After taking a week or so off of hiking for a back injury, The family and I got back out on the trails after running errands this morning. It was a short hike, just a little over an hour or so but it was worth it. We had hiked this particular trail earlier in the year when most of the vegetation was still dead. This hike though was after a weeks worth of rain so the river was finally receding after it had overflowed its banks.
The vegetation had grown in, trees were in their full splendor and it was gorgeous. It was a great view and a way to put in practice using every moment as a way to learn. During the hike, my wife and I got to talk with Isaiah about snails that he found and what they eat ( they eat vegetation ), how they move, and how big they can get. Google showed us the answer to that last question. We talked about the tiny spiders we saw and the little bugs on the river were. A park worker explained to Isaiah and us that they were water fleas, which I had never heard of.
Isaiah found a few trees to climb, dead ones since the others had vines with thorns growing on them. We counted driftwood and worked on addition by the side of the river with the smaller pieces. We noticed that much of the undergrowth seemed to have been bent over and several areas had been washed away so upon further investigation, we found how high the water had risen once it flowed over the banks. This was pretty cool to see and to Isaiah, it was a wow moment that the river could go so high.
We found a bunch of mushrooms growing on fallen and dead trees, and he wanted to know if they were edible so we googled it. A good thing we did because they were not edible. His natural curiosity was on full display during the hike, asking questions as we went. It was great to see and interesting to note that as adults, we seem to lack this natural wonder that children have.
On the way back, after hiking the length of the trail, we stopped along the river to cross onto a small island in the river. We did so barefoot and boy was the water cold. Isaiah was pretty proud of himself after he climbed the sandy incline to get on top of the island. We explored a little bit, Isaiah found some bamboo he decided to use as a walking stick/sword. He taught me that it does indeed hurt to be whacked on the shin by a stick of bamboo. After all this hiking, questions, and learning together we decided to trek off the little island through the water to some rocks just off the river’s edge. We decided to take a break and watch Illiana and Isaiah play on the rocks and listen to the water rolling over the nearby rocks. Isaiah found some shells nearby and wanted to know why sea shells were here at the river. That led to an interesting discussion that eventually led to the question of if sharks could swim this far inland.
It was a great hike and a great example of how everyday moments can be learning moments for not only the child but the parent. These are the moments that children learn the most. They learn from parents while doing everyday things in what can seem like the most mundane times. Take advantage of these.
Have you and your children had times like this? What did they want to know about or what was the situation? I would love to hear about it. You can comment below! If you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing below!