Every time you and your children watch an animal show on TV, their eyes light up. You see in them a genuine interest in nature at such an early age, evident in the shows that they watch and toys they choose for themselves.
Why not nurture that passion by visiting a nature park?
The benefits of visiting a nature park
From zoos to aquariums to indoor nature parks, interacting with flora and fauna offers multiple benefits and learning opportunities for both kids and adults. Here’s a quick look at these benefits.
When kids are exposed to wildlife, especially during their early years, they acquire new concepts that expand their vocabulary. Furthermore, as they explore each park, they interact with the people around them, helping them further hone their communication skills.
Learning about plants and animals in an environment that is a close replica of their natural habitat is vastly different from seeing them on TV or learning about them within the four corners of the classroom.
Children’s minds are like sponges, ready to absorb bits of information, information that they can retain and use later in life. Zoos, aquariums, and nature parks are perfect venues for added learning because these places engage the different senses of young learners, from sight to touch to hearing.
Some parks offer interactive experiences for visitors. Instead of merely watching plants and wildlife, you and your kids can touch or feed the animals.
This can spark your kids’ curiosity, which, in turn, fuels creativity and the desire to become a lifelong learner.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to grasp concepts like the conservation of endangered plants and animals when these are far-removed from your daily life.
When visiting an indoor nature park, zoo, or aquarium, your children immediately know what’s at stake. It then becomes easier to teach them the value of taking care of the environment.
Discipline and respect for life
Parks and zoos impose rules for the protection and wellbeing of their residents. As visitors, you and your child need to strictly abide by these rules, a good value that you can bring to your home.
Fun for everyone
Seeing animals in person is an activity that can amaze practically anyone, young or old. Take this as an opportunity to momentarily move away from your routines and enjoy the company of your family.
Exploring the park is a great way to include some exercise and briefly stay away from the screens of computers, smartphones, and other devices.
Planning your visit
Interested in visiting a nature park, zoo, or aquarium? Here are a few tips that will make the trip more comfortable and more enjoyable for you and your young ones.
Visit the park’s website
Do a quick Google search and find the website of the park you are planning to visit. Alternatively, you can check out their social media site.
By visiting the park’s online assets, so you’ll get a fair idea of what to expect, from the animals, facilities to other park attractions it offers. It is also a great way to know what the rules the park implements.
Dress for comfort
Save your stylish get-up for another day. Because you are going to spend the rest of the day exploring the park or zoo, comfort should be your primary goal when dressing up. That applies to both adults and kids.
At the very least, wear comfy shoes so you can forgo hassles like sore feet and blisters.
Consider bringing a stroller
Exploring the park can be tiring, even for energetic kids. As such, you might want to bring along a stroller. Better yet, check the park’s policies on its website regarding bringing strollers. The park may offer a few for rent, and you might want to take advantage of that instead of packing the one you own.
Make sure your phone is fully charged
Whether it’s your children’s first or nth time visiting the park, you want to capture their moments of amazement and wonder, either with your smartphone or a camera.
Make sure that your phone’s fully-charged before going to the park. It doesn’t hurt to bring along a power bank or extra batteries if you are going to use a camera. Also, make sure that you have ample space on your memory card.
Keep yourselves hydrated
Most parks have refreshment stands where you can sample their yummy goodies. But it doesn’t hurt to bring a few snacks and water stored in reusable bottles. Just make sure that you properly dispose of your trash afterward. Check the park policies about bringing in food and drinks before going there.
A few days before your trip, check out the safety policies being enforced at the park. This is also an opportune time to talk to your kids regarding the issue of safety.
During this talk, tell them what you expect from them rather than giving them instructions at the park. This means you can just give them some reminders when they become overly excited during the visit.
Be mindful of the park rules. These are enforced for the safety of the visitors as well as its inhabitants.
If the place has several attractions and a few shows, you might want to draft a schedule so that you can make efficient use of your time during your visit. List down the attractions that you want to check out instead of going for the first ones that capture your children’s attention. You’ll be covering more ground with this approach.
Finally, tell your children what time you are planning to go home. This will make it easier for you to coax them to say goodbye to the park’s inhabitants when it’s time to go.
A must-try experience for everyone
Seeing animals on TV and reading about them in books is an excellent way to teach your kids about the value of saving the environment. But nothing beats seeing these in person, whether in a nature park, zoo, or aquarium. Plus, such visits are a great way to teach your children different concepts and values that would prove helpful later in life.