Camping: The art of getting closer to nature while getting farther away from the nearest cold beverage, hot shower and flush toilet.
Naturally Curious leader Alicia Tait is offering another children's nature walk on the morning of Sunday, July 6th. If you haven't got plans for the whole holiday weekend, you might want to check it out.
This Naturally Curious walk will investigate the dark, damp universe beneath the forest floor. What lives under a rotting log or a patch of decaying leaves? Why are these microhabitats so important to the health of the park? Exploring this unseen world will be the guiding theme of Sunday's adventure.
Nature Walk Time: 9:30-11:30
I just heard about a new nature walks group for 5-7 year olds in the Prospect Park area. Organizer Alicia Tait has experience working with children educationally at the New York Botanical Garden and at Studio Creative Play in Park Slope.
The blog at Children and Nature Network has a great post lamenting the decline of nature as a theme in children's literature and recommending books for children that can help spark interest in nature. They cite several of my favorites, including Abel's Island, My Side of the Mountain, and The Lord of the Rings. Read it in full here.
In talking with other parents, I often hear people say that they're waiting for their kids to be "old enough" to try family camping. So what's the right age to take your kids camping for the first time? In my experience, any age and every age!
The Appalachian Mountain Club's Great Kids, Great Outdoors blog has a very helpful post on kids and backpacks. How heavy should my child's backpack be?
I frequently think my kids' school packs are heavier than they should be, but they did great with the real thing on the Appalachian Trail last summer.
Bright Horizons invited Brooklyn child- and parenting-related bloggers to tour their new facility on Kent Avenue in trendy Williamsburg. I attended and must say the place is very nice, and they make a real effort to feature natural materials, calm earth tones, room for gross motor play, and nature and science themed playthings.
The gym-like playroom features a kid-sized climbing wall in addition to a dance area and a variety of other items designed to encourage exercise.
There's a useful post over at the blog "A Little Campy," on things that aren't "essential" in terms of camping gear, but that are almost essential for camping with kids. Top 5 Non-Essential Camping Essentials For Kids. Every one of these items is a must-have in my experience, except perhaps the checkers or playing cards.
More good stuff from Kaboom! which has a blog article up suggesting that active, outdoor play can actually increase kids' life expectancy, linked to a cute video about what kids think they would do with the extra time.
Here we are at the trailhead on Dennytown Road in Clarence Fahnestock State Park.