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Inspired by nature, take home kits provide learning experience for youth

Do your kids complain about being bored? Would you rather they not spend all their time on devices? University of Illinois Extension provides take home kits which inspire children to learn about the world around them through hands on activities.

Created by Extension professionals as well as Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteers, each kit contains materials, complete instructions, and tips for engaging children ages pre-school through eighth grade in the activities. The new kits, as well as all past lessons for prior kits, can be found online.

Wendy Ferguson, horticulture program coordinator said, “The take home kits provide fun and easy activities for children of all ages, and we have been thrilled to be able to offer so many kids a new way to explore the natural world and gardening.”

The new kits offered this quarter are:

  • Beginning Hydroponics: (for all ages) Growing without soil? Learn about hydroponic gardening and then set up your own system to start bean seeds.
  • Marvelous Mammals: (for Kindergarten to 8th grade) Learn what makes a mammal different from other animals. Create your own mammal out of provided supplies and then name it and write a story about where it lives and what it eats.

Order your kits online today. Pick up is available at the Extension offices in Galesburg, Macomb, Monmouth, and Stronghurst. Quantities for the free take home kits are limited.

The saying “all good things must come to an end” holds true after the supply runs out for the spring kits. The program will be transitioning to better serve the community.

“The support and feedback we have had over the past two years makes it hard to bring this form of the program to an end, but with the ability to return to in-person activities an update needed to be made. Future take home kits will be available only as in person programming, but all of the lesson plans and supply lists will be available as a free download.”

To learn more, contact Wendy Ferguson, horticulture program coordinator.

SOURCE: Wendy Ferguson, Horticulture Program Coordinator, Illinois Extension
ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.