Why Would You Let A Child Get Muddy, Wet, Scratched, Dirty, and Happy?
Children love anything muddy, wet, moving, or natural. They will spend long happy hours squishing their toes in the mud beside a stream as they watch for little critters and listen to the sounds of nature. Remember turning over a rock and becoming engrossed in the scurrying of the ants you disturbed?
Children are born with a natural sense of wonder about the natural world. The Ridges Sanctuary is working with schools and other Door County organizations to get kids and families outside and looking around. We do have some places at The Ridges where kids (and adults) can splish, splash, squish, and observe with no squelching of their curiosity. The Ridges’ No Family Left Inside program, a cooperative venture with the YMCA and the McArdle Library, is an effort to reconnect kids with nature. Studies have shown many positive effects resulting from a familiarity with the natural world including:
- Improved awareness, reasoning, and observational skills.
- Increased attention span, concentration, and self-discipline.
- Development of imagination and creativity.
- Increased social interaction and cooperation with other children.
- Better physical health – less obesity, improved balance, coordination and motor skills.
- Has a positive influence on psychological well-being.
That’s why you let a child get muddy, wet, scratched, dirty, and happy. A muddy child is a happy child.
That is why The Ridges Sanctuary is partnering with the Door County YMCA to offer “No Family Left Inside.” a series of programs designed to provide these kinds of experiences, and many more, to parents and children who want to explore Door County. Each month, fun activities will be offered to give families more “outdoor time” and help them connect to nature. All programs will be held at The Ridges Sanctuary, but families must register with the Door County YMCA. Fee is $10 per family for each program.
Upcoming programs and dates:
Friday, May 14, 6:30 – 8:00 PM • The Roar of Love—FROG WALK
All the male frogs in the Sanctuary are proclaiming their love for some little green cutie. Listen to their deafening chorus and learn a little about their watery lifestyle during this early evening hike.
Saturday, June 12, 1:00 – 3:00 PM • Explore—SKITTERING CRITTERS
Use nets, buckets, hands, or feet to scoop up some macro invertebrates at Peil Pond. It’s shallow, warm water so don’t be afraid to get your feet wet! Once you start looking, you’ll notice polliwogs, caddis fly larvae, whirligigs, diving beetles, and all manner of tiny skittering critters.
More information on these programs is available on The Ridges’ Website, www.RidgesSanctuary.org, or by calling The Ridges at 920.839.2802 or the Door County YMCA at 920.868.3660.