Kids discover nature at PEEC. Courtesy photo
The Pajarito Environmental Education Center is sponsoring lots of fun, free activities for families this summer.
On Mondays, Nature Playtimes continue for kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers. Kids of all ages and their families are invited to join Green Hour hikes on Thursday mornings, and on the first Friday of each month, PEEC offers First Friday Forts.
Nature Playtimes commence every Monday 10-11 a.m. at PEEC. During Nature Playtimes, kids ages 0-5 enjoy a short story time and a wide variety of activities about nature. Kids and parents rotate through activity stations together, with each week bringing new activities on a different theme.
It’s a great way for kids to learn things such as: where squirrels hide their nuts for the winter, what the inside of a cave is like, and how bats fly in the night. Parents enjoy making new friends and visiting with old friends.
The National Wildlife Federation recommends that every kid get outside for a “Green Hour” each day. Time spent in nature reduces stress, increases attention spans, and stretches young brains in beneficial ways.
Green Hour hikes are a great way to get kids outside, because kids decide how far to hike and when to stop and play. They’re about the journey instead of the destination. Kids have fun playing outside with the other kids on the hike, and parents have other parents to chat with while the kids are busy making mud pies, digging burrows, or setting up houses.
PEEC volunteers will be leading Green Hour hikes at 9 a.m. every Thursday in June and July.
To find the location each week, check PEEC’s website www.pajaritoeec.org , subscribe to PEEC This Week, a weekly emailed newsletter (you can subscribe from the website), join the PEEC Family Nature Yahoo Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/peecfamilynature), or just call 662-0460.
Fort building and digging in the dirt are such popular kid activities that PEEC has another activity that focuses just on that. First Friday Forts celebrates all things relating to sticks and dirt. Kids can build a giant fort in PEEC’s Nature Play Area, or get cooking in the mud kitchen. First Friday Forts happens from 3:30-5 p.m. the first Friday of every month.
Parents must stay with their kids, but they’re welcome to sit on the benches outside or access free Internet access inside, as long as they are comfortable letting kids be outside on their own.
Meanwhile, kids will be busy setting up house, selling items at the trading post, planting a “garden” and “cooking” their harvest, or anything else they can dream up.
PEEC also offers Summer Family Evenings, with fun activities and events for families at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday in June and July.
There’s still time to sign up for Kids’ Summer Gardening, held at 9 a.m. Wednesdays for grades K-3 and Elements with Melissa Mackey at 2 p.m. Wednesdays for ages 8-12.
Learn more about these programs and more at http://www.pajaritoeec.org/.