An Electric Family Nature Night

What do animal calls, windmills, and archery have in common? They were all highlights of Thomas Edison Elementary School’s Family Nature Night!

Colorado Parks and Wildlife volunteers brought their enthusiasm for teaching by working with kids to educate them about local wildlife through trivia and matching games. One of the latest games for our Family Nature Nights has been the addition of sounds of the wild. Families enjoy the opportunity to learn about some of the sounds wildlife make by listening to common calls and trying to match the animal to them.

As families wound their ways through the trivia madness, they found themselves in a whirlwind of fun with Catamount Institute when the large windmills seen around Colorado were brought down in scale with a small handmade version. Kids were a big fan of testing their engineering skills with different designs for windmills by cutting and gluing together supplies and then experimenting with their new creations. Some were even blown away as they saw the energy they could produce with just a small windmill!

Of course, it’s not a Family Nature Night without the introduction of skins and skulls to help kids get hands on with animals like the elk. Thanks to City of Colorado Springs Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS), the students not only got to touch real fur and see the differences between animal skulls, but they also learned more about how to tell what animals have been around by looking at their scat. I hope someone cleaned that up later.

As students worked their way through all of the activities, it was archery that was causing some to wait in long lines for a chance to take aim with a real bow and arrow. But, these line were no match to the DMV and students quickly moved through and learned a thing or two about eye dominance while they waited.

The mid-event raffle to win some great outdoors gear was very competitive as students listened to hopefully hear their numbers called. The lucky few were pumped to be able to bring home anything from a fishing pole and tackle to a mystery bag.

Thank you again to all of the teachers, staff, partners, and volunteers for helping to make Thomas Edison’s Family Nature Night a success!

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