LexPlorer logoLexPlorers is designed to engage K-8 students in fun activities that connect them to their local environment and help them make a positive impact. The activities are designed so they can be done anywhere in the city. Kids who live in apartments, on farms or in houses with small lawns all can participate. Depending on the age of your student and the activity, some kits may require assistance or supervision of an adult.

The activity kits

#1 Watershed Protection:
focus on Lexington’s watersheds and how we can help protect them

  • Watershed Protection Activity Booklet by Project WET ($0.99 download)
    Explore the Project WET activity guide to learn about watersheds and we all them. En espanol
  • Make a Watershed Model
    Use the activity on page 1 of the Project WET activity guide to learn how to identify watershed areas.
    Materials: Watershed Protection Activity Booklet; sheet of wax paper; spray bottle with water
    Alternative: Utilize this model watershed activity from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Color Lexington’s Watersheds
    Did you know that Lexington has 9 major watersheds? Color the different watersheds and then follow the QR code to find out which watershed you live in!
    Materials: Know Your Watershed coloring sheet; colored pencils, markers or crayons
  • Make Seed Paper
    Root systems are important for protecting stream banks and reducing erosion. Make and plant your own seed paper.
    Materials: Used paper, cross-cut into tiny pieces (This activity suggests printer paper, but newsprint can also be used); large bowl of warm water; window screen material; small embroidery hoop; food coloring (optional); blender; 9 x 13-inch baking pan; packet of wildflower or other seeds; bath towels or several layers of felt squares; waxed paper; colored markers.
    Bonus: Research to discover what flowers are native to Central Kentucky and commonly grow along streams.
  • Decorate Your Own Litter Bag
    If it’s on the ground, it ends up in our water. Keep litter off our roadways by having a litter bag in your car!
    Materials: paper bag; colored pencils, crayons or markers
  • Schoolyard Watershed Fundana
    Wear it on your head or use it like a board game! These fundanas are a fun way to learn about schoolyard watersheds and they can also serve as a mask. ($7 per fundana)
    Alternative: View the fundana and research answers to at least five of the blocks. No need to purchase one to learn!

#2: Discover Stormwater:
Understanding stormwater and how water flows through natural and built environments

  • Discover Stormwater Activity Booklet by Project WET ($0.99 download)
    Explore this activity guide to learn how stormwater moves through cities.
    Spanish version will be available soon. 
  • A-Maze-ing Water
    Use the activity on page 3 of the Project WET activity guide to create a stormwater maze that models how stormwater moves through our city.
    Materials: Discover Stormwater Activity Booklet; sheet of wax paper; dropper; clay; tape; markers; food coloring or water color
    Alternative: Check out the activity online from Project WET. Or, watch this modified version from our friends at the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) that includes a bonus game to go along with the craft.
    Bonus: Help protect waterways by adopting a storm drain. Lexington has a program similar to the one LGROW mentions in their video.
  • Design a Storm Drain
    Have you noticed the colorful art on some of the city’s storm drains? Design your own using this design template ! En espanol
  • Chalk a Storm Drain
    Take your design to the streets! Use chalk decorate a drain with your fun, positive message about how we can protect our water. Safety first: We recommend setting cones in front of your drain as you work. And, please, stay out of the street.
    Bonus: Send us a picture of your design with information on where your storm drain is located. If approved, you can paint your drain to help remind folks how to protect water quality for years to come!
  • Wonder of Water Cycle Fundana
    Wear it on your head or quiz yourself about what you know! These fundanas are a fun way to learn about the water cycle and can also serve as an accessory – like a headband or face masks. ($7 per fundana)
    Alternative: Check out these water cycle resources available through NASA. Draw the water cycle with your student. Talk about ways pollution can enter the water cycle, and discuss ways to help keep water clean.

#3: Healthy Water, Healthy People
Understanding the connection between stream health and our health

  • Healthy Water, Healthy People Activity Booklet by Project WET ($0.99 Download)
    Explore this activity guide at home and learn how our health is connected to the health of our water. En Español
  • Soil Profile in a Jar
    Collect a sample of soil in a clear container, mix it with water, shake it  and watch how the soil settles. This models the settling of soil along the bottom of our streams. 
    Materials: clear container; trowel; water; “Soil Profile in a Jar” card
  • Make a Macro (invertebrate)
    Did you know that we can test the health of our streams by looking at the bugs that live in it? Learn about the “benthic bugs” that live in our waterways and build your own out of playdough! En Español
    Materials: playdough; “Make a Macroinvertebrate” sheet
    Bonus: Send us a picture of your Macroinvertebrate with a description of it’s special adaptations. Maybe we’ll share it on our social media pages! 
  • Explore a Root System
    Plant some seeds in a clear container and watch the way the root systems hold onto the soil. This is why we plant native flowers and trees along stream banks. They help keep the stream banks from eroding!
    Materials: seeds; clear container; soil; water
  • What’s the pH?
    Learn about pH on page 12 in your Project WET Activity Guide! Dip the paper strips into liquids and compare the color of the strip to the color on the pH scale key.
    Materials: pH strips; color key
    Alternative: Follow along with this video from Yucky Science and learn how to make your own pH color indicator using red cabbage!

#4: Discover Recycling
Understanding “the Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!”

  • Discover Recycling Booklet by Project WET ($0.99 download)
    Explore this Project WET Activity Guide at home and learn how the 3 Rs impact our world. En espanol 
  • Reused Sun Reflector
    Use an old CD to decorate your window or to keep birds and other animals from eating your garden plants before you do!
    Materials: an old CD; paint; string; “Reused Ideas” instruction card
  • Reuse Art Sculpture
    Use an old toilet paper tube, a cardboard box, or a plastic bottle to see what you can make!
    Materials: paint or markers; tape; “Reused Ideas” instruction card
    Bonus: Send us a picture of your sculpture with a description of what it used to be and maybe we will share it on our social media pages! 
  • Compost Critters
    Observe some of the amazing critters that help decompose materials into brand new soil!
    Materials: “Compost Critters” activity guide; magnifying glass
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Fundana
    Wear it on your head or use it like a board game! These fundanas are a fun way to show off what you know about the 3 R’s while also having an extra accessory for your head or face! ($7 per fundana)
    Alternative: View the fundana and research answers to at least five of the blocks. No need to purchase one to learn!

#5: LexPlore your Neighborhood
Explore your neighborhood environment

  • Make your own binoculars and use them to explore your neighborhood. A grown-up should go with you or give permission and know where you are.
    Materials: two toilet rolls; stapler; string or ribbon
  • Map your neighborhood   English   En espanol
    Become a cartographer (a map-maker) and chart the great unknown right outside your own door! Take a walk with a parent or family member and map out the things you find outside.
  • LexPlore Journal   English   En espanol
    Use this journal to take a closer look at your own neighborhood. Play BINGO, identify some wildflowers, and see what different things can be found all around you!

Thank you

A big thank you to all our LexPlorer kit distribution partners, including several of the Fayette County Public Schools feeding sites, Gainesway Community Center, William Wells Brown Community Center, the Lexington Public Libraries, The Lyric Theatre and Black Soil. Thank you also to our friends at Lexington Parks & Recreation, especially Raven Run, for allowing us to modify materials they created for use at their nature sanctuary. And last, but certainly not least, thanks to the education staff at Bluegrass Greensource for all their work designing, assembling and distributing the kits as part of their environmental education contract with LFUCG.