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Nature Nuggets

Week Three "Nature Nugget" Outdoor Activities:

Graphing Weather  |  Catch-A-Fly Toilet Paper Frog
Rain Gauge  |  Leaf Bracelets and Bookmarks
Rain Cloud Experiment


Graphing Weather with Christy Belardo
Nature Nugget  |  April 6th


Mohonk Preserve Weather Archive

Mohonk Lake Weather Data on NOAA's Website

Catch-A-Fly Toilet Paper Frog with Christy Belardo
Nature Nugget  |  April 7th

Materials Needed:

1 Empty Toilet Paper Roll
Scotch Tape and/or Masking Tape
1 foot long piece of yarn
Green Paint
2 Googly eyes
1 Pom Pom
2 Pony Beads
Cardstock (any color)

Rain Gauge with Lauren Borer
Nature Nugget  |  April 8th

Leaf Bracelets and Bookmarks with Cathy Shiga-Gattullo
Nature Nugget  |  April 9th

Location: Indoors and Outdoors
Great for: Ages 6 and up, Students and Families 

Materials Needed:

  • String, yarn or ribbon
  • Packing tape
  • tweezers, chopsticks or toothpicks to help with placing leaves
  • A piece of paper on a clipboard or piece of cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Holepunch

Search the yard for emerging leaves and buds. Collect as many different shapes as you can find. Or try to spell your name or make a landscape in a tiny leaf collage. Or place them in size order. Even better, place them in rainbow or gradient order! Scroll down below the instructions to see photos alongside the directions.

  1.  Wrap a piece of string or yarn around your wrist, overlapping a little bit. Cut it and measure it.
  2. Then measure a piece of packing tape, and cut it the same length as the piece of string or yarn.  You’ll use this string or yarn or ribbon later.
  3. Fold over about a half inch on one side of the tape and attach it to a piece of paper on a clipboard or onto a piece of cardboard. Lay the tape sticky-side up along your paper. Then fold over the other side of the tape and attach it to the paper so your tape isn’t flapping around.
  4. Using the cardboard like a palette, go outside and find tiny leaves. Flatter is better. You might want to collect them on a plate or bowl so that you can create your design before you commit to tape!
  5. Stick the leaves onto your tape in the pattern of your choice. Place them gently in case you want to move them again. You can use tweezers, chopsticks or toothpicks to adjust your pieces. Make sure you’re not sticking out over the edge of the tape, so you’ll have a sealed design.
  6. Take a piece of clear packing tape (multiple rows of cello tape, or even a strip of cling wrap, also work) and place it over your design. Press it together, smoothing out air bubbles. You’re putting sticky side to sticky side – a tape sandwich! Don’t worry if your tape doesn’t line up perfectly. You can always trim it.
  7. Remove your tape with the leaf design from the paper or cardboard. Fold over the two ends or trim them off. You can seal the edges with decorative tape, too.
  8. Punch a hole in each end of your bracelet. Put string or ribbon through the holes and tie them so that you have two dangling ends. These ends will tie the bracelet to your wrist. For a bookmark, punch a hole at one end, and tie through that hole for the “tassel” that sticks out of your book. These make great gifts!

Bonus: Use different leaves from the same plant and place them on your tape in size order.

Extra bonus: Use LeafSnap Or another plant ID book or app to identify your leaves.


Selected resources:

Leafsnap app

Leafman; Lois Ehlert; Reed Business, 1995.
Plants in Spring; Martha Elizabeth Hillman Rustad and John D. Krenz; Capstone Press, 2012.
Spring Walk; Viriginia Brimhall Snow; Gibbs Smith, 2015


Click the photos below to enlarge and view alongside instructions.

Rain Cloud Experiment with Kim Tischler
Nature Nugget  |  April 10th

Banner Photo by Christy Belardo