The Beautiful, Fun Nature of Children Exploring

 

“I just love nature! Don’t you, mommy? What do you think we’ll see?” my daughter asked when she found out we were going on a nature hike with our cousins. “Did you ever go on nature hikes when you were younger, Mommy?” Quinn asked. “Yes, I did, and I really enjoyed them,” I told her. “Now, you get to go on a nature hike with me as an adult. Isn’t that cool?”

Even though Quinn and I regularly go for walks, it’s been quite some time since we explored nature together surrounded by thousands of trees, so this was a real treat for us both. We met up with our cousins at the Wissahickon Valley Park Trail in Philadelphia at Bells Mill entrance, and my six year old and her five year old were eager to get hiking. There were no iPads, tablets or technology to stimulate them, yet they were both intrigued by just about everything from the rocks, to the streams, to the trees to the insects, to the animals to the actual leaves on the trees.

It didn’t take long for the girls to want to take a back trail climbing over fallen trees and mountainous rocks. My cousin and I were impressed with how well they did. They were mindful of their surroundings wanting to stop frequently to take in the sights. Both Quinn and Ellie walked carefully so they wouldn’t lose their footing and were very brave when we came across steep, narrow and rocky areas on the path.

They had fun simply playing with sticks, racing to catch up with me and interacting with the butterflies, chipmunks and worms too. One of the highlights was feeding the geese bread. Though the birds eventually became a bit aggressive in pursuit of more bread, the girls were absolutely tickled and ran off squealing as they were chased by the geese. “That was fun and gave us exercise too,” Quinn said.

As we headed back to our cars after three hours of walking and exploring, Quinn asked, “Mommy, do you think we can come back here again to explore? Maybe next time with Daddy?” To which I responded, “Definitely!” I can’t wait to go on the next hike with Quinn. This will certainly be one of our go-to activities together.

All the best,

Tanya

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