At Home with Gumbo Limbo

At Gumbo Limbo we love our sea turtles, but we also love other animals just as much.  Gumbo Limbo education team has created fun and educational activities for your kids and the family to do together in your own backyard and home.  Visit our Virtual Program page for more at-home fun!

 

Amazing Arthropods

What is an arthropod? Download our activities for kids ages 3-12 and find out! Arthropods make up about 80% of all animal species. I will give you a hint... beetles are the largest group of arthropods. The word arthropod translates from Greek, meaning joint-legged.


Decomposers and Scavengers

Decomposers and scavengers are some of the least understood and most important organisms in any ecosystem. Without scavengers like crabs and vultures to eat the dead plants and animals, the world would be a very stinky place! And without decomposers like worms and mushrooms, soil would not contain nutrients necessary to help plants to grow. Learn some fun facts and enjoy our activities, stories, and worksheets as you learn more about natures recycling!


Marine Mammals

We have learned about land mammals, but we think some the coolest mammals might be found in the ocean! Did you know that Florida has a State Marine Mammal? It is the endangered manatee. The manatee has all the characteristics that make it a mammal, and in addition, it spends its entire life in the water, from the time it is born (remember mammals give live birth)! In Florida, we are lucky to have not only manatees, but also whales and dolphins, which also live entirely in the water. Some marine mammals, like seals and sea otters, spend some of their time on land, as well.


Dragonflies

This time of year, it is not unusual to see tons of dragonflies in search of tasty mosquitoes to eat. Go dragonflies!!! Dragonflies are amazing hunters, even better than lions or alligators! Read on to learn more about the life of a dragonfly, enjoy a story or a craft, or find a place where you can see them up close in nature. We have put together a great dragonfly adventure just for you!


Weather

This week’s topic is weather! It affects us all, including all the plants and animals that live here in Florida. Lightning, rain, wind, and sun make a difference in our everyday lives. If there is not enough rain, plants will dry up. If there is not enough sun, they cannot make as much food. Read on and learn more about weather and the water cycle as you enjoy our weather activities!


Raccoons

I know you have seen them in the parks, these adorable masked bandits munching on tidbits left over from pizza parties and cookouts from trash cans, even in broad daylight! But wait, aren’t raccoons supposed to be nocturnal? You know, sleeping during the day and coming out at night? Well, let us tell you a thing or two about nocturnal animals. They hunt at night because that is usually when their prey (food) is easiest to find. Among other things, raccoons eat lots of insects, and most insects are active at night. However, with the invention of leftovers (human’s contribution to the park environment), raccoons have discovered that it is beneficial to forage (hunt) for food during the day. So when raccoons wander around Gumbo Limbo (or even your neighborhood) during the day, they are probably just hungry for an easy meal. Learn more about these neighborly critters as you enjoy our newest theme, raccoons!


Sea Turtles

We hope you have been enjoying learning about nature with us through our weekly wildlife activities! Next up, Sea Turtles! If you have ever been to Gumbo Limbo, you know that these animals are very special to us. We want them to be special to you, too. Most sea turtle species are endangered, for them to survive, we must protect them and the oceans they live in. How can you help to protect sea turtles? How about picking up trash on the beach? Or adopting a sea turtle at Gumbo Limbo? Our website has lots of information about helping sea turtles. And these activities will help you to learn and have fun with sea turtles!


Lizards

Lizards are among the most commonly seen animals during the hot Florida summer. As you learn about them from our crafts and activities, make sure to spend some time observing them around your house. Look around outdoor lighting at night for creamy colored geckos, or around rocks and patio edges for burrowing curly tails during the day. Whether you have curly tails, anoles, iguanas, or geckos, day or night, you should be able to watch them chasing down ants and beetles, helping to keep the insect population in check! Yay!


Sharks

Here at Gumbo Limbo, we understand that each and every animal plays an important role in the balance of nature. Sharks are amazing and complex animals that keep the balance in our oceans. Our activities and fact sheets will help you to understand and appreciate them in new ways!


Gopher Tortoises

Tortoises are a special kind of turtle that live on land! Gopher tortoises live in Florida and other southern states, but they are in danger. The dry sandy land they like to dig and make burrows in is disappearing as more and more people move south. Gopher Tortoises are called a keystone species because so many other animals depend on their cool deep burrows for protection. Without gopher tortoises digging burrows, animals like the gopher frog, the gopher cricket and the Florida mouse would have trouble finding protection from hunters or from wildfires. Gumbo Limbo would like you to learn about these lovable reptiles!

Gopher_Tortoise_Coloring


Spiders and Other Arachnids

Here at Gumbo Limbo, we love our arachnid friends, meaning spiders and their 8-legged cousins! Not only do spiders spin beautifully artistic webs, but they control the mosquito and other insect population so we can enjoy walking in the butterfly garden and along the boardwalk without being eaten alive! Learn more about spiders and scorpions with this week’s At Home with Gumbo Limbo activities. We can’t wait until you can come back to visit us, but in the meantime, love nature and have fun!


Bees

Be kind to bees! Did you know that without bees, our grocery shelves would be a lot emptier than they even are now? Bees and other pollinators are necessary for most plants to reproduce. Come and learn about our fuzzy friends with Gumbo Limbo’s educators. We have put together some fun and educational activities for YOU!


Sea Shells

Sea shells are the hard, protective outer layer created by animals that live in the ocean. Most of the shells you'll find on the beach come from marine mollusks. Learn a bit more about these protective marine animal homes with us!


Beach and Dune

Important habitats of Boca Raton's barrier island are the beach and dunes. Animals such as birds, crabs, and especially sea turtles rely on these habitats for their food, shelter, and nesting. Learn more about our beaches and dunes with these educational and fun activities!


Hammock Forest

The next Florida habitat we're learning about is the hammock forest! See how many different animals you can find within these expansive local habitats.


Coral Reef

We love to learn about the different habitats in and around Florida. First up: Coral Reef Habitats!


Fish

Here at Gumbo Limbo, we love all the beautiful fish that live in our ocean! Did you know you can learn more about the fish right here in South Florida every Friday for #FishFriday on our social channels? In the meantime, here are some fun and educational activities about fish to do at home!


Plants

How does your garden grow? Don’t have a garden? That’s okay; you can still learn all about plants! When it comes to plants, there are so many colors, shapes, and sizes. If you don’t have a favorite plant now, you will after these fun activities.

Storytime Flower


Life Cycles


Mammals

There have been many sightings of wild furry animals roaming neighborhoods as people are sheltering in place. Have you spotted any of these animals in your area: Foxes, coyotes, or skunks?

Circle the Mammals Activity

 


Insects

There is a pretty busy world going on at the micro-level. Take an opportunity to look a little closer at the mini beasts that roam your yard and look for the beautiful bugs that call your neighborhood home!

Insect Matching Activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Birds

Right now is a great time to listen to the many bird songs that are floating through your neighborhood. How many different birds can you spot? How many different bird songs do you hear?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Reptiles

How many reptiles can you name that are right in your own yard?