Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Family Fun Day at the University of Washington

Last weekend (the day before Mother’s Day) we went to an event put on by the school of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington.  They had two rooms of tables set up with displays and hands-on activities covering various topics in geology, physics, rocketry, soil science, space science, and others.  There were lots of families there, learning and exploring.

geology kids UW university of washington
Learning about Rocks
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Liquefaction During Earthquakes
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Making our Own Earthquake
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Earthquake Seismographs
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Looking at Rock Slices Under Microscope
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Thermal Imaging Camera
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Rockets!
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Rock and Soil Chemistry
kids science demonstration UW geology
Making a Volcano

After that was over, we walked down to the School of Forestry, where I got my degree many, many years ago.

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Me and the Kids at the School of Forestry

The buildings were closed, but I enjoyed showing my children where I spent so much time in the two years I was there.  It brought back a lot of memories!

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Anderson Hall, UW Forestry

We enjoyed walking through the gardens with medicinal plants.  While there, we heard a clattering and clacking from up in the trees.  We were thrilled to find that there is a heron rookery right across the street from the forestry buildings!  You could see the giant nests, with the giant birds in them.

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Heron Nests

Occasionally a heron would fly out or into the grove of trees.  That is such an incredible sight.  This rookery didn’t exist when I went to school there.

We wandered around the campus a bit, enjoying the warmth of this sunny spring day.

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Drumheller Fountain and Mt. Rainier
drumheller fountain UW kids nature campus
Make Way for Ducklings!

We also popped into Suzzalo Library to look at the architecture.  It reminded me of the old churches in Europe.

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Suzzallo Library
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Stone Stairway
suzzallo library UW architecture kids
Pillars and Stained Glass
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Main Older Section
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Painted Ceilings
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Detail of Wooden Carvings on Book Cases
suzzallo library UW campus architecture
Reading Giveth Vigor to the Mind - Squirrel!!!

I’m grateful we have such interesting and historical buildings in our city.   I kept dropping hints that the kids would enjoy going there when they are ready for college.

architecture UW campus family
Gargoyles!
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Merman
UW architecture family outing kids Seattle
Carvings outside Johnson Hall
UW architecture family outing seattle kids
George Washington Statue

It was such a fun day, walking around campus, learning with my kids, getting a bit of nature and science in the city.  University campuses are often wonderful places to get a nature fix, and parents can keep an eye out for interesting events to take their kids to, to take advantage of supplemental learning and community events.

2 Responses to Family Fun Day at the University of Washington

  1. I love your website! I think that education is super important to a child’s well-being. While I sometime love removing myself from the emotional tech-driven world we live in, I think it’s important to understand HOW our world works. Yeah, looking at the pretty rocks while hiking is nice, but understand how they were created gives me pleasure on a whole other level. My mind is constantly blown by science. I love it.

    • Thanks for stopping by! Education is super important to us. The approach I’ve tried to take with my kids since they were little is to introduce them to the natural world, and if they are interested in something we learn more about it. I don’t like going on our hikes with an educational agenda in mind. I find we learn plenty by following our interests. But books and teachers and scientific organizations help add to the wonder we already feel, and increase our enjoyment of our time outside.

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