A Walk in the Woods
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this low-tech site is designed to engage young children (and even some older ones) in the beauty and fun of nature. Specially targeted to newbie explorers, this site covers all the basic safety and ecology rules (leave only footprints, take only pictures) while giving a comprehensive glimpse at a slew of common forest residents, from fungus to rodents. Parents should find the teacher guides useful for tailoring activities to aspiring naturalists, while enjoying the sound advice that reminds kids to stay away from poison ivy and stinging bugs, among other things.
What kids can learn
Engagement, Approach, Support
Young kids will like the Fun Place, where they can make a silly picture with clip art and background images of real nature photographs. There are also places for older kids to read and submit their own messages and journal entries.
Throughout the "walk," nature notes are available with additional information about the subject at hand -– did you know some trees have bark that can be more than two feet thick?
Teacher guides help adults tailor activities to aspiring naturalists and provide sound advice that reminds kids to stay away from poison ivy and stinging bugs, among other things.
What's it about?
Created by the university of Illinois Urban Programs Resource Network, A Walk in the Woods is one of a few sites made for kids who don't have easy or regular access to the large, undeveloped areas. This simple site encourages wonder, and teaches respect for nature.
Is it any good?
The beauty of A WALK IN THE WOODS lies in its simplicity. Like a babbling stream or a butterfly silently resting on a flower, this site celebrates all the little wonders of nature. That's no small feat in the digital era, where things need to be immediate and high energy. You won't find a massive chat room here with animated cartoon creatures or the chance to make your pet a virtual penthouse. And that's just fine! Instead, kids can get an introduction to all the cool plants and animals that are easily detected on a simple stroll through the real woods. Through the use of up-close pictures, videos, and soothing narration, this site equips kids with the knowledge to get them ready to grab a backpack and a buddy and explore the natural world around them.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about nature and ecology. What things can you do to help the environment and preserve open spaces. How do things like conserving resources and recycling help forests?
What are some rules of hiking? How can you protect yourself? How should you behave so that you stay safe and let others enjoy the quiet of a park as well? Are there some common rules that apply to both safety in the outdoors and safety online?
Families can talk about how fun a walk in the woods can be. How is going outside and exploring nature different than surfing the internet or playing a video game? What can you do to balance out your indoor electronic time with outdoor exercise?