Starting in September we have gone on a Nature Walk every month this year. A lovely friend recommended the Clinton Nature Center to me recently, so that is where we went on our February Nature Walk. We went in what is apparently the coldest time of year in Mississippi. Being recent transplants I am still figuring everything out down here, but February has been on the colder side and we were the only ones brave enough to venture outside on this random weekday morning adventure. Despite that, we had a delightful walk.
We started inside the Nature Center itself. A helpful staff member welcomed me and the kids and invited us to look around. My kids loved the table filled with various artifacts, shells, rocks, etc. They could have explored there for at least an hour, but I was eager to get outside while the sun was shining so after they explored for a little bit we headed out. We got a map from the center and picked a trail.
The trails are well marked, easy to walk, and almost exclusively flat - which when you're walking with kids are all good things.
The trees were mostly bare (obviously because it is February) but the birds were active and chatty. My twins have been interested in birds for a while, so this was exciting. The woodpeckers were a highlight.
Being three year olds, they also enjoyed writing letters and drawing lines in the dirt with sticks and pretending to be trains.
When we looped back around to the Nature Center we stopped at the Play Forest.
This is another place that will be better when our little fingers are frozen without mittens, but my kids were excited. They dug in the sand and practiced balancing. I'm looking forward to checking out the water feature.
We will certainly be back to visit again when the trees are filled with leaves!
*Trails are open 7a-7p, seven days a week.
*Technically the Nature Center and trails are free, but they do encourage a donation. A membership is very reasonably priced.
*The Nature Center is located within a residential neighborhood and there is not a very large sign. Slow down when you get close to the address and look for a path between a couple of houses and a smaller sign for the center.
These will vary depending on the time of year. Journaling is a year round option, but here are some ideas for each season:
Spring: make squishy, gooey mud with this fun Mud Playdate inspiration.
Summer: find bugs and observe them in a simple DIY Bug Jar.
Fall: explore Fall colors with this Fall Tree Drawing Prompt
Winter: put all those rocks and sticks you found to good use with these Loose Parts Ideas.
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