Nebraska Project WILD


An Experiential Guide to Getting the Kiddos Outside During a Prairie Winter January 9, 2015

Filed under: January Prairie,Nebraska winters — projectwild @ 5:44 PM

A Case Study…Of Sorts

The following is  a pictorial, and very scientific description, of what it takes to get two child test subjects to participate in the happenings of the outdoors during a prairie winter in the 21st century.

Date: January 9th, 2015

Weather: 8 Degrees (feels like -10) with winds WNW at 16 mph.  But so sunny you get snow blind until your eyes adjust.

Time: 12:01 PM

Test subject one: Eight- year old male second grader. He loves Legos and is generally up for anything if presented in the right way .

This is his reaction when told we are going outside.


This is him geared up.


Test subject two: Fourteen year old male ninth grader.  He has a new found love of all things electronic media and doesn’t like the sound of anything until made to do it eventually realizing that it was actually a good time.

This is his reaction when told we are going outside.


This is him trying to get geared up.  Even big boys still need help getting the boots on.  So it seems.


Immediately both test subjects begin to explore and free play without help, instructions or whining.

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Test Subject One explaining to me in very clear and certain detail how to load ‘food blocks’ without breaking them.  Then hauling said ‘food blocks’ and inevitably crashing and burning.  There was giggling involved.

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While Test Subject One was lying face down in the the snow he says brilliantly, “You know how the pollution from the fields runs into the creek and you can see rainbows?  Well if you unfocus your eyes in the snow you can see rainbows too.”

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Test Subject Two notices many dead bees around the bee hives which prompts a quick bee lesson.

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All in all test subjects spent an entirely refreshing 30 to 45 minutes outside in, ‘feels like -10 degrees’.  They had layers and the right gear which was key to this little experiment.  They didn’t even venture to far from the house but still had an amazing time exploring tracks, yellow snow and the main event, collecting massive snow ‘food blocks’.

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