Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today at Thriving Moms, we discussed getting children outdoors. Now for many homeschoolers, this isn't an issue, but I thought I would share these links and other info with everyone because apparently this is a huge concern with many families. Hope it is of use to someone!

I would highly recommend the Salamander Soirée
at Sharon Woods Kreis Dam on Saturday Feb 13th at 2:00 p.m. I didn't realize until we went on this hike that salamanders hang out under rocks and logs right along the trail and that the best time to find them is in February and March.

They have 3 winter programs set up for families, all 3 of which my family has done in the past and enjoyed. Sycamore Park is in Batavia and Pattison in Owensville. Crooked Run, well, that is quite a hike out Rt. 52, probably a good 20 minutes or so past New Richmond, but it is a beautiful place!

Winter Hike
Saturday January 23
10:00 am
Sycamore Park
Beat the winter blues by getting outside and enjoying the crisp winter air. We'll hike and explore all of the trails on the new James L. and Frances Wilson Nature Preserve.

Owl Prowl
Friday January 29
6:00 pm
Crooked Run Nature Preserve
Winter is an excellent time to go "owling." Walk with a naturalist as we try to lure in one of these nocturnal wonders. Meet at the visitor center.

Backyard Sugaring
Saturday February 13
11:00 am
Pattison Park Lodge
Visit the Pattison Park sugarbush to learn all about making maple syrup. Follow the process step by step and see how you can make your very own maple syrup right in your backyard. Please call 513.876.9013 to sign up.

Warren County Parks: http://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/

Butler County Parks: http://www.butlercountymetroparks.org/ We have attended a few programs here, they did a wonderful Native American Program and my boys participated in a "mud derby" a few summers ago. Keep in mind that MANY of the Butler county parks have primitive bathrooms (pits, no running water) which didn't sit well with my girls!

Dayton Parks: http://www.metroparks.org/ Dayton offers some absolutely AMAZING parks and park programs if you are willing to make the drive! Besides a great park system, Dayton also offers one of the BEST children's museums around, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. If you happen to be a member of the Cincinnati Museum Center, you get in FREE! Parking is always free. They also usually have wonderful free traveling exhibits, far surpassing what you see at our local museum center http://www.boonshoftmuseum.org/

Fernald Preserve: http://www.lm.doe.gov/Fernald/Visitors_Center/Visitors_Center.pdf admission is free, they offer some interesting programs from time to time.

The Cincinnati Observatory FOTO 2010 Dark Sky Observing Dates (these take place out at Stonelick Lake) http://www.cincinnatiobservatory.org/Resources/2010_Stonelick_Stargazes.pdf

And for those of you that know me, I plan to set up another STREAM STUDY: If anyone is interested in doing a stream study on the Little Miami River (or even a local park with a creek) when the weather is warmer (I am not getting in the river in January, although my kids probably would!), I have all the materials to do a water quality study. The water quality study is extremely hands on and includes macroinvertebrate collection (using a large kick net), water sampling, and running tests on the water including nitrate levels,water turbidity, phosphate levels, dissolved oxygen, ph levels, water temperature and fecal coliform bacteria testing (yes, that means you are testing for poop in the water!). The kit is intended for elementary school aged kids, but all of my children (from ages 2 on up) enjoy doing this!

1 comment:

becky said...

Laura,
Thanks for this list of outdoor activities! I love it when you post about this sort of thing! Think we might have to head over to Sharon Woods for the salamandar outing! I've always been curious about those little creatures!!

Becky