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Youth Education

Idaho Botanical Garden offers a variety of educational classes, camps, and school field trips for children of all ages. Over 11,000 youth visit the Garden each year for exciting discoveries with nature.

As part of our No child will be turned away program we have support for you! If you are looking for financial assistance to cover field trips, bussing to and from the garden or camp fees contact scholarship@idahobotanicalgarden.org

 

Upcoming Youth Opportunities 

Garden on the RoadGarden Play DatesField Trip ToursNature CampYouth ResourcesEducation Trunks

Garden on the Road

When the plants are dormant in January & February, the Garden goes on the road to visit area daycare centers, preschools, and kindergartens.

This program engages student interest in the world of living things through lively audio/visual presentations, role-playing, and craft activities. Garden on the Road is appropriate for children 4 to 6 years of age.

The fee is $2.50/child, minimum group size is 10–24 children. For groups smaller than ten, $25 will be charged.

Contact Idaho Botanical Garden to be added to the mailing list, (208) 343-8649.

 

OUTDOOR PLAY DATES
Wednesdays, May 5 – Oct 20, 10a – noon 

The Idaho Botanical Garden is not just for adults — Our recently updated Children’s Adventure Garden is a great place to let your kids explore the landscape, both on and off the trails.

🌱 Free to with General Admission, recommended for children ages 4-10

Starting this year, IBG will provide play equipment for our younger visitors during weekly Outdoor Play Dates. From jumping rope to slackline walking to hula hooping, we have an activity for you. 

Please play safe and mask up; hand sanitizer will be provided.

(*Play Date times will be canceled on Outlaw Field concert days)

Field Trip Tours

These tours are designed to supplement school science curricula.  They run mid-April through October and last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

If you have a larger group and would like to schedule a tour, please contact the Youth Education Coordinator (208-275-8612) to discuss rates and options.

Field Trip Brochure 2022

Dates/Times

Monday–Friday, April-October
Spring/Fall tour times: 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m.

Summer tour times:
Call for availability, Wendy Irwin, Youth Education Coordinator, (208) 275-8612.

Prices

PreK-Middle School: $2.50/student
High School and older: $4/student

For groups arriving by bus or van: 1 free adult for every 5 students.
Additional adults are the same price as a student.
For carpooling groups: Adult drivers are free. Additional adults are the
same price as a student.

Featured Tours

Nature Detectives: Pre - K - Spring Only

April Program: A Suitcase for Seeds

Did you know that a fruit is a suitcase for seeds? Examine the seeds in some of our favorite foods and go on a garden seed hunt. Plant seeds in the garden and bring home your own flower seeds to plant and grow.

May Program: Track That Scat!

Today we’re going on a stroll. We’re looking for wildlife as we go. Discover animal signs – including tracks and scat! Make your own animal footprint plaster cast to take home.

June Program: Compost Stew

Let’s mix a batch of compost stew! Visit the garden and learn how we make healthy soil for our plants to grow in. Meet some of the critters who help tend the soil, and build your very own compost helper craft to take home. 

Ready, Set, Grow!: Pre-K – 1st Grade

Ready, Set, Grow!: Pre-K – 1st Grade-Download Tour Packet

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

Young students will use their senses to explore nature. They compare plants to themselves, learn about plant parts, meet pillbugs, and go on an exploratory walk through the garden.

Wonders of the Water Cycle: Kindergarten – 1st Grade

Wonders of the Water Cycle: Kindergarten – 1st Grade

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

Through song, role-playing, a psychedelic experiment, and a nature walk, children gain a concrete understanding of what the water cycle is and how it works.

Habitats – 1st–2nd Grade

Habitats – 1st–2nd Grade

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

A place where an animal or plant lives and has all its needs met is its habitat. Students will learn about habitat components via a game and a hands-on exploration of the garden’s ponds, forested areas, and dry gardens.

Flower Power (May Only): 2nd–3rd Grade

Flower Power (May Only): 2nd–3rd Grade

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

Students participate in activities emphasizing the structure and function of flowers. Each student will help Idaho Botanical Garden bloom by planting a flower.

Seed Sense (Fall Only): 2nd–3rd Grade

Seed Sense (Fall Only): 2nd–3rd Grade

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

Participants germinate and grow a fresh understanding of the importance of seeds, their structure, function, and dispersal methods through a variety of instructional outdoor activities.Tour includes a seed dissection activity and garden scavenger hunt.

Lewis and Clark: 4th Grade

Lewis and Clark: 4th Grade

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

During a tour of the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden, students learn about the role plants played in the lives of Idaho’s Native Americans and the Lewis and Clark Expedition members. They will practice conducting scientific plant research and will take back to school a plant sample to turn into a herbarium specimen.

Nature’s Garden: 4th–8th Grade

Nature’s Garden: 4th–8th Grade

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

During a tour of the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden, students learn about the role plants played in the lives of Idaho’s Native Americans and the Lewis and Clark Expedition members. They will practice conducting scientific plant research and will take back to school a plant sample to turn into a herbarium specimen.

Fire!: 4th–8th Grade

Fire!: 4th–8th Grade

This tour discusses the role plants play in Idaho’s wildfires. Topics include native versus non-native plants, factors that make a plant more or less flammable, and how to protect homes from wildfire.

Custom Tours, Elementary–Post-Graduate

Custom Tours, Elementary–Post-Graduate

Education staff will work with you to create a program (at no extra cost) that meets your curriculum needs. Please contact the Youth Education Manager at 208.275.8612 to discuss a custom tour.

Nature Camp

Nature Camps are science programs designed for children ages 4-9 to participate in games, crafts, and nature walks at Idaho Botanical Garden from July to August.

Following registration, you will receive a confirmation letter and an emergency medical form that must be returned the first day of camp.

HEALTH PRECAUTIONS 

Programs will take place outside, including in open sheltered spots during inclement weather. The Idaho Botanical Garden is continuing to adapt to changing COVID conditions. Please contact us for up-to-date information about health precautions and protocol. 

2022 Week-long Camps 

Outback Idaho Camp June 27-July 1

Ages: 5-6, 7-9
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Member $100 – Non Members $150

G’day, campers! Are you ready for a backyard adventure? Grab your walking shoes and get ready to explore the best of Idaho’s diverse landscapes. Discover the plants and critters who live in Idaho’s dry deserts, winding rivers, and Rocky Mountains.

If a session is sold out – Call the Garden to put your child on a waiting list, (208) 343-8649. 

Sign Up Ages 5- 6 Sign Up Ages 7-9
Pollinator Patrol Camp July 5-8

Ages: 4, 5-6
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Member $100 – Non Members $150

No garden is too big and no pollinator is too small here at the Idaho Botanical Garden! Come meet the creatures, from bugs to bats to birds, that help the plants grow and help us put food on our tables.

If a session is sold out – Call the Garden to put your child on a waiting list, (208) 343-8649. 

Sign Up Age 4 Sign Up Ages 5-6
Garden Explorers Camp July 11-15

Ages: 4, 5-6
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Member $100 – Non Members $150

Explore life in a garden with all five senses during this week’s sense-ational nature camp! Tickle your tastebuds in our veggie patch, feel your way like an earthworm, sniff out the source of our honey supply, and create a rainbow bouquet of flowers to take home to your family.

If a session is sold out – Call the Garden to put your child on a waiting list, (208) 343-8649. 

Sign Up Age 4 Sign Up Ages 5-6
Wizarding Camp July 18-22

Ages: 5-6, 7-12
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Member $100 – Non Members $150

Calling young witches and wizards! Welcome to another term at the Idaho Botanical School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Test your Quidditch skills, study herbology, build a fairy or gnome habitat, and pick up some magic tips from our very own garden critters.

Want to expand your wizarding to include potions and dragonology? Take advantage of our sister wizarding school located at the Discovery Center of Idaho! Visit >>HERE<< to learn more about their afternoon classes. Discovery Center camp registration begins February 24.

If a session is sold out – Call the Garden to put your child on a waiting list, (208) 343-8649. 

Sign Up Ages 5-6
Mysteries of the Earth Camp July 25-29

Ages: 5-6, 7-12
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Member $100 – Non Members $150

Dig into the dirt with the Idaho Botanical Garden this week and explore all the wonders that exist beneath our feet. Grow crystals, dig up root vegetables, race earthworms, and search for buried treasure.

Want to expand your exploration of earth’s mysteries and learn about the people and animals that inhabited our planet long ago? End your day with the Discovery Center of Idaho! Visit >>HERE<<  to learn more about their afternoon classes. Discovery Center camp registration begins February 24.

If a session is sold out – Call the Garden to put your child on a waiting list, (208) 343-8649. 

Survival School August 1-5

Ages: 5-6, 7-9
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Member $100 – Non Members $150

Do you have what it takes to survive in the wild? We think you do! Each day campers will face a different survival challenge and get help from some clever plants and animals who are masters at life in the great outdoors.

If a session is sold out – Call the Garden to put your child on a waiting list, (208) 343-8649. 

Sign Up Ages 5-6 Sign Up Ages 7-9

Due to high demand, each child may register for no more than two sessions. Payment is refundable up to two weeks prior to the first day of camp class, minus a $10 processing fee.

Children attending morning camps should bring a snack and water bottle each day; children attending full-day camps should additionally pack a bag lunch. We also ask that campers wear closed-toed shoes, sunscreen, and a face mask. Following registration, you will receive a confirmation letter and an emergency medical form that must be returned the first day of camp.

The Secret Gardeners Story Time

I’ve always talked to plants. It’s a totally normal thing to do, right? At least that’s what I thought, until one day the plants started talking back to me. That was the day I got initiated into the Secret Gardeners Club. I was given a special key that opens doors to secret gardens all over the city – And some of those gardens? They’re pretty wild.

From the Idaho Botanical Garden, welcome to The Secret Gardeners Story Time. It’s the podcast for people – like you! – who are tuned in to nature.

Episode 01: Escape Room!

Wendy unlocks a door with her Secret Gardeners Club key, but when she gets stuck inside a secret garden, she needs some help escaping. Who better to ask for assistance than some of the world’s greatest escape artists: Plants!

Episode 1 Activities – K to 3rd
Episode 1 Activities – 4th to 6th
Episode 1 Science Standards
Episode 1 Transcript

 

Episode 2: Plant Sandwich

How do you collect plant specimens on an 8,000-mile expedition? And what do you do when the food in your fridge starts talking to you? Grab your Secret Gardener’s Club key and get ready for a time-hopping journey with Wendy as she seeks some answers.

Flower Press Activity Sheet
The Ethnobotany of Cattails Presentation
Episode 2 Transcript

 

Activity Sheets

To help our youth stay active and teach them about nature!

Map Your Habitat Activity Sheet!

 

Roly Polies Activity Sheet

 

Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt!

 

Lewis & Clark Adventure!

Idaho Botanical Garden Education Trunks

Bring the natural world into your education programs with the help of the Idaho Botanical Garden. Each of our education trunks contains a selection of books, a themed activity packet, and associated supplies. Trunk contents and activities are designed to align with Idaho Content Standards.

Education trunks are FREE and may be borrowed for up to 2 weeks between the months of September – May. Borrowers can pick up and return trunks at the Garden during regular operating hours.

As a precaution during this time of COVID-19, trunks will be quarantined for 5 days between checkouts.

Contact the Youth Education Coordinator to reserve a trunk today:
wendy@idahobotanicalgarden.org
(208) 275-8612

 

AVAILABLE TRUNKS

Amazing Arthropods (Grades K-3)

An arthropod is an invertebrate such as a grasshopper, spider, or crab. Many arthropods serve important ecosystem functions as pollinators, predators, and detritivores. Complete a monarch butterfly migration challenge, learn about bug mouthparts with an insect picnic activity, search for camouflaged “caterpillars,” and make a ladybug metamorphosis craft.

 

Critter Litter (Grades K-2)

Wild animals can be shy, but we can learn about them from the “litter” they leave behind, such as scat and tracks. This trunk includes an Animal Tracks Twister Game, a Plaster Tracks activity (rubber track molds and Plaster of Paris included), rubber scat, and educational activities paired with the Gruffalo book series.

 

Slimy Scaly (Grades K-4)

Explore the world of slimy, scaly fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Conduct an ectotherm experiment using thermometers, make some mucous (ingredients included) and learn about slimy-skinned critters, practice the art of Gyotaku (fish printing), set up a salmon migration obstacle course, and use a compass to navigate like a salmon.