There’s nothing like a little incentive to get kids interested in the outdoors — enter the sticker book.

Tahoe Institute for Natural Science’s (TINS) new and engaging Tahoe Nature Activity Book: Nature Discovery Activities and Stickers does just that.

The brainchild of Ron Hemig and Kristine Mitchell — board chair and vice chair of TINS — the idea stemmed from the interrogation of, “How do we keep the conversation going after a child has attended a TINS workshop, class, or camp? How do we inspire kids to continue to engage with nature, all year long?” The answer presented itself as an entertaining workbook filled with simple instructions and colorful stickers. When Kathy Kogge offered to have the publication printed by an associate at a New York press, a deal was done.


The stickers, close-up photographs of plants, animals, and insects, fill the center of the book, which are to be peeled off and placed in a square with a clue.

For example: “This animal loves to eat grasses and other plants in Tahoe’s meadows and forests. Males are called bucks and grow antlers on their heads. Females are called does and give birth to young called fawns.” Aha! Place the sticker of the deer lying in a meadow in the blank space beside the title “An Herbivore Track.”

Another activity involves drawing, whether general observations or something more specific: “Sketch the needles, tree, or cone (of a Jeffrey pine or quaking aspen or white fir) in the space provided.”

At 10 pages, the workbook is a manageable and modest publication, not overloaded with complicated instructions or too much information, the perfect size to keep the interest of children K-5.

The Tahoe Nature Activity Book can be used throughout the year too, the penultimate page inviting certain observations in each season: animal tracks in the winter, colorful wildflowers in the spring, bugs in the summer, and changing leaves in the fall. Plus, TINS encourages parents to join their little ones outdoors.

What better way to learn about all the parts that make up “home” than by being together as a family and observing and documenting the many new discoveries.

~ Do you have a question about our region’s environment? Email


Tahoe Nature Activity Book

The Tahoe Nature Activity Book was sponsored by The Roxy and Azad Joseph Foundation; all photos, artwork, and activities originated from TINS staff and board members. To get a hold of one of these free colorful workbooks or for any questions concerning TINS’ yearlong activities, email Will Richardson at


  • Eve Quesnel

    Eve Quesnel has lived in Truckee for 35 years with her husband Bill, once-upon-a-time daughter Kim-now on her own-and many dogs through the years, currently a Border Collie-Aussi mix. Her favorite pastimes include walking in her neighborhood and nearby woods, hiking in the high Sierra, and reading and writing. Quesnel is now retired from teaching English at Sierra College in Truckee but continues to pursue several writing projects. She is intrigued by the natural world of which she explores and writes about for the column "Nature's Corner" in Moonshine Ink.

Previous articleThe Key to Good Habits
Next articleHOME FRONT BRIEFS | August 10 – September 13, 2017