Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KENAI: Refuge Hosts Little PEEPS Programs for Pre-school Explorers
Alaska Region, December 17, 2012
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During a lynx program participants made music shakers, and dancing to the
During a lynx program participants made music shakers, and dancing to the "Pink Panther" theme they crept up and pounced on a snowshoe hare. - Photo Credit: Kenai Staff

Since 2010 the Kenai Refuge has been facilitating Pre-school Environmental Education ProgramS (PEEPS) at our Environmental Education Center. These programs are held every third Thursday of the month (two identical sessions) for young explorers between the ages of 2-5 years old. Each program is based on an Alaska animal theme. Within that theme we include factual stories, active games, a snack, craft, and take home sheets. During the 1 hour program, participants are fully involved with lots of kinesthetic, audio, and visual learning. Connecting this age with nature is easy. Through their imagination, creativity, willingness, and openness, they absorb everything like a little sponge and the parents walk away with new knowledge as well. PEEPS also provides these children time to interact with others their age and work on critical age appropriate skill building such as coordination, fine/gross motor skills, cooperation, following directions, etc. We try to match our curriculum to the State of Alaska Early Learning Guidelines: A Resource for Parents and Early Educators. http://www.eed.state.ak.us/publications/EarlyLearningGuidelines.pdf. Our 2012 programs included: lynx, the weasel family, wolverines, geese & swans, otters, marine mammals, eagles, berries, squirrels, ravens & crows, coyotes & fox, and arctic animals. With three years and thirty-six different programs, we are now able to start recycling some of the older programs mixed in with some new ones for 2013 and can hopefully take some of these successful programs into daycares and pre-school facilities. If you work with pre-schoolers you know they never stop moving and we definitely find ourselves exhausted, but it is equally rewarding and each month we look forward to all of the smiling and excited faces. If you are interested in finding out more about Little PEEPS, how to create a similar program at your station, or curriculum ideas, don't hesitate to contact the Kenai Refuge's Education Specialist Michelle Ostrowski at 907-260-2839 or michelle_ostrowski@fws.gov.

Contact Info: Michelle Ostrowski, 907-260-2839, michelle_ostrowski@fws.gov
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