This summer, I am a woman on a mission. I’m not sure if it is a selfish ambition or if it is out of the purest love and hope of well-being for my children. But we are going back to nature this summer. My kids and I are learning about nature. Camping in nature, hiking in nature, kayaking in nature, planting seeds, observing wildlife, biking, identifying trees… We are doing this nature thang.
Why? Why nature? Why has this become “The Summer of Nature”?
Because nature is glorious, A. But B, because ipad/video games and children. Because it’s so good for our bodies and minds. Because I LOVE LOVE LOVE being outside in nature, and my kids hate it. They whine and complain and they HATE it. But I want them to LOVE it, and my husband has a theory about getting your kids to love something you love: Have the best time ever when you're doing that thing you love in front of your kids. Even if they're making it miserable. Eventually they'll either learn to love it, or tolerate it because they love you, and they can't have any negative emotions tied to it since you only gave them happy ones! This man skies with all of our kids by himself. They all love skiing. He might be onto something.
So, when a friend of mine asked me to tutor her precious little girl, and I agreed, it inspired a whole process of planning educational and outdoor activities to fill the time and teach the things. Because strangely, when someone is paying me for a job, I take it more seriously than when it’s just the well-being of my own children...whatevs, man, I’m trying.
So here’s the run-down on my Broomfield Area Summer of Nature Field Trips and Plans for the month of June. Our June focus is on Plants.
We have already visited:
- McKay Lake. (This is perfect for a quick trip. Huge, gorgeous trees, beautiful lake, and a fun spot to look for wildlife!) http://www.ci.westminster.co.us/ExploreWestminster/OpenSpace/OpenSpaceAreas/McKayLake
- Horsetooth Reservoir. (Holy Cow is that place HUGE! I had no idea it was that big or gorgeous!) http://www.co.larimer.co.us/parks/horsetooth.cfm
- Big Dry Creek Park (This is a fan favorite with the kids. It has a big playground, and hiking/biking trails with a few big Cottonwood trees and a running creek-- at least right now.) http://www.ci.westminster.co.us/ParksRec/Parks/ParkLocations/BigDryCreekPark
- LaVerne M. Johnson Park in Lyons, CO. (Seriously, this is what childhood dreams are made of. Take your children to this park. Then stop at the Lyons Dairy Bar for a $2 Kids Ice Cream Cone on the way home. It’s the perfect day. ) http://www.townoflyons.com/349/LaVern-M-Johnson-Park
- Plaster Resevoir (We went on a Nature Walk through the Broomfield Nature Programs. This is great for preschoolers! My older kids weren’t as interested in the craft/walk, but it’s perfect for 5 and under! Here are some other Nature Programs in Broomfield as well! https://www.broomfield.org/531/Nature-Programs
- Our Backyard We had a campfire, and roasted marshmallows with friends. The kids played flashlight tag. It was a whole old-fashioned family fun night.
Some of the cool things I have planned for the rest of June are:
- Broomfield 100 (at least some of it.) https://www.broomfield.org/2175/Broomfield100
- Boulder Nature Programs for Kids http://mailchi.mp/737fe1d9f1df/june-hikes-events-1748325?e=434f5b8c58
- Wonderful Wednesdays and Fabulous Fridays at the Broomfield Library (No, they aren’t all “Nature” Programs, but there are some nature programs, and they’re fun, cultural, and educational, so we’re going to a bunch of these.) https://www.broomfield.org/DocumentCenter/View/14461
- Berry Patch Farms http://berrypatchfarms.com/
- The Bike Park at Brunner Farm https://www.broomfield.org/103/Brunner-Farmhouse
- MacGregor Ranch in Estes Park http://www.macgregorranch.org/
In Rocky Mountain National Park, these Night Sky Programs look particularly cool. https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/astronomy_programs.htm
Happy Trails, friends! Hope these are helpful! See you outside!