Exploring the Outdoors

My little explorer.
I will be the first to (proudly) admit that I am not the outdoorsy type. I run outdoors and every once in a while I will hike, and I do love a nice outdoor cocktail on the porch, but my enthusiasm ends there. Camping is literally my idea of punishment. Soooo I was as surprised as anyone when I found myself taking Maddie to the Boston Nature Center on Friday for some outdoor exploring while her nanny took a much deserved day off. There is a program called Free Fun Fridays in which families can go to all sorts of fun places around Mass for free, but it tends to be really popular and the last couple of times any of us have tried to take advantage of it we have decided it was not worth the crowds. However, I had a hunch that this might not be as popular as the zoo or the children's museum, so I decided to give it a try after checking their schedule and seeing that this was just a couple of miles from us. Turns out, I was right! There were definitely a lot of visitors in addition to the day camps that they run, but the area is so big that it did not feel crowded at all.

Since it was a Free Fun Friday event they had tents stationed around the grounds with fun activities for the kids, so Maddie got to catch bugs with a net, make a coffee filter butterfly and learn how different beaks can pick up seeds using various sized clothespins. We did a couple of the shorter trails where we saw bunnies and lots of birds; Maddie sings a little song about "going adventuring" from the Land Before Time series and she was so cute singing it as she walked along. There is even an area set up where kids can build and dig and play a wooden xylophone! 

As part of the day Read Boston had a professional storyteller come and do his thing as we all sat outside under the big trees. Instead of reading from a book he told interactive stories using his surroundings and some props, which was really neat. Maddie was in awe, since her latest request is always to be told stories about narwhals or sharks or giraffes (we have all gotten really good at improv). She sat and listened and was so excited to retell the stories to us later and at the end, she got to choose a new book, so we had a new National Geographic book on dinosaurs to read once we got home!

It was a super fun day even if I did get three million bug bites (I bathe in spray; why do they feast on me?!?!) and we will definitely be back. It's kind of funny that this was less than two miles from us and yet I had no idea it even existed! But now that we know, I am excited to make another visit soon, outdoors and all :)
Here are some pictures of our day!
Adventuring down the trails.
A little peek-a-boo in front of some puddingstone.
Who is this child and what has she done with my baby?
Catching bugs!
Jamming out on the xylophone.
In the kid's area making a little shelter. 
Pretending to be a bird in her "nest".
Don't I look rustic with my bright pink lips?


gardenbaby said…
Beautiful experiential education experience. You are a natural with your Maddie, Stef. What a lovely memory for you both!!!

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