Activities and Lesson Plans

Download our printable activity materials to learn more about plants, nature, and everything in between.

If you are interested in digging a little deeper into nature with your kids,  we’ve got just the thing!  Whether it’s at home with the family, in the classroom with your students, or during a visit to the Conservatory, we’ve developed games, activities, and lesson plans that are sure to be favorites for kids of all ages.

Activities and lesson plans are made possible in part from a grant from PNC Bank.

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@ Home

These seasonally themed, nature-based activity downloads help families explore nature together, and are great for using anywhere, no backyard necessary.

New! Enjoy these resources from our Winter Wonderland activity book! All are available as accessible PDFs.

Winter Color Safari

Snow Paint

Snow Dough

Pine Cone Feeders

Nature Walk

Maple Taffy

Evergreen Exploration

Cold Weather Bubbles

Leaf Rainbow Tinkerlab

Chicago Leaf Guide (to use with the Tinkerlab)

Mushroom Guide Book

White Crowned Sparrow Coloring Comic

Tree Bark Rubbings Activity
Ages 3 and up

Leaf Marker Rubbings
Ages 18 months to 3 years

Chicago Squirrel Coloring Page

Playdough Impressions Sensory Bin
Ages 18 months and up

Playdough Recipe

Sidewalk Chalk: Recipe and Activities
All ages

Bromeliad Babies Game
Have fun pretending to be a rainforest frog in this obstacle course game! Ages 4-13

Plant Pigment Paint
Ages 3-5

Honey Bee Coloring Page

Nature Games: Younger Kids
Ages 2-5

Nature Games: Older Kids
Ages 5-12

Sink or Float Sensory Bin
All ages

Signs of Spring Stroll
All ages

Nature Mandalas
Ages 2 and up

Coloring Pages for All Ages
Illustrated by Nature Education Teacher, Jam Doughty
1. Fern Room Coloring Page
2. Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet)
3. Nasturtiums
4. Sarracenia purpurea (Purple Pitcher Plant)
5. Spiral Ginger
6. Vanilla planifolia
7. Amorphophallus bulbifera (Devil’s Tongue)
8. Download all of the plant coloring pages as one PDF here.

@ the Conservatory

Help your kids connect with our plants at the Conservatory with our  hands-on activities.

Scavenger Hunts
Check out our whole page full of scavenger hunts to print and use at the Conservatory! If you are coming on a field trip, many of these are already printed and laminated for schools to use.

H#shtags, H@ndles & Plants – Oh my!
Suggested Grades: 4-8
NGSS 4-LS1-1

What’s in a Name? A lesson in scientific and common names!
Suggested Grades: 2-4
NGSS 2-LS4-1

Around the World in Seven Greenhouses-a geography activity!
Suggested Grades: 2-8
NGSS 2-LS4-1
NGSS 3-LS4-3&4
NGSS 4-LS1-2

Plant Coordination-a graphing adventure!
Suggested Grades: 5-12
CCSS Math.Content.5.G.A.1
CCSS Math.Content.6.NS.C.6
CCSS Math.Content.7.NS.A.1
CCSS Math.Content.8.F.A.1
CCSS Math.Contenct.HSA.CED.A.1
CCSS Math.Content.HSF.LE.A.2