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Have Kids? Need Nature!

June 15, 2017

Child looking at snail. Photo: Juan A. Pons.

Mother’s Day got me thinking … about all the things mothers (and other care-givers) do for their children and about the even longer list of all the things we’re told we should be doing.  While that list of things we should or shouldn’t do is incredibly long, it’s our job to figure out what matters the most and how to make it happen.

As an early childhood environmental educator, a top priority of mine is getting my child outside as much as possible.  I also realize that some parents don’t have the experiences or resources I do for making this happen.  The goal of this and future blog posts will be to share my experiences, both successful, and not, so that we can learn together about outdoor parenting.

If you haven’t already read about the benefits of children spending time outside, here are a few links to get you started:

We really need a movement to “Take a Child Outside Every Day,” or at least to “Take a Child Outside Once a Week,” however the logistics of coordinating partners worldwide for daily or weekly activities are daunting.  With this in mind, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences focuses on getting parents, from September 24-30 annually, to simply “Take a Child Outside.” By facilitating outdoor time for one week, we hope to give adults ideas, resources, and support to initiate ongoing outdoor experiences.  I’ll be extending the Museum’s support by sharing my experiences and ideas as well as answering your questions year-round.  Look for future posts from me and feel free to contact me with your concerns and questions via

Your partner in getting kids outside,

Beth Cranford

Beth is often found at the Museum teaching with live animals or reading stories in the Windows on the World theater.  While she has experience teaching all ages both inside and outdoors, she is new to parenting and learning new things every day from her son.


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