Visiting the Luci and Ian Family Garden
We want your experience at the Luci and Ian Family Garden to be a good one where kids of all ages can just be kids. There are just a few things we would like you to keep in mind as you explore and play in the garden.
- Respect Nature!
- Stay Safe!
- Have fun!
Thing to Know Before You Go
- Don’t forget your water bottle! The Wildflower Center is equipped with water stations where you can refill your water bottle as needed. Refer to your map and guide for locations.
- Be ready with snacks. You can never be too prepared for children’s appetites especially if a quick visit to the Family Garden turns into an afternoon event! So be sure to pack a few options to keep energy levels up. The Wildflower Center Café is also available for heftier appetites.
- Be prepared! Bring a change of clothes and towels in case you need to make a wardrobe change before you next family adventure. The family garden is full of opportunities to splash in the water and get dirty. Also, don’t forget your sunscreen and hats to protect you from the sun as well as insect repellent. Remember, try and refrain from touching bugs if you’ve applied insect repellent!
- In case of bumps and scrapes. Several first aid kits are available on site including the Family Garden, Store, Visitor’s Gallery, and Administrative Office Break Room. Please alert staff for your need to access a first aid kit in case of minor injuries.
- Stay Safe. It is important for children to encounter risk as it helps to develop their confidence and understanding of their limitations. Also, you may see wildlife such as snakes, stinging insects or mammals; just remember to keep a safe distance to prevent injury to yourself or the animal.
General Tips for Bringing Kids Outdoors
- Know the site. Whenever possible, look at a map of the site you are visiting and familiarize yourself with the rules or guidelines of that site.
- Be flexible and patient. Let children’s curiosity and exploration determine the schedule! These moments are otherwise referred to as “teachable moments”. If you are walking towards your car and your little one sees evidence of a wild animal, stop and allow them to explore that interesting find.
- Encourage questioning and curiosity about nature. Encourage children to engage with the natural world through open-ended, first-hand, multisensory activities. These are the building blocks of problem solving and critical thinking skills! Use ice cube trays, egg cartons or dish bins as nature collection containers. With the objects you collect, you can study, sort, build and return back to nature.
- Normalize the outdoors. Try and incorporate nature and the outdoors in your daily routine. For instance, eating, reading and of course, playing outside as much as possible!
- Loose parts and natural materials. Incorporate as many natural objects into art projects as you can. For instance, painting with mud or vegetables, or using leaves for tracing or rubbings. Loose parts are any natural objects like sticks, rocks, dirt or leaves that can be manipulated and used to build and explore.
- No such thing as poor weather, only poor clothing choices! Check the weather before setting out on an adventure and safely embrace the weather as it comes. Keep a spare bag in your car with some of the following items: diapers, underwear, change of clothes, towel, shoes, etc.
- Nature Journaling. Provide a way for children to document their findings and adventures in nature. Start with basic sensory awareness by documenting different textures or colors, etc. As they get older, build on this by encouraging writing, more elaborate drawing and eventually mapping of their backyard, neighborhood or community!
- Challenge them! Providing an outlet for children to take risks and feel empowered through physical or even emotional challenges can greatly increase motor skills and self-confidence.
- Demonstrate. Model appropriate behaviors by demonstrating how to interact with and respect nature. Make their questions and experiences relevant by relating them to everyday life. This will bring meaning to their experiences and ideally foster a life-long love of the outdoors.