Mommy Vegas Idea #15
Preschoolers Learn to Explore and Enjoy Nature with a Trusted Guide
As I’m sure you’ve guessed from our previous post, “Wetlands Park – Nearly 3,000 Acres of AMAZING!,” we absolutely love the Wetlands. The trails are fantastic for walking, jogging, and enjoying nature, and the new Nature Center is absolutely delightful. It’s all far more than you would expect from a free venue. We’ve been visiting the park for years, but since the opening of the Nature Center, with all its new exhibits, programs, and activities, the Wetlands has fast become our favorite place in Las Vegas, which is saying a lot!They have many amazing programs, but the stand out for our family thus far, is the Nature Tykes class for preschoolers. Three and four year-olds are guided, along with their parents and siblings, on a nature adventure through the park. The facilitators, Nancy and Jody, are extremely knowledgeable and eager to share, but even more strikingly, they very evidently love what they do and their enthusiasm is simply contagious! They not only engage the children, but encourage the parents to jump right in and play an active role in the adventure. It’s actually quite seamless how they transition between facilitator- and parent- guided activities, so the children feel nothing but attention and excitement as they explore various facets of the park. Each meeting has a different theme which is explored through hiking, stories, activities and more. There is often a nature related take-home craft, which typically emphasizes the use of multiple senses to observe nature. Whether they’re making necklaces inspired by the colors around them, or building cozy nests for a make-believe clutch of delicate eggs, the education they are gaining from only an hour or so a week is truly something to be marveled, and whether it is realized or not, the knowledge they’ve gained is reinforced every time they admire or share the craft they take home. I love hearing my son, who otherwise would rather not pause his endless monologue regarding his imaginary world of Mario and Luigi, proudly share his twig and feather encrusted clay “nest,” explaining how the sticks keep his baby birds hidden from sight and safe from danger, while the feathers keep them warm and snug. He will even take the time to feed his imaginary hatchlings and fawn over them before placing his nest delicately back on the shelf. Overall, it’s a fantastic time, and honestly the ONLY activity our Little Bear would rather not miss! Though Baby Bug isn’t quite old enough to qualify as the target audience, she too is treated as an equal contributor to the group! Of course, the ever resplendent Bug, is more than happy to participate, frolicking like a little bird right along with the big kids. This being said, if you have any way to bring along a few extra hands in the event of multiple children, I highly recommend it, as it really is much more enriching with more hands on deck. Either way, every moment of Nature Tykes is a moment spent in awe of not only the beauty of nature, but the brilliance of little minds. I’m so thankful for this program, the gorgeous park, and the fantastic people that make it all possible. I hope they may stumble upon this so they can receive this very public, and heartfelt – Thank you! The Details
To be honest, I would gladly pay for my kids to be involved in this awesome program, but to make an already wonderful program even more irresistible, they’ve gone and made it FREE! Yep, TOTALLY FREE! So if you have preschoolers in your home or in your care, don’t delay, checkout: tykes.eventbrite.com, to see times and get more information! Be sure to register because space is limited!
Continue towards the Nature Center and park in the main parking area. Walk up to the Nature Center to meet up with the group right outside the Information Desk.