Nimbus fish hatchery.

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Nimbus fish hatchery started a new program for May and June called “Toddler Time.”

What they do is invite everyone and they read a story, teach about a topic (yesterday’s was “What is a fish?”) and teach a song. Then they take the kids out to the fish runs and give them fish food and let them feed the fish. They said it was geared for 3-4 year olds; I would put the age down to 2. My children really enjoyed it.

The warden did a great job explaining what a fish was. Then she compared and contrasted fish to humans; she had the kids look at a giant stuffed fish and touch their eyes and then asked if the fish had eyes. Then she explained why the fish eyes were different and why they were on the side. She went through a bunch of differences for the kids.

Feeding the fish was a great experience. The rainbow trout are currently in the fish runs and we fed them. They fish jump all over each other scrambling for the food and making big splashes. It creates a lot of excitement for the kids to see it. If you take nickles, you can feed the fish even more. Although the wardens were great and gave my kids tons of fish food – we fed fish for almost 30 minutes.

Another great thing was that we got there early and went through the Visitor’s Center. We learned a lot about salmon and trout. They have a display of stuffed fish – real ones that are dead and preserved – and a board next to the display with the names and silhouettes. On the dead fish they also have the names pinned. Nicholas went through the board and accurately matched each silhouette to the fish.

We did the 1/4 mile nature walk and then ate lunch in their shaded picnic area with the really big fish. It is a fish they can crawl on and play in. We also spent some time walking on the American River Trail.

It was a really great activity and we learned a lot about fish.

I used it as our ocean activity for the day. We also worked on writing the word fish, our math, and our rhyming words.

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