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© 2019 Idaho Botanical Garden

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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.

 

Upcoming Youth Opportunities 

Garden on the RoadGarden Play DatesYouth Group 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)

Youth Group 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.

Click here for this year’s brochure

 

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.

Tour Types

Ready, Set, Grow!: Pre-K – 1st Grade

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

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

This introduction to Idaho Botanical Garden encourages young students to use their senses to explore nature. During this lesson they will compare plants to themselves, learn about plant parts, meet a pill bug, 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) +

The water cycle plays a major role in determining day-to-day weather. Through song, role-playing, a colorful experiment, and a nature walk, children gain a concrete understanding of what the water cycle is all about.

Habitats – 1st–2nd Grade

Habitats – 1st–2nd Grade

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

Students are introduced to Garden plants and animals, and they discuss what those living things need to survive. Tour includes a song, a game, and a walk.

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.

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 will discuss the purpose of the expedition and acquire an increased awareness of and appreciation for 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 an herbarium specimen.

Nature’s Garden: 4th–8th Grade

Nature’s Garden: 4th–8th Grade

Download Our Tour Packet (PDF) +

This tour is designed to awaken a naturalist’s curiosity about Boise Foothill ecology. The students on this ¾ mile hike will interpret the environment and discover the vital role plants play in this sagebrush ecosystem.

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 invasive plants; factors that make a plant more, or less, flammable; and how to protect homes from wildfires.

Custom Tours, Elementary–Post-Graduate

Custom Tours, Elementary–Post-Graduate

Would you like to bring a group out to the Garden for a guided tour but none of the listed topics suit your needs? Contact (208) 343-8649 to request a custom tour. Let us know what you would like the guides to cover and we will work with you to create a tour that meets your interests.

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 during July and August.

🌱  All camps are full for the time being. Thank you for your interest and we will let you know if anything changes! 

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

COVID-19 Planning and Camper Safety

To keep camp participants and staff safe, we are implementing the following policies:

  • Group sizes will be reduced until the pandemic situation improves
  • Teachers will sign the children in and out
  • At check-in, your child’s temperature will be checked with a touchless forehead thermometer, and they will wash their hands
  • Campers and staff are required to wear face masks
  • Hand washing or sanitizing will be practiced frequently during the day
  • Camps will be fully outdoors. Campers will have access to shade and open-air shelters during the camp day
  • Campers will be provided with their own supplies (scissors, crayons, tape, glue, etc.) to use during the week to minimize the sharing of items between individuals
  • Please know that we as staff will also be doing daily health checks and practicing vigorous hand-washing and sanitizing

2021 Mini-camps

Do you want to give your child a new experience this year but can’t swing the typical summer camp pickup times? This is for you, working families! Our one-day mini-camps take the best activities from our popular week-long camps and serve them up in a sampler size.

Wizarding Mini-camp - June 21

Ages: 7-9
Camp date / time: Monday 6/21, 9a-5p
Price: Members $45, Non-Members $60

Welcome to our one-day magic camp for aspiring witches and wizards. From 9a-5p, campers will experience all the fun of our regular wizarding camps including fairy garden design, Quidditch, and wand crafting. (P.S. Don’t tell the muggles!)

Sign Up Today!
Outback Idaho Mini-Camp - June 22

Ages: 7-9
Camp date / time: Tuesday 6/22, 9a-5p
Price: Members $45, Non-Members $60

G’day, campers! Grab your walking shoes and get ready to go on nature hikes and explore the best of Idaho’s diverse landscapes in a single day. Discover the plants and critters who live in Idaho’s dry deserts, winding rivers, and Rocky Mountains.   

Sign Up Today!
Creepy Crawly Mini-Camp - June 23

Ages: 7-9
Camp time: Wednesday 6/23, 9a-5p
Price: Members $45, Non-Members $60

Does it bug you that you can’t sign up your kid for all the amazing summer camps around town? We invite children to come explore the world through the eyes and senses of all things creepy crawly at this one-day, day-long camp.

Sign Up Today!

 

2021 Week-long Camps 

Creepy Crawly Camp - July 5-9

Ages: 4, 5-6
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Members $85, Non-Members $120

Does the thought of a worm make your stomach churn? Are you shy around a fly? Would you ever hug a slug? Come explore the world through the eyes and senses of all things creepy crawly and discover how cool these creatures really are.

Sign Up Age 4 Today! Sign Up Age 5-6 Today!
Wild Treasures Camp - July 12-16

Ages: 5-6, 7-9
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Members $85, Non-Members $120

Ahoy, Mateys! Who’s ready for a treasure hunt? The natural world provides us with a wealth of benefits, from the water we drink to the soil we plant our gardens in. During this week of adventure and exploration, campers will discover the wild treasures all around us.

Sign Up Age 5-6 Today! Sign Up Age 7-9 Today!
Wizarding Camp - July 19-23

Ages: 5-6, 7-9
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Members $85, Non-Members $120

Calling young witches and wizards! Welcome to another term at the Idaho Botanical School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Play Quidditch and attend classes, from Care of Magical Creatures to Herbology. And, if you dare, follow the spiders to solve a Garden mystery. 

Sign Up Age 5-6 Today! Sign Up Age 7-9 Today!
Nature’s Tinkers and Thinkers Camp - July 26-30

Ages: 5-6, 7-9
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Members $85, Non-Members $120

Did you know that the engineer who invented Velcro got the idea after having to pull burrs from his dog’s fur? Humans are some of nature’s best tinkers and thinkers, and we get our most creative ideas from observing the world around us. This week, campers will be challenged to look to nature as an inspiration to solve problems, from creating a trap like a carnivorous plant to making a raft inspired by a coconut.

Sign Up Age 5-6 Today! Sign Up Age 7-9 Today!
Dirt Made My Lunch Camp - August 2-6

Ages: 4, 5-6
Camp time: 9a-noon
Price: Members $85, Non-Members $120

…And it tastes so good! See how human and animal food comes from dirt. Dig in the dirt, make seed tape, harvest vegetables, play games, and meet an earthworm.

Sign Up Age 4 Today! Sign Up Age 5-6 Today!

 

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.