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Explore Your World

What Is a Refugee?

Hundreds of refugees come to Oregon each year in hopes of finding a safe place to live. In fact, since 1975 Oregon has welcomed more than 60,000 refugees. Refugees came from all over the world, but most arriving in Oregon in recent years come from Ukraine, Somalia, Cuba, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Here are some incredible resources created for kids to introduce the stories, history, and experiences of refugees.

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Exploring Seasons: Summer

Long days, warm temps, and our beautiful outdoors...summertime in Oregon is pretty wonderful! Here are our ideas for getting out in your backyard and slightly beyond.

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Volcanoes

It's pretty incredible that we live in a region with volcanoes! Hike around the extinct lava dome at Scouters Mountain in Happy Valley or take a drive to the caves, fossilized trees, and slopes of Mt. St. Helens to see the geography of our history.

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Exploring Seasons: Spring

Yay, spring! After the cold, rainy months, the blue skies, warmer temps, and growing things sure do seem exciting. Have fun exploring this new season with your kiddo. Here are our ideas for having some springtime fun.

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Rocks and Minerals

Living in Oregon we are part of a rich geological history. Not all states can boast a state rock (hello, thunderegg!) along with federal lands that actually invite rock hunting. Here's our webliography of resources for learning more about rocks and minerals, along with a link to our catalog to find more books for exploring. Happy rock hunting!

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Celebrating Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is an important celebration in many cultures. Find out more about this history and traditions of this holiday through short videos, books, and a craft.

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STEAM at home

Kids are naturally curious, and they learn about the world through exploration and play. To that end, we've gathered together various ideas for at home STEAM activities that invite kids to explore, invent, and create! 

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Exploring Seasons: Winter

January and February can feel like such long, cold months, but there's joy and excitement in the season of winter! Here are some of our ideas for finding the fun in freezing cold. So wrap up in warm clothes and head outside to explore the wonderfully, often rainy, season of winter in Oregon! 

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Snowflakes!

What do you know about snow? If you're curious and you want to learn more, then you've come to the right place. I dug through the internet looking for some great snow science sites for kids, and here's the best of what I found!

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Dinosaurs!

Why do we find dinosaurs so fascinating? We love to learn their names, look at pictures of how we imagine they looked, and daydream about that time in the deep past when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

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Pumpkin Math

Have a few pumpkins around? Kids of all ages (and grownups) can flex their math muscles with some simple activities using pumpkins!

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Spiders!

What do you think about spiders? Are you intrigued by them? Scared of them? They may be much smaller than us, but spiders can cause quite a reaction from people. So let's look closely at this creature that shares out world, and see what we can learn.

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Exploring Seasons: Autumn

Each season brings a special opportunity to explore and discover the world around us. As someone who grew up in a place with mostly one season (ah, Louisiana, the land of muggy and hot, and muggier and hotter), the beautiful relief and joy of autumn is something to celebrate! Here are some of our suggestions for exploring the season with your kiddos.

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Trees!

Want to learn more about trees? It's easy to find information online, but it's hard to know what's worth your time. Here are some sites to enlighten, entertain, and amaze you!

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Germs!

Are germs and microbes the same thing? Is a microorganism alive? Can they be seen without a microscope? The world of microscopic creatures is all around us, hanging out in our gut, on doorknobs, in ponds...pretty much everywhere. Here's our guide to the world of microorganisms, including websites, databases, and search terms to use to find library books to dig deeper.

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Homemade Science Lab

Kids are natural scientists. As a grownup without much of a science background, it can be daunting to try an experiment at home, because I feel like I don't have the vocabulary or knowledge to answer my kids' questions. But, it really doesn't matter! Science is about discovery, questioning and exploring. Look for the answers together! And just enjoy the process. 

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Kiddie Pool Science

Have a kiddie pool (or a bathtub)? There's something magical about those 4-6 inches of water! Kids are content to splash and sit in water for a ridiculous amount of time. Here are some simple ideas to extend that play, that require just a little prep.

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Virtual Trip: Outer Space

It orbits around the Earth every 90 minutes and has for the last 20+ years! The International Space Station acts as a home, research facility and exploration tool for many countries. Here are some of resources to start your own adventure to the great unknown.

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Virtual Trip Adventures

With actual trips taking a bit of a hiatus, it's a great time to go on world travel from the comfort of your home. Grab a globe or a map, your imagination and your computer to craft an amazing adventure for your family. These resources are fantastic for planning your virtual trips.

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Flower Colors

With so many flowers blooming, now is a great time for some science exploration. Collect some various colors to see what colors (if any!) they produce. What can you do with the colored water?

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