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It’s that time of year again. School has just begun and the warm weather is fading fast. But as the temperatures continue to dip, don’t let your family resort to sitting glassy-eyed on the couch staring at the TV. Instead, put on an extra layer and get outdoors to explore! Fall is a great time to find a natural area or trail where you can enjoy the fall colors and soak in the sun before winter arrives. More importantly, visits to natural areas are important for children beginning at a young age. When kids have positive experiences early on, it helps to build a lifelong appreciation and respect for the outdoors. Spending time in nature has also been proven to reduce negative stress, protect psychological well-being and improve valuable traits such as self-esteem, problem solving, and motivation.
To make your trip into nature more enjoyable:
- Be prepared with snacks and water. Children get hot and thirsty faster than adults, so take plenty of breaks. Even in cooler weather, it’s still important to stay hydrated.
- Children won’t be interested in the same details as adults are. Enjoy nature at their pace.
- Let them explore on their own for awhile. If they find something interesting or exciting, give them time to look at it closer. And check it out with them!
- If children see a parent enjoying something, they will enjoy it too.
Be ready with some activities to do while you hike:
- Play “I spy…”
- Practice your ABC’s. Find objects that start with the letters of their name or the whole alphabet.
- Look for insects, spiders, birds, and other animals among the plants.
- Look for items that match all the colors of the rainbow.
Green Bay Botanical Garden is here to help with a variety of opportunities to prevent your family from turning into couch potatoes! Did you know there is even a Children’s Garden? You will find many fun things to do. Spend the afternoon racing through the maze, stroll through Mr. McGreggor’s garden in search of vegetables that are ready for harvest or explore the Sensory Garden with all 5 of your senses. Or, for a more structured time, sign your clan up for one of our family classes or check out a S.E.E.D. pack filled with family-friendly activities.
For these and other cures for the common couch potato, visit the family pages on our website at www.gbbg.org or call Kelle Hartman, Educator, at (920) 491-3691 ext. 107. So get out there and enjoy the fall season![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]