My 2 grand daughters are a great age (Lily 5 and Lola 4) to take hiking in the woods and enjoy nature. We often visit the Wehr Nature Center, in Franklin WI. They have an amazing nature center with lots of interesting educational items and activities for kids and also a nice selection of hiking trails.
My surprise for Lily and Lola this trip were nice new pink REI backpacks and H2O reservoirs (are these girls beautiful, or what!!!).
They packed their own items; including the must have “Hello Kitty” stuffed animals, snacks, jackets and water. They were very excited about being able to pack their own items and have the new backpacks.
The novelty of the H2O reservoirs, while really helping to keep the girls hydrated did create another problem. Be sure you are ready to handle the rather frequent need to find restrooms (or other options that are available in the woods).
We had a great day. We visited the Nature Center, hiked around the lake, fed the fish, had a picnic and then went to the playground. It is so good to remember that kids this age are really easily entertained, even by something without batteries. I cannot tell you how long we hung out on a little bridge that crossed this little river, and the girls were entertained by throwing sticks into the water on one side of the bridge, and then watching them come out the other side.
Seriously we probably spent a good hour doing that. It was so great. Kids just really want your time and attention. All kids want this, and when you are the parent, so many other priorities get in the way. This is one of the joys of being a grandparent. You have time and energy to give them. What a gift. I so love being a grandma!!!
So anyway, by the end of the day we were all exhausted. What helped keep them going (and I was able to use as a bribe) was a promise to stop at Taco Bell for dinner.
What I learned about the Park:
What a great little gem, just outside of Hales Corners, WI. The education/visitor center had a ton of great information and interactive activities for Lily and Lola (and me). My favorite was a kiosk that had pictures of all the birds that hang around that area, and when you clicked on the picture, you heard the sound it made. The girls and I loved that.
What I learned about myself:
It is so fun (and important to me) to be an active role model for them and show them the joys of outdoor activity and encourage their interest in nature. I am going to take this responsibility very seriously! I love being a grandma!
My advice to you:
If you have kids/grand kids or nieces/nephews, or are a Big Brother or Sister, remember to introduce the children in your life to nature early and often to help them realize and experience the amazing quality it adds to life.
Share your thoughts:
What are the fun things you do or places you go with your grand children? Any recommendations?
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This summer I hope to do the park explorer program with my grand children.
Me too. Most states have pretty good programs for young explorers. The NPS has the junior ranger program, and I know the WI DNR has a program as well. you can get the information and playbooks downloaded from the website. Good luck and have gun