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Nature Exchange

When you visit Kidspace, bring along some samples of rocks, plant life, shells, or other natural specimens and trade them with Play Facilitators at the Nature Exchange!

You can earn Nature Exchange points based on your knowledge of the object, as well as its rarity, condition and/or effort that goes into the object’s preparation. You can also earn points by completing research on a nature-related topic of your interest. You can then put your points into an online account to be used to trade for exciting natural items that we offer at the Nature Exchange or saved up for an item you can't afford yet.


General Rules for Trading at the Kidspace Nature Exchange:

Only natural items are tradable. Tradable items include rocks, fossils, plants, dirt/sand, dead insects, and shells.


There are some objects Kidspace WILL NOT ACCEPT including:

  • Birds’ nests, feathers, or eggs
  • Live animals
  • Parts of vertebrate animals unless it is collected without harming the animal (ex: wool or shed snake skin)
  • Endangered species (plant or animal)
  • Anything from a California cave
  • Objects of cultural or historical value
  • Anything in violation of state, national, or international laws
  • Any item altered by man. Obsidian turned into an arrow head, shells made into jewelry, carved wood or a pet rock with hair and googley eyes are some examples of man altered objects that will not be accepted.

Research Points

The more you know about an item, the higher its trade-in point value. We encourage traders to research their items either at home or at Kidspace, using the field guides and resources available in the Nature Exchange.

Kids can also earn points by doing research projects with us. We have a variety of Profile Sheets (available for download below) that children can complete either at home or at Kidspace to earn research points. Children can also earn points by keeping a Nature Journal.


Downloadable profiles and forms to earn points:

Limit on Trades

Trades can take up to 15 minutes per child, so please limit children to up to three separate kinds of items or trading projects per visit. Remember, the highest number of points will be awarded to traders who bring objects that are rare or of high quality, and to traders who share the most knowledge about their objects. These factors are more important than quantity.


Live Animal Collection

Visit our Animal Ambassadors in the Nature Exchange! Say hello to Sherman and Tortellini, our Eastern Box Turtle and Russian Tortoise; Dumpy Tree Frogs, Arachnids, and more!


Trading Times

Trading ends 15 minutes prior to museum closing time, and there is no trading during Free Family Nights or Special Events. Visit the Nature Exchange or call (626) 449-9144, ext. 5219 with questions or concerns.