Week 6: Rough & Smooth

Recently, Chicago was blanketed in a sheet of smooth ice. As we patiently wait for spring, let’s imagine what we’ll see! Smooth leaves on flowering trees. Smooth rocks peeking through the melting snow. Smooth feathers of birds who are returning home. What is your favorite part of spring? What are you most excited for?


Week 7: Big & Small


Week 8: Hot & Cold


Week 9: Rough & Smooth


Week 1: Big & Small

Nature is full of big and small things! From the enormous ears of the Fennec Fox to the tiny toes of the Pied Tamarin, animals show off big and small traits all over the world. Giant Redwood trees tower over the west coast, while grains of sand blanket the Gulf of Mexico. Before LEAP this week, look around your home. What’s big and what’s small?


Week 2: Hot & Cold

Nature is beautiful no matter the temperature! From the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the sandy winds of the Sonoran Desert, plants and animals are built for all weather. Stop by the snow leopard exhibit this week and look for Taza’s amazing, fluffy tail. This tail helps him balance as he jumps from snowy ledges. Feeling like a trip to the desert? Visit the Fennec Fox in the Small Mammal Reptile House. Its sandy colored fur is the perfect camouflage. How do you stay warm? How do you cool down?


Week 3: Rough & Smooth

Touch is an amazing sense! Our fingers help us feel all different textures – bumpy turtle shells, slimy worms, glossy leaves, and rough rocks. Outside, we can find rough and smooth things wherever we look. Pay special attention to the animals in the Small Mammal Reptile House. Who has soft, smooth fur? Who has rough, bumpy scales?


Week 4: Big & Small

One of the most amazing sights in nature is the combination of tiny parts into a huge masterpiece. We’ve been blanketed in snow this week. The fluffy piles outside your door are made of microscopic snowflakes, each completely different from the others. Living in the Midwest, we understand the beauty of prairies - sprawling fields of individual plants, each made of stems, leaves, and flowers. Before LEAP this week, visit an evergreen tree. Take a step back then look up close. Can you see its needles?


Week 5: Hot & Cold

When you think of penguins what word comes to mind? Cold? Ice? Surprisingly, not all penguins are the same! Sometimes it’s too cold for the African Penguins to be out on exhibit. They’re used to the sunny, warm beaches of Africa. During the cold Chicago winters, they’ll spend time huddled in their cozy nest boxes. What do you like to do when it’s too cold outside?