Posted on: March 23, 2017 | Posted in: Community Blog
There is a magic to spring.
The weather starts getting warmer, the sun shines more and nature is beginning to bloom. This is the perfect time to get out with the kids and investigate what gifts nature has to offer.
Children are curious and want to know about their environment. You have watched your child pick up leaves, sticks, and rocks. When they turn them over, they feel the textures and examine them from all angles. It is so simple to make those learning experiences and create a love of the outdoors for your child and maybe yourself.
Start off by taking a nature hike
You can do that in your neighborhood or at a nearby park. Or you can spread your wings and head out to a local trail. There are many trails in San Diego, but if you are new to hiking with your children the Visitor Center at Mission Trails Regional Park is a great place to start. It has interactive displays that discuss what you will find outside. There are very easy trails around the center, and so many new things for your children and you to see.
Know before you go
When you decide the time is right to go for a nature walk, near home or farther away, there are a few things to remember:
- Make sure you use sunscreen as spring days, even though cool or cloudy, are still a threat to your skin.
- Dress in layers. It may be cool when you start, but warmer a few minutes later.
- Bring a water bottle for everyone. If you are going to be gone a while, you may need a snack or lunch.
- Keep to the trails. In San Diego, there is always the threat of rattlesnakes. That is probably a learning experience you’re not ready to encounter.
Make your hike count
While you’re walking talk about the things you see. Involve your children in the talk. They get very excited when you talk to them about rocks, ponds, ducks and all of the other offerings nature has to give.
You don’t have to be an expert, but your children will think you are!
More than anything, enjoy the time together. It is an easy way to start building your children’s vocabularies, their appreciation of nature and the memories that will last them and you, a lifetime.
Post and Photo By: Debbie Bilka. Debbie is a Family Support Worker for SAY San Diego‘s First Five First Steps program. The program is designed to strengthen child and family relationships by providing support, education, and guidance through home visits to expectant parents and parents of newborns.