Mudpies is a structured program for children ages 3-5 that encourages exploration of nature and interaction between a child and their caregiver. Each week, a natural science topic is explored through crafts, outdoor exploration, songs, stories, hikes and more!

Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Forest

Looking for a unique setting in which to have fun with your child while learning about the natural world?

Mudpies is a structured program for children ages 3-5 that encourages exploration of nature and interaction between a child and their caregiver. Each week, a natural science theme is explored through crafts, outdoor exploration, songs, stories, hikes and more! Each session will feature a different craft or activity, along with storytime and a guided hike. Come discover the joy of sharing nature with your child!

This program is for children ages 3-5 accompanied by a caregiver.

When: Every Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Where: Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, Habitat Hollow, *New*  Mudpies Education Room (Lower Level)

Member price: $5 per child. Members must sign in to receive discount. Non-member price: $5 per child + daily admission for each accompanying adult(s).

Beginning January 2023:
Mudpies will be $7 per child for members and $7 per child + daily admission for accompanying adult(s) for non-members.

Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited to 15 students.

Registration is available by individual session – OR – you can also sign up for a full month of Mudpies at a time (a new feature this year)!   

Mudpies will run following the Bellevue Public Schools calendar and will not run during the summer.

Please see our most recent COVID-19 guidelines here

October Schedule

Tuesday, October 4

Theme: Spiders, Session 1

How do spiders make a web? Discover how spiders are different than insects and how they make their homes!

Thursday, October 6

Theme: Spiders, Session 2

Come learn about spider webs and all the different ways they engineer homes and traps with their silk!

Tuesday, October 11

Theme: Leaves & colors, Session 1

What happens when fall rolls around? What are some signs that summer is ending and fall is here? Come learn about the changing seasons!

Thursday, October 13

Theme: Leaves & colors, Session 2

Learn about fall leaves and why they change colors as we examine the changing seasons!

Tuesday, October 18

Theme: Hawks, Session 1

What makes hawks different from songbirds? Come learn about all the features that make these birds special!

Thursday, October 20

Theme: Hawks, Session 2

How do hawks survive the winter? Discover how hawks migrate and how far they go!

Tuesday, October 25

Theme: Echolocation, Session 1

Do bats turn into vampires? Or drink blood? Come discover something new about bats and learn about their 6th sense – echolocation!

Thursday, October 27

Theme: Echolocation, Session 2

How do bats find their food in the dark? Or avoid crashing into trees? Come learn about echolocation and the other senses these animals have!

Register for October Classes


November Schedule

Tuesday, November 1

Theme: Halloween

Feeling spooky? Come learn about bats, spiders, snakes, and more during some Halloween-themed myth-busting!

Thursday, November 3

Theme: Woodpeckers

Investigate these winged engineers that make the Forest trees their home! Come learn about woodpecker nests and how they’re made!

Tuesday, November 8

Theme: Enthusiastic Eaters, Session 1

From storing nuts in a tree, caching food under bark, to eating more to fatten up, we’ll learn about all the different ways that animals get ready for winter!

Thursday, November 10

Theme: Enthusiastic Eaters, Session 2

Come learn about nuthatches, squirrels, gophers, and more animals that fatten themselves up or store food for winter!

Tuesday, November 15

Theme: Bullsnakes, Session 1

Come learn what makes up a snake, from their tongues to the tips of their tails!

Thursday, November 17

Theme: Bullsnakes, Session 2

Join us as we learn about the largest snake in Nebraska and meet the Forest’s resident bullsnake!

Tuesday, November 22

Theme: Turkeys

Learn about the largest (and noisiest!) bird at Fontenelle Forest just in time for turkey day!

Thursday, November 24

No Class


Tuesday, November 29

Theme: Sense of Smell, Session 1

How do turkey vultures find the carrion that they eat? With their nose, of course! Come learn about nature’s scavengers and their strongest sense!

Thursday, December 1

Theme: Sense of Smell, Session 2

Come explore turkey vultures. Meet a resident turkey vulture and learn about their (usually) smelly adaptations!

Register for November Classes


December Schedule

Tuesday, December 6

Theme: Squirrels, Session 1

Explore some of the most unexpected engineers of the animal kingdom – squirrels! Come learn how they engineer their homes!

Thursday, December 8

Theme: Squirrels, Session 2

Discover something new about the fluffy critters you find in your backyard! Learn about how squirrels engineer the ecosystems they live in!

Tuesday, December 13

Theme: Animal Coverings, Session 1

Fur, feathers, and scales, oh my! Come learn about animal coverings and how they help animals survive!  

Thursday, December 15

Theme: Animal Coverings, Session 2

Why don’t fish have fur? Why don’t foxes need scales? Does a frog need feathers? Learn about animal coverings and how they help animals adapt to their environment!

Tuesday, December 20

Theme: Happy Holidays!

Come learn about the shortest day of the year and other exciting holiday celebrations around the world!

Register for December Classes

January Schedule

Tuesday, January 10

Theme: Nocturnal Animals, Session 1

Whoooo can see in the dark? Join us for a lesson on the night vision of Fontenelle Forests’ nocturnal animals!

Thursday, January 12

Theme: Nocturnal Animals, Session 2

Why does a fox have large ears? Why does a barn owl have a heart-shaped face? Come learn about nocturnal animals with amazing hearing!

Tuesday, January 17

Theme: Astronomy, Session 1

Is there really a man on the moon? Why does the moon change shape throughout the month? Is the moon really made of cheese? Join us for a lesson on Earth’s moon!

Thursday, January 19

Theme: Astronomy, Session 2

When you look up at the night sky, what do you see? Come learn about stars, planets, meteors, and more as we talk about astronomy!

Tuesday, January 24

Theme: Camouflage, Session 1

Now you see me, now you don’t! Come learn about how and why different animals camouflage themselves.

Thursday, January 26

Theme: Camouflage, Session 2

Can you find animals hidden in the Forest? Will animals use camouflage on things other than their bodies? Come learn about camouflaged nests, eggs, babies, and more!

Tuesday, January 31

Theme: Falcons, Session 1

What’s the fastest animal on earth; a cheetah, a pronghorn, or a peregrine falcon? A falcon, of course! Come learn about the fastest animal on earth and how they move so quickly!

Thursday, February 2

Theme: Falcons, Session 2

Do falcons eat with forks and knives? Do they shop for food at a grocery store? Join us for a lesson on the 4 Sharps that make falcons such good hunters!

Register for January Classes


February Schedule

Tuesday, February 7

Theme: Animal Defenses, Session 1

How do we protect ourselves when we’re having fun? Do you have scales to keep you safe, or do you put on a helmet and knee pads? Join us for a lesson about how animals keep themselves safe!

Thursday, February 9

Theme: Animal Defenses, Session 2

Have you heard of playing possum? Come learn about why opossums will play dead and other animals that defend themselves in unique ways!

Tuesday, February 14

Theme: Valentine’s Day, Session 1

Happy Valentine’s Day! Join us as we make nature-themed valentines and go on a heart hike! Get crafty and make an extra Valentine for a senior attending the Seniors Understanding Nature program!

Thursday, February 16

Theme: Valentine’s Day, Session 2

Do male and female birds look the same? Come explore different bird colors and how they might help the birds here in the Forest!

Tuesday, February 21

Theme: Rivers, Session 1

Explore the Missouri River as we discuss what lives in the river! Learn about how the animals in Fontenelle Forest use the river!

Thursday, February 23

Theme: Rivers, Session 2

Join us for a lesson the rivers and creeks in Fontenelle Forest! We’ll talk about how they affect the Forest and the animals that live here!

Tuesday, February 28

Theme: Foxes, Session 1

Do foxes bark? Or howl at the moon? What does the fox say? Come learn about how foxes compare to other members of the dog family.

Thursday, March 2

Theme: Foxes, Session 2

When do we see foxes? Do they sleep at night? Where do they find food? Join us for a lesson on foxes in the forest!

Register for February Classes


March Schedule

Tuesday, March 7

Theme: Opossums, Session 1

Do possums jump like a kangaroo? Or climb trees like a koala? Soar like a sugar glider? Explore North America’s only marsupial with us!

Thursday, March 9

Theme: Opossums, Session 2

Pest or pal? What makes an opossum tick? Come learn about these misunderstood critters and how they might be beneficial to you and our environment.

Tuesday, March 21

Theme: Spring, Session 1

The snow is melting, birds are singing, and you might even see some green on the Forest floor! Come look for signs of spring with us!

Thursday, March 23

Theme: Spring, Session 2

What weather do you expect with spring? Rain showers, of course! Come learn about spring showers and rainbows!

Tuesday, March 28

Theme: Baby Animals, Session 1

Are baby deer born with antlers? Do birds hatch with feathers? Join us for a lesson on animal babies that look like their parents!

Thursday, March 30

Theme: Baby Animals, Session 2

Do frogs hatch with legs? Do butterflies start their lives with wings? Come learn about animal babies that look very different from their parents!

Register for March Classes


April Schedule

Tuesday, April 4

Theme: Rabbits, Session 1

Why do rabbits hop instead of walk? Why are their ears so big? How can they wiggles their noses so easily? Join us as we learn about what makes rabbits unique!

Thursday, April 6

Theme: Rabbits, Session 2

How do rabbits find food in the Forest? Are rabbits wild animals or pets? Where do rabbits sleep at night? Find the answers to the questions and more at Mudpies!

Tuesday, April 11

Theme: Trees, Session 1

Come explore trees from the inside-out! Today we’ll learn about what lies beneath the bark of a tree and the critters that make their homes there!

Thursday, April 13

Theme: Trees, Session 2

Come learn about nuthatches, squirrels, gophers, and more animals that fatten themselves up or store food for winter!

Tuesday, April 18

Theme: Earth Day, Session 1

Come celebrate Earth Day at the Forest! We’ll talk about Earth Day and how YOU can help save the earth!

Thursday, April 20

Theme: Earth Day, Session 2

How do we help save the earth at Fontenelle Forest? Come learn about land stewardship and how we take care of the land here at the Forest!

Tuesday, April 25

Theme: Eyesight, Session 1

What can eyeballs tell you about what an animal likes to eat? Join us as we explore the eyesight between predator and prey animals!

Thursday, April 27

Theme: Eyesight, Session 2

Do all animals see they same as us? Join us as we see through various animals’ eyes and explore animal vision, from insects to owls!

Register for April Classes


May Schedule

Tuesday, May 2

Theme: Wildflowers, Session 1

Where do plants come from? How do they start their life cycle? Come learn about wildflowers and their seeds, as well as the pollinators that help them survive!

Thursday, May 4

Theme: Wildflowers, Session 2

Join us for a flower dissection and learn about the parts of wildflowers! From roots to flower, we’ll discuss flower parts and the pollinators that love them!

Tuesday, May 9 

Theme: Snails, Session 1

From storing nuts in a tree, caching food under bark, to eating more to fatten up, we’ll learn about all the different ways that animals get ready for winter!

Thursday, May 11

Theme: Snails, Session 2

Where do snails live? What do they eat? Where do we find them in the Forest? Explore snails in the Forest with us today!

Tuesday, May 16

Theme: Fungus, Session 1

Is a fungus the same thing as a mushroom? Are they plants? Animals? Something in between? Come join us as we learn about the fantastic world of fungus!

Thursday, May 18

Theme: Fungus, Session 2

Where do you find fungus? We’ll look for mushrooms, fungus, and more and talk about their role in the Forest!

Tuesday, May 23

Theme: Happy Summer!

Come join us for our summer sendoff! We’ll have an end-of-the-year party, make mud pies, and enjoy the beautiful summer weather together!

Register for May Classes

QUESTIONS? CALL 402-731-3140.


Fontenelle Forest is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit.

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