Tag Archives: Discovery Center

Dani’s Dreams Helpers Make A Difference!

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Remember Our Roots on WHITEHow does Dani’s Dreams gardens grow? Quite well, thanks to Zion Lutheran Daycare children who have been providing the necessary TLC through planting, watering and weeding. Dani’s Dreams provides children with hands-on learning experiences while developing responsibility and appreciation for the environment.
Your registration/donation for the Aug. 2 Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run gives even more children the opportunity to “Dream It – Do It!”
CLICK HERE to register and get your coolest T-shirt on the planet!

Dani’s Beach Animal Quiz – Guess the Right Answer and Win!

dani019Dani’s Dreams is celebrating summer with newsletters, quizzes, special events and prizes. Check in every day – Like us on Facebook!

Here’s the final clue in our Beach Animal Quiz:

I am an acrobat of the sky, floating motionless in midair by catching wind currents with perfect timing and precision.


KIDS — POST your answers here or on Facebook by July 26 and the first one with the right answer wins a free registration, including T-shirt for the Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 2 at New Palestine High School.

July 6 Clue: I am a scavenger, eating dead fish and bits of seaweed and other types of natural litter and hanging around picnic areas, trash cans and places where people have eaten for whatever crumbs are left.

Weird Little Animals – Check them out!


•  The jerboa is one of the smallest mammals in the world and is the smallest rodent. Adult females only weigh up to 3.75 grams.





smallest-animals4•  This little seahorse is the smallest in the world, reaching only a length of .54 inches and a height of .45 inches.

Weird Animal Facts – Day 1

weird-hands-helens-flying-frog-5-600x592Helen’s Flying Frog (left) – Check out those mitts! Their webbed hands are similar to those of Wallace’s flying frog, a slightly larger flying frog that can glide up to 50 feet (15 meters) from tree to tree in its jungle habitat of Malaysian Borneo. Flaps of skin on the forearms also help these frogs glide.weird-hands-aye-aye-1-600x400

The Aye-Aye (below) is probably the weirdest of all us primates, the aye-aye’s hands look certifiably villainous, with its long, bony, clawed Nosferatu fingers—especially that extra-long middle one. It uses that to tap-tap-tap on trees to detect hollow places in the bark where delicious insects might be. When it finds one, it bites through the wood and—yoink!—uses that wicked long finger to snap its prey.

* Facts from National Geographic’s website

Check back tomorrow for more weird animals and facts from Dani’s Dreams during VBS at Zion Lutheran School, New Palestine.


What I Learned At Dani’s Dreams…

Only two months until our biggest fundraiser of the year, Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run, Aug. 2 at New Palestine High School. Dani’s Dreams empowers kids to make a difference in the world while learning and sharing important information. Members of Troop 924 fill you in on their afternoon at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center. Learn about birds and the surrounding nature they observed.

Sign up today online for the walk/run that help Dani’s Dreams sponsor events like Troop 924’s Badge Day!


What I Learned at Dani’s Dreams…

Only two months until our biggest fundraiser of the year, Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run, Aug. 2 at New Palestine High School. Dani’s Dreams empowers kids to make a difference in the world while learning and sharing important information. Sign up today online for the walk/run that help Dani’s Dreams sponsor events like Troop 924’s Badge Day!
Check out this video report from Girl Scout Troop 924 in Hancock County


Dani’s Dreams Helps Troop 924 Earn Badges

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Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education at Zion Lutheran School partnered with Hancock County Girl Scout Troop 924 for a special Badge Day event May 18. The Junior Troop of Megan Brinley, Lyssie Davenport, Alaina Davis, Lyndsay Diefenderfer, Cassie Moch and Sarah Warner earned their Animal Habitat badge and the Brownie Troop members Sarah Stonerock and Lilly Warner completed the requirements for Bird and Bug badges.

The girls and their leaders spend the afternoon at Dani’s Dreams, discovering the types of birds in the area, observing several types of bugs and learning about endangered animals and how they can help. They also filled bird feeders at Dani’s Dreams and made one to take home.

After their hands-on activities, troop members became Dani’s Dreams reporters and shared their knowledge with others through posters, written and video reports.

Here’s a sampling of what the girls learned:

Cassie Moch reported about parrots in the rainforest:

“It is important so there is more animals around and to save them. Kids can help by doing research about the animals and what can help them.”

Lyssie Davenport reported on endangered animals in the Amazon, specifically the scarlet macaw:

“This is important because we need these animals in the eco-system or more animals will go extinct. Kids can help by spreading the word. Sometimes the only things that adults listen to are children.”

Sarah Stonerock found out that the ladybug is found all over the world. It can play dead when it is threatened. Its favorite thing to eat is aphids.

Lilly Warner discovered that the dragonflies eat tadpoles and like to be near the water.


Check out more fun facts in the Dani’s Dreams video reports the girls created and plan your Scout, daycare, preschool or class trip to Dani’s Dreams  or email Donna Griffin, director, at dgriffins96@gmail.com. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook!



Remember When You Were A Kid?

when i was a kid interview sheet Tomorrow’s “Remember Our Roots” celebration kicks off a year of activities, learning and fun at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center, with kids taking the lead and connecting to their roots – their grandparents.

“We’d play catch, we’d play marbles, we’d play tag and baseball and football and throw snowballs in the winter, and we’d help each other do stuff- that was all fun,” said Cole Allen Vandygriff’s grandfather, Dido said in an email. “Sometimes we’d go to parks to play or even to the river (where we weren’t supposed go to) and even if we got hurt sometimes it was still fun to be with my friends. I guess our guardian angels had to work overtime sometimes but they did a good job.”

All grandparents and their grandchildren are invited to share their memories in the Go Green Center tomorrow, 3:30-5 p.m. either on video or by filling out the “When I Was A Kid” story form. The stories created, as well as the posts and pictures uploaded to the “Remember Our Roots” Facebook page, will be placed in a memory book for the end of the year.

We’ll also be planting bulbs, constructing mini-greenhouses, gathering knowledge on a nature detective hunt and creating family tree stories about life when grandparents were children.

Studies show that environmental education improves student achievement in core subject areas and also makes students more interested in learning overall. What’s more, getting kids outside and active promotes a healthy lifestyle that is essential to fighting obesity and reducing symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder, depression, and stress.

And for all generations, nothing beats being outside, enjoying God’s wonderful creation, and spending precious moments with family – join us!



Outdoor Experiences Bring Learning to Life – Join Us!

Scientists and researchers will tell you that children who have hands-on, real-world activities better understand concepts and processes. At Dani’s Dreams empowering children and giving them innovative opportunities to grow, to explore and to discover is the heart of our mission.20140407_220813

This Thursday from 3:30-5 p.m. children will be learning, growing, running, laughing and sharing those experiences with the most important people in their lives, parents and grandparents – simple basic enjoyment of the wonders of God’s creation.

Share your childhood story.

Plant a seed together and watch it grow over time.

Listen to the birds.

Feel the breeze.

Remember your roots.

All those families who complete the Nature Detective Quiz will be in a drawing to win an I Spy birdhouse. They can watch the birds in their backyard and also make reports on their activities and share that with others on Dani’s Dreams website and Facebook page.


No Dreamer Too Small in 2013 at Dani’s Dreams…

Dani’s Dreams hosted so many memorable moments in 2013…check out these last five of our Top 10:

Teachers, Scout Leaders, and other community groups, contact Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center to schedule your specially designed educational opportunity. We’ll tailor your experience to your needs at NO CHARGE. Contact Donna Griffin, director, at dgriffins@netzero.com or 317-640-4430.

6. Celebrating Our Farmers

useDSCN7196Southern Hancock students jumped on the haywagon when Dani’s Dreams honored the contributions of farmers Sept. 19. Nearly 40 children of all ages descended on Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center to “Celebrate Our Farmers.” Local farmer Brian Kleiman talked about the technology and science of farming and answered questions from the students. The competition began soon after and teams took off on a Nature Scavenger Hunt, returning with fuzzy wooly worms, sticks, leaves and lots of beautiful things. After a bountiful harvest of farmer’s market snacks, the afternoon event ended with a haywagon ride generously provided by local farmer Doug Schildmier.

7. Peace Bear Building

use20131011_175751Dani’s Dreams Club members partnered with New Palestine Elementary fourth grader Emma Mann to build a dozen bears for her Peace Bear Project Fri. Oct 11 at the Castleton Build A Bear Workshop. Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center received a grant from the Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation to purchase the bears that will be given to patients at the new Hancock Regional Cancer Center. Build A Bear also donated 10 Peace Bears to be distributed at the Hancock Regional Cancer Center. In addition to building the white Peace Bears, the students, from Sugar Creek and New Palestine elementary schools, including Emma, her sister Kendall, brother Cameron, friends Sadie Miller and McKaylah Flagle, and Dani’s Dreams Club members Sarah, Emily and Sam Adam wrote letters to the patients and will be delivering the bears personally.

8. Trunk or Treat

danisdreamsDSC_0355Despite chilly autumn weather, Dani’s Dreams warmed up those who attended Zion Lutheran School PTL’s Trunk or Treat Oct. 26 with make-your-own smores, complete with a fire to roast marshmallows. Director Donna Griffin also treated the children to a storytime rendition of, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”.

9. Dig It!

useDSC_0399Discovery was the name of the day Nov. 25 when Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center took Zion Lutheran preschoolers on a special “Dig It” expedition. About 80 preschoolers became archaeologists and found “treasures” of the earth –  rocks and minerals, gemstones, fossils and arrowheads. They then filed their collection reports and took home a favorite item to show their parents.

10. Get Ready for Winter

useDSC_0469Ol’ Man Winter paid an early visit to Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center, arriving just in time for the “Get Ready for Winter” event Dec. 5 at Zion Lutheran School. Children of all ages   made ornaments, strung popcorn, painted bird houses and enjoyed dessert pizza from Mama Nitas and hot chocolate before venturing outside to decorate the trees and fill bird feeders in the snow. These activities were the last of a busy 2013 for Dani’s Dreams.

Coming UP After our two month “hibernation,” an exciting year begins. . . Mark your calendars for Feb. 26, 6-8 p.m. – the annual Children’s Museum Night with this year’s theme, “National Geographic Treasures of the Earth.”