Friday, September 7, 2007

Park Packs Revealed

I have been asked a few times about Park Packs, mentioned in this blog in March 2007. Here is a photo of the Geology Rocks Park Pack our family currently has. You can see that my older two kids immediately headed for the mineral collection. There are also books, activities with supplies, games, and crafts with supplies. My sister recommended this one to us. We just got it yesterday from the Polk Co. Conservation Board (PCCB) and get to keep it for two weeks. I love that check-out is free. We have always enjoyed our time with the park packs over the years. From the PCCB website:

10 Nature-Themed Backpacks
Park Packs will get you hiking, investigating and learning about Iowa’s natural resources.

1. Animals of Iowa

Learn to identify animal tracks, feel furs, play a habitat game and sing the habitat song in this activity packed park pack.

2. Birds

Binoculars, field guide, bird identifier and fun birding activities are included in this park pack. Pack has been sponsored by the Des Moines Audubon Society.

3. Creatures of the Night

Bats, frog calls, firefly talk and owl calling are just some of the creature topics included in this park pack of the night.

4. Geology Rocks

Discover the different types of rocks in your local park or backyard. Make a chalk drawing or
sand art picture. Find your favorite rock and make a fossil rub.

5. Insect Safari

Use the nets, bug cubes and insect field guide to discover the variety of insects in your backyard
or local park. Learn to dance like a bee, create your own bug song, and build your very own bug.

6. Life in a Pond
Use the aquatic animal matching cards to discover the variety of animal life in the pond. Write
water messages on stones, make the frog sounds of a wetland. Enjoy Billie B’s Romp in the swamp tape and boogie down to the beat!

7. Outdoor Skills

Practice your orienteering skills, take a hike and make your own map, learn how to tie a variety of knots, and learn important outdoor ethics.

8. Prairies

Listen to the sounds of the prairie, create prairie artistry, play a prairie camoflauge game, identify prairie plants and flowers.

9. Treeific Trees
Play the tree board game, measure the height and width of the largest tree in your area. Use the
tree leaf stamps to create your own field guide, build a human tree and boogie down with Billie B as he sings about trees.

10. Wildflowers and Plants

Go on your own wildflower hunt with the field guide, make a leaf mprint with leaf pounding, read how to plant a rainbow and a sunflower house.

We have also used park packs from the City of West Des Moines, and they are filled with similar things -- books, crafts, etc. Some of the themes are the same, some are different. I have noticed that the Clive Public Library has back packs for check out in their children's area, but I am not sure what the themes and target ages are. My initial impression was that they are focused on early learning, ages 4 and under, but I could be completely wrong.

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