Build a Better World

by Debbie Hadley on January 6, 2017

Librarians, are you looking for children’s programs to fit the 2017 summer reading program? Here are some recommendations to complement the “Build a Better World” theme. Prices listed here are for 2017 only.

Build a Potato-Powered Light (NEW!)

We’ll learn how batteries work, and then make a potato battery to power an LED light. Kids will take home a kit and the know how to make their own potato-powered light at home.
$160 + travel fee where applicable. Grades 3 & up. 20 children max.

Seed Ball Making (NEW!)

Plant a garden you can throw! We’ll roll our own seed balls from clay and compost. Take them home and toss them to plant wildflowers for birds and butterflies.
$160 + travel fee where applicable. Grades 1 & up. 20 children max.

Build a Birdhouse

We’ll build a wooden nesting box suitable for wrens, chickadees, and other small songbirds. Each child takes home a finished birdhouse to hang in his or her yard.
$300 + travel fee where applicable. Grades 3 & up. 15 children max.


Recycle junk mail and make your own paper. Add seeds to the mix and you can plant your paper in spring!
$100 + travel fee where applicable. Grades 1 & up. 20 children max.

Ink from Acorns

Okay, not really acorns – we’ll use tannin-rich tea leaves instead. Learn why the Pine Barrens are the perfect place for making natural ink, and make a vial of natural ink to bring home.
$120 + travel fee where applicable. Grades 3 & up. 20 children max.


July 2016 Nature Programs

July 3, 2016

Interested in registering your child for an upcoming WILD Jersey program? Please contact the host library for more information! Gyotaku Fish Printing – Wednesday, July 6th at 6:30 pm – Lacey Branch, Ocean County Library Papermaking – Thursday, July 7th at 3:00 pm – Manalapan Branch, Monmouth County Library Making Tracks  – Tuesday, July 12th at […]

Read the full article →

Citizen Science, Circa 1884

April 26, 2014

While looking for an obituary for one of my ancestors, I came across this post in the New York Herald, dated February 15, 1884. How about that? A citizen science project! Perhaps this was the predecessor of Cornell University’s Great Backyard Bird Count, a successful volunteer-driven research project. Apparently, observing birds was an activity unsuited […]

Read the full article →

Summer Science Programs for Kids at the Ocean County Library

July 11, 2012

Kids can join me for several hands-on science programs at the Ocean County Library this summer. These programs are free and open to the public, but do require pre-registration, so enroll your child now! Here’s the schedule of WILD Jersey programs: Gyotaku Fish Printing Manchester Branch Monday, July 23rd at 10:30 am Children ages 8-13 […]

Read the full article →

Do You Speak Frog?

July 4, 2012

I just returned from my 9th Earthwatch expedition, Puerto Rico’s Rainforest. If you like mud, this is the expedition for you. For the first few days of the trip, we worked with herpetologist Norman Greenhawk, who taught us quite a bit about the different species of coquí frogs. Anyone who has visited Puerto Rico is […]

Read the full article →

Make Ink from Acorns at the Barnegat Bay Festival

May 27, 2012

Kids can attend a free WILD Jersey program on Sunday, June 3rd at the 15th Annual Barnegat Bay Festival in Island Heights, NJ. We’ll be making tannin ink, which is traditionally made from galls. I’ll show kids how to get tannic acid out of acorns, and then we’ll mix it with a magic ingredient to […]

Read the full article →

Kids Can Make Lenape Coil Pots at the Ocean County Library This Summer

August 1, 2011

WILD Jersey is bringing a new program to several branches of the Ocean County Library this summer. There’s still time to register your child for the Lenape Coil Pots program. Children will learn how the Lenape, NJ’s indigenous people, lived long ago. We’ll talk about what the Lenape ate, how they made their clothes and […]

Read the full article →

Don’t Mow the Violets

April 21, 2011

I’m surrounded by suspiciously green carpets of turfgrass. There’s probably nothing worse for wildlife than a weed-free, well-fertilized yard of turfgrass. Most of my neighbors probably cringe at the sight of my yard, with its sprawling patch of weeds. I don’t care. From an insect’s perspective, my “lawn” is paradise. Bees are already foraging on […]

Read the full article →

Finally, a New WILD Jersey Website!

April 15, 2011

If you can read this, it means I’ve finally finished a project that’s been on my to do list for way too long. I’ve been itching to redesign my website for the past several years, but as they say, life kept getting in the way. I’m happy to cross this off my list, at last. […]

Read the full article →

Why Birds Fly in “V” Formation

November 15, 2010

Scientists believe the “v” formation gives large birds an aerodynamic advantage that helps them conserve energy. French researchers measured the heart rates of great white pelicans, and found their heart rates slowed when flying in this formation. They were also able to glide more often. The birds can flap their wings in unison, and draft […]

Read the full article →