These programs have been designed to focus on a combination of learning and fun for kids. They work for summer camps, home school, and other groups where learning a specific topic or skill is the major focus. The programs are designed to be flexible with the ability to adjust the focus of the class.
Each program below includes a brief description as well as the subject it covers and the ages of kids who will most enjoy it. Classes are not meant to be a one size fits all so if you want to do it for a age group outside of the recommendation let us know so adjustments can be made. Also if you don’t see a class that you are looking for check out some of the other class pages or head over to the request a program page to request something totally new!
Designed By Nature/Nature STEM (Biomimicry Engineering): Learn how scientists and engineers study nature to find solutions to fix the problems we face in this STEM camp. We will investigate how to build a better marshmallow launcher by studying how different projectiles found in nature. Then put your problem solving skills and creativity to the test to find a solution to a variety of challenges like earthquake proofing buildings, designing prosthetic limbs, and more! Ages 7 and up.
Birding STEAM: Learn about our feathery friends and the science of studying them through any of the mini lessons that cover a wide variety of STEM topics everything from engineering to technology. Potential mini lessons include Birding & Binoculars,Camouflage & Bird Blinds, Bird Feeder Engineering, Physics of Flight, and Bird Study. Ages 4 – 12.
Math Outdoors: Use the outdoors to help teach basic math like addition, subtraction, and fractions plus more! Offers a wide variety of activities and games that can incorporate other subjects and topics into the learning. Ages 3 – 10.
Outdoor Survival: Your kid will learn skills through fun games and activities that will help them learn what to do in a survival situation. Kids will leave knowing the rules of three, how to signal and look for help, shelter engineering, fire science and safety, how to collect and treat water, and basic orienteering skills. Ages 7 and up.
Snow Day STEAM: Join an EcoElsa educator for a three hour “snow day” full of activities that will get your kids outdoors learning, being active, and having fun! Some activities we may do depending on the weather and snow include snowman relay race, build a better snowball launcher, snow fort engineering, snow poetry, snow science discovery, snowflake art, and snow nature art! Many of these activities are fun things your kids will be able to continue to do at home all winter long! Best for ages 7 and up.
Wildlife & Ecosystems
Adaptive Animals: The name of the game is survival, literally! Learn the different ways animals adapt to survive predators, pursue prey, and out compete the competition. Ages 5 – 12.
Animal Superheroes: Animals have all kinds of special abilities that help them survive as predators and prey. Tons of fun activities and games to pick from that help kids learn about different animal’s superpowers that help them survive. Mini lessons to pick from include Speed, Strength, Flight, Pollinator Powers, Vision, and Camouflage. Ages 5 – 12.
Aquatic Ecosystem: Learn about the aquatic ecosystem found in ponds through an exploration activity plus opportunities to add on a game or additional activity. It’s okay if you don’t have a pond by you we can bring our own! Ages 8 and up.
Biologist Explorer: Join EcoElsa to learn how to conduct different animal surveys and experiments. Kids will learn how to observe different animals and collect data about them and their habitats as well as how to report that data as a “citizen scientist.” Class will include getting to interact with a wide variety of plants and small wildlife like insects, amphibians, snakes, and or birds as well as using different scientist tools to do their research and exploring. Ages 7 and up!
Invasive Species: Kids will learn all about common invasive species found in Minnesota, how and why they got here and things we can do to help manage them and use them for. They will do this through a combination of games, exploring, and getting to remove some of the invasive species in the park. Make sure kids dress for the weather wearing closed toed shoes and preferably long pants tucked into socks or shoes as all of the class will be spent outdoors and in some cases off trail! Ages 7 and up.
Night Hike: Join EcoElsa on a night hike to learn about and listen to the creatures that call Minnesota home. Participants will get to do owl calls, play night games, and more! Program may also include some astronomy and other night activities not related to wildlife depending on the time of the year, weather, and the group’s request. Ages 5 and up.
The Tracking Games: Form teams and compete in a series of games and activities to help you learn and develop different tracking skills. As well as learn about the more common animal’s and their signs that you can come across outdoors. Best for kids ages 8 and up has specific habitat requirement.
Reading & Writing
Naturalist Explorer: Join a naturalist from EcoElsa to learn about Nature through journaling by following in the footsteps of many OG Naturalists like Jane Goodall, John James Audubon, and Rachel Carson or Nature Writers like Sigurd F. Olson and Aldo Leopold. This class is a combination of scientific & creative writing as well as exploration and hands on activities. The perfect class for young scientists and authors alike you will leave with a brand-new Nature Journal and a list of exploration prompts for future science and writing exploration! Ages 7 and up.
Native American Games: Learn how Native American children historically learned different life skills through games. As well as learn some of the history of the Dakota and Ojibwe people of Minnesota along the way. Ages 5 and up.
Plant Uses: Join EcoElsa to learn the ways people have used plants throughout history. This class is a combination of biology, science, and history with an emphasis on how to respectfully learn about and from different cultures. We will be covering mostly Indigenous Nations and Europeans while touching on other groups; and how they have used plants for food, medicine, building materials, and for cultural activities throughout history. Kids will get to do a wide variety of activities and games that keep them engaged in the content they are learning. They also will be making some creations and will be able to take them home. Ages 7 and up.
Arts & Crafts
Nature Art & Science: Kids will learn about art mediums through nature and how it connects to different science principles through our activities. Depending on the weather some of the activities we may do are making sustainable nature sculptures, paint & dye color science, fiber weaving, clay creations, animal footprints, primitive art techniques, and more! Kids will benefit from being able to creatively express themselves while also learning about art, science, and history. A mixture of indoor and outdoor activities so make sure to dress for the weather and wear closed toed shoes and long pants! Kids will be able to take home most of their creations. Ages 6 and up.
Service Learning Project Facilitation
Service learning projects are a great way for kids to learn while doing something that helps improve their community and the habitat around them. This is for sure multi session classes to help kids pick a topic, plan a solution, and carry it out. As well as helping with applying for grants or other paperwork that needs to be done. Some of the typical projects include pollinator gardens, rain gardens, and improving habitats for wildlife. If you are looking for more information about Service Learning Project Facilitation check out it’s page. Ages 5 and up but best for 4th through 12th grade.