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Getting Out in Nature with Kids for a bit of fresh air and adventure doesn’t have to be difficult! A scenic drive and a few steps is all that it takes to take in the splendor of Nooksack Falls as the glacial runoff plummets almost 100 feet down into a deep, rocky river canyon.
There’s something about the quiet reflective nature of the woods that fuels me, inspires me and recharges my batteries. I know that it is the same for the kids too and our best family days are always spent out in nature, either in the woods, by the water or both.
When we have a rare day off at home together as a family with no sports or events or work to do we automatically start thinking outdoor adventure. It’s somewhat of a tradition for us to pack up the kids and head on out to find a beautiful sight, a new trail to explore or a new body of water to throw stones into.
The hubs and I love it because we get to explore new places and go on ‘nature dates’ like we used to, only with a few more ‘third wheels’ in tow than we had before. Plus to open my children’s eyes to the beautiful world we live in and the power of grounding, close-to-earth nature play makes me feel like I am doing something right and can celebrate a little parenting success. And the kids just enjoy feeling brave on adventures.
To get to the Nooksack Falls viewpoint near Mount Baker, head east from Maple Falls, along Highway 542. Proceed 7 miles past the Glacier Ranger Station, to Wells Creek Road # 33 (also has Nooksack Falls signs marking the road) Proceed 2/3 of a mile down to the parking area on the left with the short trail leading to the viewpoint on the right.
The walkway is fun for kids to explore but is not stroller or wheelchair friendly. In the winter months, the road is only passable by snowshoer or cross country skier, so get out in the spring when the water is roaring or in the summer or fall.
This is a great family adventure because there really isn’t much hiking or effort required. You only have to walk a very short distance for a big payout! Plus, there’s a safety fence surrounding the entire falls, so that’s a bonus!
It only takes minute to reach from the main road, but once you’re in the Mount Baker area there’s lots more to do and explore.
After the falls, drive up Mount Baker Highway a bit and you’ll find a short boardwalk along the river that is another easy spot to safely enjoy the river.
Regardless, make sure to visit the town of Glacier while you’re in the area. The pastries and espresso at Wake and Bakery are to die for and if you’re looking for adult refreshment make a pit stop at Graham’s and enjoy a cold beverage on the same bar top that Clark Gable and Robert Deniro visited while filming movies in the area.
Finding adventures where you can have a big payout with minimum effort is one of the best things I’ve learned over the years that makes it easy to get my young kids out in nature. Because of the age spread of my kids I have consistently had a toddler in tow for the last 14 years which makes things fun but also more difficult. Read on for my of the strategies for Getting Out in Nature with Kids that I’ve come up with over the years.
5 Tips for Getting Out in Nature with Kids
- Dress for the Elements – remember rain coats, river shoes, sunglasses or whatever else your child may need for the weather that day. Warm and dry kids are happy kids.
- Consider Age and Endurance – the younger the child, the shorter the attention span. Seek activities with BIG payoff from only little effort. Choosing short, semi flat hikes with a special feature like a lake, waterfall or something else to keep the kids focused on gives them a goal and keeps them wanting to go on more adventures in the future.
- Play Along – for kids, the excitement is all about just being out in nature – the journey is just as fun as the destination, so try to remember that raw excitement about nature and play with your kids. If after a bit of walking down a trail, the excitement wears off, have a few games like a scavenger hunt (or animal scat hunt), I spy, the alphabet game or even a magnifying glass up your sleeve!
- Give it Time – adventures with kids happen at a much slower pace than you may be used to. They like to find sticks, look at leaves, take lots of water breaks and spend time playing in the dirt. Encourage creative exploration and plan for enough time to really let your kids delve into discovering nature. And remember, it’s about the journey so don’t get in a hurry and rush to reach the destination.
- Fuel Up – Eat a great meal before heading out and pack snacks to fuel you (and the kids) through the adventure. Let the kids get involved in choosing, packing and carrying their own light snacks on adventures. Give them their own kid sized water bottle and snack filled pack.
On this particular adventure, we fueled up in the morning with a bowl of Post Shredded Wheat® cereal. Shredded Wheat is a breakfast staple in my family. Growing up I had a bowl of original shredded wheat every morning because that is what my dad did. Now, the only cereal my daughter will eat is Frosted Shredded Wheat and both my boys love it too, but this iconic cereal – with it’s new flavor updates – can fuel you through more than just breakfast!
With three NEW exciting flavors – Post Shredded Wheat Frosted Mixed Berry®, Frosted S’mores Bites® and Frosted Cinnamon Roll® – Shredded Wheat makes a fun, flavorful addition to trail mix.
I like to set out bowls of nuts, dried fruits, dehydrated meats, seeds and cereals for everyone can mix up their own special blend of trail mix.
I chose Shredded Wheat Frosted Berry, almonds, shredded coconut, dried berries and hemp hearts for a fruity mix.
You can find the new Post Shredded Wheat flavors in the cereal aisle of your local Walmart.
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We can all find the things that make life meaningful for us and find ways to fit them into our lives no matter how busy we are with kids, work and other responsibilities. What are the things that fuel your life? What do you do that makes you feel alive? Whatever you’re into, fuel it with Shredded Wheat!
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