Adventurous playgroup opportunity to learnThe Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve this summer is offering its first River Rovers Nature Play Group for Twin Ports children ages 3 to 7.
The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve this summer is offering its first River Rovers Nature Play Group for Twin Ports children ages 3 to 7.
River Rovers begins Wednesday and runs every Wednesday until Aug. 29. The playgroup meets at Billings Park in Superior at the end of North 21st Street from 9 a.m. to noon for a fun-filled nature-themed morning.
The newly designated Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve based in Superior is taking steps to engage the local community. A survey conducted by Lake Superior NERR earlier this year showed that very few environmental programs in Superior offered early childhood programs.
“One of our long-term goals is to connect our community with our nearby natural areas, especially the freshwater estuary,” said Education Coordinator Deanna Erickson.
Why use a nature theme?
Research shows that nature play offers many benefits to young children. One study conducted in Sweden over a year compared motor skill development with children whose preschool spent two hours a day in the natural outdoors vs. traditional playground playtime. By the end of the year the students that had nature as a playground outperformed their playground peers.
Others studies have shown that when children are exposed to the outdoors at an early age, their brain development increases for problem solving and creative thinking as well as increasing chances of becoming life-long outdoor enthusiasts.
“We want to meet the needs of our community, and we want to do it well,” Erickson said. “Parents can bring their children the day of the program without registering, and drop them off with our certified education staff. We are asking for a donation of $5 to help provide materials and snacks for the children.”
For information, go to uwsuper.edu/news or call (715) 392-3141.