Photo by Christy Cox
CNC is known to be a great place for toddlers, but what are some of the activities we have to offer?
If the weather is steering you indoors, the Nature Exchange is a great place to start. Filled with kid-friendly storybooks, field guides, and activities, parent and child can be engaged with one another as they learn indoors for quite a long time.
You may also want to encourage your child to begin exploring the outdoors with a bit more freedom. At home, or on a nature hike (not at CNC), encourage them to find one object they really like. Together, you can discover what it is, perhaps help your child learn what colors are on their object, what shapes they see, or perhaps where it came from. Sharing this information and their object with the Nature Exchange Naturalist can help them earn points to start their own trading account. Nature Exchange encourages nature study and builds math, science, language skills, and much more.
Nature Exchange also offers scavenger hunts, usually most are suitable for young children with parent assistance. The more things you find, the more points you can earn.
Learn about animals in a safe, indoor environment. Our Watershed Gallery is a great place to let the little ones explore at their own pace without worrying about your child wandering alone. Small enough to keep track of the children, but large enough to ignite their curiosity and keep them busy. Expect to spend at least 20 minutes to see it all.
One of our little visitors’ favorite areas is the fish tank – a large aquarium with a viewing window that goes all the way to the floor. Whether you are tall or small, you can get a great view of bass, sunfish, and turtles gracefully swimming as if they were in the river.
The Wildlife Walk is a paved path, great for a stroll in the stroller. Take your time enjoying the beaver, hawks, owls, and vultures, and you could easily spend 30 minutes watching the animals – just enough time before your little one’s attention span is spent. Restrooms are also located along the Wildlife Walk at the Ben Brady Pavilion, so not to worry if you need to take a break.
CNC has several great picnic areas – places where there are tables and restrooms close by. We also have benches around the property for an impromptu snack break. Change up your routine a bit, pack a snack, and enjoy a meal outside with your little one. Count birds as you sit and snack. Watch the clouds and use your imagination. Go on an adventure to the Boardwalk and eat beside the river under our A-frame.
One of the best parts of CNC with a little one are our trails – ranging from .2mi to .5mi. Pick a trail, or even just a small part of a trail and step into the shade of the forest. Wildlife sounds, colorful leaves, and rocks of all sizes are there for you to explore. A jogging stroller can handle all of our trails, some trails are acceptable for simple strollers as well, especially the boardwalk.
The Mission of the Chattahoochee Nature Center is to connect people with nature. Learn more at www.chattnaturecenter.org.