Re-Connect your Kids with Nature!
If your kids have been spending many of the winter days cooped up watching TV, here are some fun ways to get them outdoors and to reconnect with nature this Spring!
Nature Birthday Parties
Consider having a nature birthday party!
The Humber Arboretum in Toronto offers many different adventures to pick from: pond exploration, animal habitat discovery, insect inspection, nature in the forest, owl prowl junior trackers, chickadee feeding, mapping adventure, Birder's world, ecology games, and more! Kids can also make a nature craft.
The Kortright Centre for Conservation will also connect nature to your next birthday party. Bugs, bees, history, birds... or a little bit of everything! Your favourite part of nature may be explored by choosing one of their many nature birthday party themes. All parties are led by a Kortright Centre nature guide, and include a themed hike through the forest and nature games.
Hiking with Kids
Hiking is something you can do at any age and it's a great activity for children. Instill a love of the outdoors in your children by taking them on a family hike. It's also a great way of spending real quality time away from phones, computers, and television. You'll be amazed at how many things come up in conversation when you're alone together on the trails. Look for plants, flowers, insects, leaves or wildlife is a good way to engage the youngest of hikers. Hiking along a river is a popular option, offering the chance to uncover frogs, dragonflies and wetland animals. Try bird watching or looking for animal tracks, trees, or rocks as you hike. If hiking is out of your league, just go to your local park and go for a nature walk with your kids.
Explore Local Attractions
No doubt about it, the Toronto Zoo is a popular place for children and a must see and do family attraction! But for younger kids who like their nature hands-on, the Toronto Zoo offers a great concept: a Kids Zoo uniquely designed for kids 9 and under. Activities range from the educational to the creative to just plain fun! The Kids Zoo delivers special programs and interactive experiences made just for kids. There are "close up and personal" animal and staff encounters, touch tables, storyboards, and amazing opportunities for kids to use their creativity and imagination. Kids Zoo opens at the end of April or early May.
Just a quick trip north of Toronto! You can explore and experience the wonders of nature at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre. It's nature at it's best! The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in Midland is dedicated to operating year-round family programs, to develop awareness, enjoyment, and understanding of the environment and wildlife.
And if your kids can't won't give up the computer, there are a wealth of fun, creative, and informative "environmental" websites for children. Here are our top picks!
Eeko World by PBS KIDS
EekoWorld is designed to help children between the ages of 6 and 9 learn about the important role they can play in taking care of the earth.
Nature Challenge for Kids
A site developed by David Suzuki with fun and easy things parents and kids can do together to protect nature!
Eco Kids Canada
Earth Day Canada's environmental education program with interactive, fun, educational games, and activities.