It is that time of year again where the snow is melted and the grass is greener. What a perfect time to spend quality time outside with your family and enjoy the beautiful weather. So for an hour or so, shut out the outside world and go on a hike. There are many physical and mental benefits to improve health and family bonds. With so many everyday distractions, hiking gives families a chance to clear their minds and focus on one thing.
Here are several ways to engage with your child along the trail:
There are many resources online to see local hiking trails in your area and current weather reports.
Jamie Burd, Teacher, Celebrate the Children
On Friday, April 17th, a student from Celebrate the Children presented a speech at Centenary College for their Annual Ability Awareness Day event! He wants to remind future educators to "be patient and open minded, you may never know what it is that your students are truly capable of."
It appears as if Mother Nature may finally be getting her act together and putting winter to rest. It’s about time! It means that we are that much closer to my favorite time of year. I guess I should say “times” of year. You see, for most of my life fall has arguably been my favorite season. As my children have gotten older, summer has slowly been nudging its way into the coveted role of favorite. But before summer comes spring. And with spring comes all of those “signs of summer”. You know, the all the buds on the trees… surely they are a promise of the shade they will give off on those warm summer days. And then there is the sounds of birds chirping in the mornings. Each morning their song gets louder and louder. My favorite sign of summer by far is the skinned knees. Look for them! They start making their appearance around now and will multiply over and over again as the protective layer of pants is worn less and less frequently.
What really makes me long for summer is the planning. What will my children and I do with our summer days this year? This is a question I ask myself, map out, and bask anticipation of every single year. We have had quite the variety of experiences over the years - camps, work, volunteering, and visiting with my elderly grandmother (she’s 94 and still the most amazing person I have ever met!). I always ask my children for their input. Overwhelmingly the activities they are most passionate about are the experiences that we shared together. Sure, they like summer camp, but they REALLY enjoyed that time when we went for a hike in the woods together as a family. They enjoyed going to the movies, but they LOVED when we took out our video camera and recorded ourselves being silly so that we could show it to Gram on our next visit. They often request stopping at the local bake shop for a cupcake, but they BEG and PLEAD to break out the cook book and get creative making up new recipes. And truthfully, these same things are the same things I look forward to the most as well. Now, it is time to sit down and plan out the summer of 2015. As I do so, I will try to pack as many of these family fun times in as I can. I recommend you do the same!
10 great ideas for family fun any day of the week:
1. Bake up something delicious
2. Make a backyard water park
3. Get sloppy with sensory activities
4. Build things together
5. Make some music
6. Pull out the sidewalk chalk
7. Paint with ice cubes
8. Go on the hunt for twigs, pine cones, pebbles, bark, etc. and build a fairy house
9. Catch lightning bugs
10. Pick some flowers and deliver them to someone who could use a pick me up
Ruth Ann Champagne, Teacher, Celebrate the Children
Contributions to this blog are made by Celebrate the Children's highly talented, interdisciplinary team and wonderful families.