Introducing children to the joys of nature at an early age can foster curiosity and awareness of their surroundings.
Reed Creek Interpretative Center is offering a "Nurturing Nature Walks Tour for Families" for preschool-aged children at 10 a.m. Thursday. During the hour-long tour, Education Coordinator Laura Beltran will discuss a specific nature topic with the youngsters.
"It's a lot of sensory stuff," said Beltran of the program, adding that children must be accompanied by an adult. "There's a lot of listening and touching activities, as well as singing of songs to do with nature and movement."
Beltran said she aims to coordinate and offer a preschool nature program at least once a month, giving children the opportunity to walk around the quarter-mile boardwalk and participate in a craft project.
"The last part of the program involves craft time and that's really optional if the parents don't want to participate in it," she said.
The preschool program targets children ages 3-5, but parents also can bring younger siblings, as all areas are stroller-accessible. The first 50 minutes of the program is outside, while the remaining time is spent indoors.
"It gives parents a chance to get their preschoolers outside," said Beltran, who often has a storytelling component at the end of the hour.
While the Thursday program is for preschoolers only, Reed Creek also offers programs for those ages 5 and older.
"All About Frogs" will be held on Jan. 29 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The program will feature local frogs and explain how Reed Creek is studying them through a calling system at the center.
"We'll go outdoors and listen for frogs using the calling survey protocol," said Beltran.
Beltran said registration is not required for either of the programs offered this month. For information about the programs, call Beltran at (706) 210-4027.
Reed Creek Interpretive Center is located on Furys Ferry Road behind Zaxby's. The center is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The center also is available for birthday parties and other events on weekends.
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