We can officially celebrate the fact that it feels like summer in every corner of the country. An inspired nature walk can mean so much more than a hike in the woods, but a focused narrative that can create unforgettable interactions with nature, cognitive and sensory development and wonderful memories of family time.
- Even in areas busy and populated, many times there are hidden natural areas that you may not notice until you start looking for them.
- If possible, take your nature walks away from the view of public playground equipment to keep your little ones focused on the richness of the natural environment.
- Be realistic about how much walking your toddler will enjoy doing to ensure a happy experience for him or her.
What Should I Bring?
- First aid kit, wet wipes, sunscreen
- Plastic bags or sealable containers (1 for each child)
- Snacks and plenty of water
- Magnifying glass
- Crayons and paper for rubbing surfaces like leaves and bark
- A book on local insects, birds or trees
- Hats, walking sticks
What Should I Look For?
- Fallen logs and stones: Turn them over see what kinds of creatures have created homes underneath
- Water sources: puddles, streams, or even curled up leaves that may have collected rain water
- Birds and Nests:discuss their color, wingspan, sounds and habitat
- Flowers and Plants
Make it Fun!
- Play Hide and Seek
- Embark on a treasure hunt: collect leaves or stones to bring home for observation
- Color paper on top of different surfaces to capture textures, or encourage your child to create their own self-directed art
- Crunch down to the ground, and look closely with a magnifying glass. What do you see now that you may not have noticed before? What do you hear?
- Take a moonlit, evening walk and observe how it’s different from the daytime, particularly the sounds.