Let the Outdoors Unleash Your Child’s Inner Explorer

Children are naturally inquisitive—they love to explore and discover new things around them. Florida state parks provide unique and often free opportunities for children to see and learn about animals, natural resources and plants.

Your child’s level of understanding will deepen over time with such enriched experiences.

  • Infants begin to use their senses and explore when they gain mobility and begin to crawl. Take a large blanket to the park for your baby to crawl on and play with infant toys or shake rattles.
  • Toddlers engage in exploration as their physical and motor capacities increase. One of the eight areas of development, or domains, outlined in the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards (FELDS), is scientific inquiry. Scientific inquiry addresses children exploring the world around them. Outdoor activities such as planting flowers and watching butterflies fly are fun for children at this age.

Parks are a wonderful way for children to interact with nature. Plan your visit and view the park guide. Talk with your child about the plants, trees, insects and birds you encounter walking on the trail. Practice math concepts by counting how many birds or insects your child notices during the adventure.

As your child begins to question the sights around them, talk about what they have learned or want to know more about. Visit your local library to check out books about topics of interest for your child.

Hands-on experiences provide children with learning opportunities that create new brain connections. Start a new family tradition and create lasting memories by visiting Florida’s parks and taking advantage of all that they offer.