Spring has arrived and as parents try to come up with ideas on how to keep their kids occupied in the warmer weather, especially as a school break approaches, the Alley Pond Environmental Center may be just the place to find fun and educational activities.

APEC, located at 224-65 76 Ave. in Oakland Gardens, first has an afterschool course that begins next week. The Unplugged Nature Club, will be held outdoors on April 5, 19 and 26 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. for kids ages 6 to 9. The three-class series costs $72 per child.

“We will focus on animals and their habitats,” said APEC educator Karen Donahue. “The April session will focus on birds.”

Children will take a nature walk with field guides to search for birds’ nests and learn how to identify different birds, Donahue told the Chronicle.

“We have various bird eggs and nests to show the children,” Donahue said. “In April, I’m sure that we will see the red-winged blackbirds, the American robins, the woodpeckers and the warblers.”

The kids will learn the process the birds use to build nests, according to Donahue. “Along with that we have some fun informational books appropriate for their age and we will be playing some games that will link to the lesson.”

For kids ages 9 to 12, there will be a Vet Tech 101 program on April 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that focuses on animal handling, according to APEC upper-grade coordinator Erica Chow, who works with older kids. There will also be an I Want to Be a Vet session the following day for children ages 6 to 8 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

“Usually when there are visitors to the center they are restricted only to meeting animals up close and petting; animal handling takes quite some time,” Chow told the Chronicle. “The Vet Tech series focuses a little bit more about technical skills that technicians will do, what they do in a clinic, their responsibilities there and what it means to be a vet.”

Some of the animals will include guinea pigs, chinchillas, birds, turtles, lizards and other reptiles.

“They will understand how the animal moves and how to do some physical exams, like checking the ears and the eyes,” Chow said. “They will learn how to get some basic information from a vet on basic diagnostics, such as weight and fur condition.”

The latter program will center more on pet ownership and responsibilities, according to Chow. They will also learn about many aspects of veterinary care, including the special needs of a variety of APEC’s animal ambassadors, which they will get to observe up close, according to alleypond.org.

“The goal of the class is to learn how to be a more responsible caretaker,” she said. “Many times people see an exotic animal like a rabbit and they just jump in to have one of the pets, but it takes more work than a traditional cat or dog, which leads to the reality of people releasing their pets ... If they want to have a profession taking care of animals they will learn about careers they can have in the future.”

Vet Tech costs $32 per child and I Want to Be a Vet costs $20.

On April 13, from 1 to 2 p.m., teens will get to make necklaces, earrings, rings and other jewelry using colorful glass and flower-themed accessories with all the material provided from jeweler Naomi Rabinowitz for $28 per person.

“Naomi will lead the class,” Donahue said. “She has been here before for many workshops, but not for teens. We had a few parents asking about the program for their teenagers.”

Rabinowitz will teach those teens how to craft jewelry and then she will make the pieces using fire, according to the APEC educator. Parents will be given a date as to when to pick up the pieces at the center’s workshop.

APEC will also host programs about robins, bugs and flower crafting. There will also be a reading and an Animal Jeopardy Game from April 11 to 13. If you’re interested in any of APEC’s programs visit alleypond.org/after-school--vacation-day-programs.

“Spaces are limited, but you can register right now,” Donahue added.