Have you heard about the two special community engagement projects that were part of our Tacony Creek Park Master Plan? Four People of the Park signs have already been installed in Tacony Creek Park for you to enjoy and the Tacony Creek Park Explorer Kits are right around the corner!
With guidance from educator Karen Lefkovitz, we created English and Spanish Explorer kits to help you experience Tacony Creek Park in a whole new way. The kits were designed to be used anywhere in the park, during any season. They are filled with fun activities and tools designed to turn any child into a junior scientist.
To determine how effectively the kits encourage the kids to explore the outdoors, we have held some focus groups!
Our first focus group was held on May 13, 2023, with 10 students from Kencrest and their families, with 10 students from Kencrest and their families. The group met next to the stream near the Adams Avenue and Crescentville Road entrance to Tacony Creek Park for a wonderful morning of outdoor fun. The students had a fantastic time using the thermometers in the kit to see how cold the water was!
While the kids were playing with the chalk from their kit they also learned what happens when chalk gets wet. Did you know that dipping chalk in water, before you draw, helps make the colors brighter?
After they were done playing with the contents of the kit, the junior scientists sat down and began working through the explorer kit activity booklet. The booklet has fun activities that encourage kids to write down their findings for the day and learn about things such as the weather.
This kit is the first of four in the Explorer Kit series, with the theme being “Seeing Far.” This kit encourages children to use the provided cardboard tube as binoculars and test how far they can see!
The kit also comes with a fun self-guided activity booklet for kids!
A second focus group was held on July 8, 2023, for the “Seeing Close” kit. This kit encouraged children to use the provided magnifying glass to take a close look at the world around them. The families met at the Tabor Rd and Olney Ave gateway to Tacony Creek Park.
The students had an amazing time searching the park for things to view under their magnifying glasses. The activity booklet had a lot of fun hands-on activities that encouraged children to use the magnifying glass and colored pencils to draw various kinds of moss they spot. The booklet also teaches children what the veins of a leaf do!
The remaining kits in the Explorer Kits are designed around the themes of Sounds, and Looking through Water. We’re excited to continue working with the Indochinese American Council and the families of Kencrest Early Center to keep fostering the learning of these junior scientists.
Watch for information about how to get your kit! Questions? Contact Malcolm@ttfwatershed.org.
Thank you to the Indochinese American Council and Kencrest Early Learning Center for partnering with us to provide families with the Explorer Kits. This project is supported by the William Penn Foundation as part of the Tacony Creek Park Master Plan, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Scattergood Foundation, in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.