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Teachable Moments in the Woods
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Hi I am Kathy Moore for About.com. A hike in the woods not only is great exercise, but can also be an educational opportunity for your children. This program offers some ways to teach kids about nature while hiking through the woods.
Benefits of Outdoor Time

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health noted that time spent hiking in a green environment improves children's attentiveness and focus. A nature hike can also be a simple and fun learning experience.
Teachable Moment: Tree Life

Tall trees are really fascinating to my kids. When we are hiking, we often talk about how old a tree is. I try to find a tree that was cut down to show the kids the rings of a tree stump. I explain that each ring represents one year, then we try counting the rings to determine the age of the tree.
Teachable Moment: Animal Life

Discovering how animals live in and use trees is also interesting to kids. Have your kids look for signs that animals have been living in or using a tree for food. You can find acorns or other tree seeds and explain how squirrels help spread seeds around.
Teachable Moment: Growing Things

Finding pine cones along a hiking trail offers another opportunity to talk about seeds and how trees grow. You can also point out trees of various heights and sizes and use them to demonstrate how trees grow just like we do.

When it is time to take a rest, you can talks about the different spots in the forest where animals might sleep.

Spending time with your kids is great, but even a relaxing walk in the woods offers an opportunity to teach children something that will stay with them forever. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.
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