University of Illinois Extension is offering free take-home kits. These kits are developed for children and provide teachers, parents, and caregivers an easy way to engage their children in meaningful learning experiences about the world around them. Four different kits will be offered each quarter.

The kits are developed by Extension professionals as well as Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteers. Each kit contains materials, complete instructions, and tips for engaging students in the activities.

To order your kits or to learn more, contact Wendy Ferguson, horticulture program coordinator. Drive-by pick up is available (safety guidelines permitting) at your local Extension office in Henderson, Knox, McDonough, and Warren counties. Quantities for the take-home kits are limited. 

Prior instructions and activities that you can do from home:

Anatomy of Insects

Learn the parts of an insect through this quick and fun craft project. For ages PreK - 3rd grade.

Fall Leaves

Collect leaves then discover their similarities and differences by making leaf rubbings. For ages PreK - 4th grade.

Nature Journaling

Explore and observe just like Lewis & Clark! Record what you see in your very own handmade nature journal. For all ages.

Pine Cone Magic

Have you ever really looked at a pine cone? Explore the parts of the pine cone and then conduct "experiments" to learn how water and air affect them. For ages PreK - 4th grade.

Snow & Ice

Snow piling up outside? Go and explore with this kit filled with cool experiments. Then warm up inside and make your own 3-D snowflake. For all ages.

Winter Birding

Learn what birds stay in your community during the winter by making an easy suet cake feeder. Hang it up and then document who visits. *Adult supervision is needed due to the use of a stove or microwave. For all ages.

Winter Sowing Greenhouse

Find out how to support Monarch butterflies by growing milkweed plants. Create your own mini-greenhouse out of a water bottle. For all ages.

Winter Tree Art

Learn the different tree shapes by making your own "winter wonderland" using collected sticks, glue, and paint. For ages PreK - 3rd grade.