A Walk in the Woods

Website review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
A Walk in the Woods Website Poster Image
A perfect first step to exploring the great outdoors.

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to appreciate nature through this simple site. The friendly narrator highlights safety tips and ecology rules during the walk and encourages kids to be considerate with nature -– take only pictures and leave only footprints.  Kids are given easy-to-understand information about lifecycles in the forest, plants to avoid, and common animals like deer, raccoons, squirrels, and ticks. Kids might even pick up some new vocabulary words like "dormancy" and "nocturnal."  Even without the bells and whistles of flashier sites, A Walk in the Woods is a good nature-walk primer for young kids.

Positive Messages

The website promotes the benefits of spending time around nature as well as responsible stewardship of the forest. Offering tips about polite hiking etiquette and proper treatment of natural lands, the site imparts advice without being preachy.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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Kid, 8 years old December 23, 2009
love it it was a good movie and story good jod

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.

Talk to your kids 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?

Website details

For kids who love the outdoors

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