Boy Scouts Webelos Naturalist Ecosystem Activity Idea

Brightly Street Webelos BSA scouts den meeting naturalist ecosystem ideaIt is a lot of fun working with the 10 year old boys in the scouting program.  They are full of energy.  This past week we were finishing up the Naturalist Activity Badge.  I thought it would be fun to make a very simple ecosystem.  After spending countless hours working on making a Chessboard game for the Scholar Activity Badge, I was looking for simple and here it is.  For #9 in the Naturalist section I was suppose to teach about the Ecosystem.  After thinking about how to make it more than just a lecture, this idea came to me.  Luckily, I had a ton of cardboard egg cartons that were just ready for a project!  I cut them in half, cut the tip of the inside pieces that you see as the tree trunk and then I had my kids help me paint the sky and tree.  From past experiences, I knew that if I got the painting finished ahead of time then the den meeting would go much more smoothly.  It worked.  We were able to work on a few other things to finish up the Naturalist badge and get these little ecosystems done within the hour block we had for our meeting.  After prepping the cartons, I cut up green construction paper into small pieces for grass.  If you don't live in the desert like us you can just have the boys grab some grass from your yard.  They added the "grass" into a couple of the egg holders as well as dirt and rocks for the other ones.  I had some foam balls that I bought from the dollar store a few months ago and cut them in half to use for the sun.  I had these painted before hand as well.  I then had the boys start with the sun so the glue would have time to dry.  They used the pipe cleaner pieces that I cut up and poked them into the sun.  They glued it to the sky and then the scouts used cotton balls for the clouds.  Afterwards, they worked on making an animal from a bunch of colored pipe cleaners that I had.  They did a great job.  (pictured above is a snake wrapped around a tree)  To make the trees, I had the kids pull out some weeds and push them into the hole.  (Not only did it make great trees, but I had a little free weeding done!)  That's it!  Super easy and not too much prep time.  The boys had a blast.  It was fun to see their finished projects.