My family spent a good deal of our spring vacation (yes, I wrote this a while back and am only getting around to posting it, sorry) on Vancouver Island and every day we visited a beach.

Beaches are magical places.. You can roll back rocks, you can build forts out of driftwood and you can explore tide pools at low tide.  So much ocean nature is evident when the tide goes out.

Our friend Paul, a biology teacher, taught us that you should only flip back rocks the are smaller than the size of your head. That way you don’t hurt what’s underneath.  He showed us pisaster starfish (they’re purple), baby eels and crabs.  It was amazing!  My son keeps telling people that he’s seen an eel (and, six months later, he’s still doing it!).

He also loved getting his feet stuck in the mud on Parksville beach, wiggling in the soft mud up to his ankles and playing with a kite that our friend Tim was flying.

I think that thing that made this so special is that we did these activities together.  As the Child and Nature alliance has been saying over the past year “if you want kids to get in to nature, take them outside.”  Kids learn by example and, if you show them that you like being outside with them, so will they!

Not a day goes by when my son won’t ask me to take him outside.  We’ve tried to make the indoors boring and the outdoors exciting.  We can have fun in the backyard, in the forest, in the local park and, sometimes, even on a beach!  Nature is everywhere and, together, we make it fun.

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