Jr. Nature Explorers: ages 4-5

IMG_3444Join us for our 12th year of fun-filled outdoor adventures at Magnuson Park!  Each camp has a different theme, and all are designed to encourage curiosity and bonding with the natural world, and to develop big motor skills as well as dexterity.

Our mornings are spent enjoying hands-on nature exploration, songs, games, and nature crafts in the Magnuson Children’s Garden and other nearby park areas. Sign up for one camp or several! As always, the camp fee includes an official Jr. Nature Explorers bandana and plenty of snacking in our organic P-Patch! Campers should bring a nutritious lunch and a child-size water bottle.  Please view our Jr. Nature Explorers Camp Letter for all the details on camp location what to expect, what to bring to camp, and more!

2016update. JrNatureExplorersCampLetter


Visit our Registration page for details on how to sign up for camp.

Nature Educators: Emily Bishton and Magnuson Nature Docents

Location: Magnuson Brig/Hawthorne Hills Room

6344 NE 74th St.

Seattle, WA 98115

(download a map)

2016 Jr. Nature Explorers Camp Schedule:


I think there’s a worm party going on in there!

Wiggly World of Worms Camp

Mon. June 6th – Wed. June 8th 

9:30 am – 12:30 pm   

Fee: $105

SPARC camp code: #145297

The soil underneath our feet is an amazing world of worms and other soil creatures, just waiting to be discovered. Perhaps because children live closer to the ground than we adults, they absolutely love to explore and experience this wonderful world.  This 3-day camp is filled with adventures such as digging in the garden to search for earthworms and ground beetles, and exploring our worm bin which is home to red wigglers pillbugs, and millipedes. Children will harvest its rich compost and sprinkle it through our vegetable garden, carefully returning any stray worms back to the bin. They will add fresh bedding and leftover food scraps from our lunches to feed our worm friends, and examine the stumps in our “log pile” area for other decomposers at work!  Be aware that children will come home from this camp with extra amounts of dirt on their knees, matched by the giant smiles on their faces!



Plant parts nature sculptures!

Plant parts nature sculptures!

Plant Parts Party Camp 

Mon. June 13th – Wed. 15th 

9:30 am – 12:30 pm  

Fee: $105

SPARC camp code: #145293

Early summer is a time when plants are growing rapidly all over the Community Garden and nearby park areas. Every day brings new more lushness into easy view at each place we take a stroll!  In this 3-day camp, our activities will focus on discovering the important jobs that roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds do for every plant, and for us.  We’ll delight in harvesting and eating fresh “garden wraps” from our organic p-patch, and in planting new crops too, along including a brand new Sunflower House!  We’ll create nature journals, and nature crafts to take home such as root viewers, leaf prints, and more.  Songs, games, and other adventures in the world of plants will make this camp quite a party!


Pollinator Power Camp

Building a puddling pond!

Building a puddling pond for butterflies!

Mon. June 20th – Fri. June 24th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee: $159

SPARC camp code: #145295

Pollinators are the hardest working creatures in the garden, and on mid-summer days they are in abundance on the flowers and food crops in the Children’s Garden and P-Patch.  In this 5-day camp that coincides with National Pollinators Week, we’ll learn about bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, beetles, and other pollinators while practicing safe ways to watch them work, doing the “bee dance”, and singing plenty of pollinator songs! We’ll also plant pollinator crops, pick bouquets, examine the “pollinator evidence” in the nearby Demonstration Orchard, and sample the edible flowers and fruits in the garden.  For our grand finale, we’ll don our special hats and have a “pollinator parade”!


Wow- there's some amazing things swimming in this pond water sample!

Wow- there’s some amazing things swimming in this pond water sample!

Wonderful World of Water Camp

Monday July 5th – Friday July 8th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm   

Fee: $135

SPARC camp code: #145290


This 4-day camp is held when the heat of summer begins to take hold, which makes the world of water an even more inviting subject to explore and experience.  The Magnuson Wetlands Complex is typically still full from the spring rains, making our hike through its trails- including the new Shore Ponds area- a lively place for seeing frogs, dragonflies, songbirds and waterfowl! Children will learn about the water cycle and the value of clean water for all creatures through songs, dances, and games. They will build a “dam”, “creek” and “lake” to understand how a watershed works, and make sure all our thirsty garden plants get a good long drink.   This camp is sure to make a splash with all!


Build-a-bug day is something special!

Build-a-bug day is something special!

Beetles on Parade Camp

Mon. July 18th – Wed. July 20th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee: $105

SPARC camp code: #145291

During the sun-filled days of mid-summer, it’s easy for children to find a wide variety of delightful beetles “parading” around in the park. Besides being interesting to observe while feeding on wildflower nectar, Ladybugs, Soldier Beetles, and Ground Beetles also feast on the pest insects and slugs that would otherwise plague our garden plants! In this 3-day camp, we’ll go on “bug hunts”, learn the who/what/why of garden flowers that attract beneficial insects, and how to “bee safe” around all insects that have stingers.  Building beetle houses in the Children’s Garden and learning beetle games and songs will give them much to share when they return home from their adventures!


Playing "fill your bill" is a fun bird game!

Playing “fill your bill” is a fun bird game!

Winged Wonders Camp

Mon. August 1st – Wed. August 3rd

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee: $105

SPARC camp code: #145298

Magnuson Park is home to a wide variety of resident birds all year round, and in the summer the number of bird species increases greatly.  Four species of Swallows dart above the meadows and wetlands, Savannah Sparrows hop through the grasses, and Warblers sing from the treetops.  In this 3-day camp, we’ll take short hikes to the nearby grassy meadows and shady glens, have fun stretching our limbs to do the “swallow swoop”, “robin hop”, and “butterfly dip”. We’ll also explore the Community Garden perennial borders in search of Hummingbirds, Swallowtail Butterflies, Dragonflies, Bees and other pollinators, as well as the annual arrival of the Grasshoppers. Building birdbaths, puddling ponds, and dust bath bowls in the Children’s Garden will give them lasting landmarks that they can check on anytime in the future while visiting the park!


Our daily "Snack Walk" is delicious and nutritious!

Our daily “Snack Walk” is delicious and nutritious!


Roots, Shoots, Flowers, & Fruits Camp

Tues. Aug. 16th – Thurs. Aug. 18th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm 

Fee $105

SPARC camp code: #145296

Late summer is a time when hundreds of wildflowers and cultivated plants are ending their flowering time, and ripening their fruits and seeds. This 3-day camp will be a great time to explore and experience the entire plant cycle: from seed to plant and back to seed again. It’s also a wonderful time to gather wild blackberries and flower bouquets, harvest summer-ripened seeds to take home, plant seeds in our organic p-patch plot for fall crops, and much, much more!


Nature journals are part of every camp!

Nature journals are part of every camp!

Bugs You Want to Hug Camp

Mon. August 22nd – Wed. August 24th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Fee:  $105

SPARC camp code: #145289

So many cool insects live in the park, so we just had to add another bug-themed camp! In this camp, we’ll explore the Magnuson grasslands in search of grasshoppers and crickets, follow ant trails on the paths that wind through Community Garden, and search under stones to learn about their amazing colonies.  We’ll do life cycle play-acting and games, learn how strong and gentle bugs can be, and more! This camp is a great “sequel” to Beetles on Parade Camp, or a fun stand-alone camp experience. Children who attend this camp will also enjoy a special “garden harvest party” as a special way to wind up summer vacation, and to celebrate another fabulous Jr. Nature Explorers camp season!