The dew drops were still glistening on the leaves as my grandnephew and I began our nature walk one early morning in Edgewood Park. We decided to take a trail through a wooded area that led uphill to a grassy meadow and beautiful rolling hills.
Learning about Wildlife
My six-year-old companion was very curious as we came to each kiosk situated along the trail. He asked me to read about the plant or animal described along with its photo. We would look for the plants depicted as we continued on the trail. Eventually he began to recognize and name the ferns, moss, lichen, and the various shrubs and trees we saw.
My grandnephew was also excited to know about the animals and insects that surrounded us. We read about the deer, raccoons, and other small animals we might see in the forest, as well as the snakes we might see in the grasslands. We talked about how the park had many habitats for many plants and animals. This was their home. We needed to be respectful of them as we visited this beautiful park.
Nature Walks Can Happen Everywhere
I’ve taken nature walks with my children and grandchildren in many settings. A neighborhood walk can turn into a nature walk as well as a walk to the local park. Plant and animal habitats surround us in front yards, in trees along the route, and in our neighborhood parks. Children can explore the habitats of plants, insects and birds in any of these settings. We expand the world for our children as they realize that plant and animal habitats surround us, whether we are near or far away from home.
Enjoy nature with your little ones, every chance you get.
With love and affection,
Copyright © 2018 by GenParenting
Rosemarie Pérez has worked with English learners and their families in public education for more than twenty years. She has served as a bilingual teacher, professional developer, and district administrator. Administrative roles included serving as the Director of English Learners for an elementary school district and as a Coordinator of Reading and Language for the San Mateo County Office of Education. Rosemarie continues to work with families as she leads the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Parent Engagement Initiative during the past three years. Ms. Pérez provides expert guidance to teachers, school site staff, and school administrators in creating culturally sensitive parent training modules and academic curricular units. She facilitates parent education and Common Core Standards workshops. Engaged parents are further trained to become parent leaders and advocates. Rosemarie is the mother of five adult children and three grandchildren.