I have been called lots of names by my daughter. None of them have been mean so far. The ones that make me smile the most are, “Nature Detective Dad,” “Nature Tracker Dad,” and “Bird Watcher Dad.” It seems that she has signed me up for all of her nature clubs. We hike through the woods looking for animals, observing their behavior, following their tracks, and doing all sorts of other fun nature activities. She has learned a passion for nature through a variety of inputs, but I firmly believe that the most effective teaching methods we have used with her have been direct exposure to nature. While she does enjoy learning about nature through books and television shows, nothing compares to getting out there and getting her little shoes dirty.
The challenge for me as a father is to make sure I have enough information to share with her, she is learning at such an amazing rate that I have to study just to keep up with her questions. Thank goodness for a little something called Google.
At Lost River Cave, we have an even better resource to get kids learning about nature, and that is the Junior Naturalist Program. We schedule six classes throughout the year, starting in January, then every other month with the last session in November. Each class features a different aspect of the natural world. Topics this year include the water cycle, birdwatching, trees and wildflowers in the natural habitat, the insects, reptiles, and amphibians in the nature center at Lost River Cave, seasons and their effect on the natural habitat, and cave geology which features a wild caving trip for kids.
For full information on this program, visit our website at this link.