Exhibit connection: Explore the Wild

Session 6: Planning and Planting
The first step to naturalizing your yard, balcony, or patio, is to take inventory of what you already have. A stack
of unused pots can be turned into a colorful, edible container garden. Large shrubs can be pruned to provide a child-size hiding space. A low, wet spot may provide a place where children would love to dig and explore…all they need is permission. In today’s session, we will explore ways to make the most of your own backyard!
Exhibit connection: Education Gardens


Price per six-class session: $90 members, $150 non-members (includes a package of four Museum admission passes for the participating adult and baby, valid through the last day of the workshop series)

Price per drop-in class: $20 members, $25 non-members (includes admission for the day)

Registration deadline: Registration cut off is 3 days prior to the program

Cancellation and Change Policy
The Museum can grant refunds and process changes only when received by the end of business 8 days prior to the sessions – Friday of the week before. After that Friday, we are not able to process any refunds. You may cancel your registration by calling the Museum at (919) 220-5429 ext.313, Monday thru Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. Availability is not guaranteed. Changes are complimentary.

In line with updated North Carolina and Durham County guidelines, face masks are now optional at the Museum.