Introducing kids to the magic and wonder that is nature – that’s the aim behind the annual “Take Your Child Outside” week, which runs Sept. 24-30. In the Carolinas, there are plenty of organized activities to jump start your child’s interest and cultivate a habit of time enjoyed outdoors. How about an outdoor scavenger hunt (city of Concord) or a chance to watch a major bird migration (Chimney Rock) or a wildflower walk to view rare sunflowers (McDowell Nature Preserve in Charlotte) or a fern hike (Reedy Creek Nature Preserve in Charlotte)?
Research shows time spent outdoors in nature improves kids’ confidence, ability to learn and behavior. But you don’t need a study to know what many of us realize intuitively: That children belong in the fields, woods, streams and shores, and that a few more hours in the yard instead of in front of a screen would benefit everyone.
For more information, go to the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences “Take a Child Outside” site. -Amber Veverka