Flowers, bees, leaves and moths were just a few of the treasures discovered by preschoolers Thursday at Sternberg Museum of Natural History’s nature trail bingo event.
Armed with a magnifying glass and a bingo card, the preschoolers and their families set out to tour the Dr. Howard Reynold’s Nature Trails.
It didn’t take long for children to locate items on their cards.
Just a few steps onto one of the trails, one of the children located a group of ant hills through a magnifying glass.
Thea Haugen, Discovery Room manager at Sternberg, caught a piece of cotton from a cottonwood tree as it blew by to show the group.
“Do you see that? There is a seed in there,” Haugen said.
Haugen, along with intern Marcella McCluskey and education assistant Spencer Goff, assisted the children in finding the various insects, plants and other items on the cards. Once an item was found, the children were given a sticker of their choosing to mark the corresponding image on the card. A larger sticker was given when a child achieved a bingo.
“We like activities that introduce kids to the science of nature,” Haugen said. “We like when they start asking questions early.”
Farther down one of the trails, the group came to a pond where there were tadpoles swimming and gnats flying in swarms above the water.
On the steps of the amphitheater, Haugen used a few drops of water to bring out a fossil in the limestone steps.
“Look guys, a roly poly,” said 2-year-old Griffin Dietz while exploring the amphitheater.
Griffin, his older sister Evie, 5, and his mom, Cara, have participated in many of Sternberg’s events since they moved to Hays from Kansas City two years ago.
“When we were looking to move to Hays, the museum was one of the biggest attractions because science is our family’s passion,” Cara Dietz said. “There is always something new to learn here, and the staff goes above and beyond for any specific requests.”
Evie Dietz said her favorite part about the nature trail bingo was “finding a bird flying in the sky.”
After the hunt was finished, a few children took leaves and dandelions as souvenirs.
Sternberg hosts activities for preschoolers on the first Thursday and third Wednesday during the summer months. The museum also has various other summer activities for children of all ages, including science camps for middle and high schoolers in June and July. For more information, visit sternberg.fhsu.edu.