Nature is a great remedy for the after holiday blues. Researchers in Sweden have found that joggers who exercise in a natural green setting feel more restored and less anxious, angry, or depressed than people who burn the same amount of calories jogging in a built urban setting. Hays will continue their series in 2013 with sessions that can break the winter doldrums.
Other than bears and certain other animals, wildlife doesn’t stay inside during the winter months and neither should we. Operation Green Team’s Chilly Play Days at Hays’ will be a great time to get out and enjoy nature!
The first Chilly Play Day at Hays Nature Preserve will teach you and your little one about the tracks of certain animals. Did you know: Scientists recently found that humans have the ability to track by scent alone. Some humans rival bats in echolocation or biosonar abilities. Military studies show that some soldiers in war zones see nuances others miss, and can spot hidden bombs; by and large these tend to be rural or inner city soldiers, who grew up more conscious of their surroundings.
These Play Days will also help teach kids about the changing seasons and what happens during these changes.
A day hike in January will surely live up to the Chilly in the name. Spending more time outdoors nurtures our “nature neurons” and our natural creativity. For example, at the University of Michigan, researchers demonstrated that, after just an hour interacting with nature, memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent. In workplaces designed with nature in mind, employees are more productive and take less sick time.
All of these sessions are a great way to get your kids ready and energized for the semester of school ahead while helping to curb childhood obesity, ADD and ADHD and have a lot of fun while they’re at it.
Date: Saturday, January 5th
Topic: Animal Signs
About: Another fun literacy‐based nature experience developed by The Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. There are many species of animals that live in Hays Nature Preserve. Whether they walk, swim or fly, come have fun as we learn all about these amazing creatures. Compare footprints and see if you can match the animal to its print!
Date: Monday, January 7th & Wednesday January 9th
Topic: Many Forms of Water
About: Water does so many amazing things. We will examine the many forms of water and its uses. Have you thought about what we would do without it? Have fun with us as we learn about all the amazing things water can do! We will also make winter sun catchers with one form of water. They are beautiful and help the wildlife around us. We will also make a seed angel at the Preserve.
Date: Monday, January 14th & Wednesday, January 16th
Topic: I See Sticks, I See Mud – Where is the Green?
About: This time of year, everywhere you look you see sticks and mud. Where is the green? Find out and solve the mystery as you go on magic journey learning about how seasons change the world around us!
Date: Wednesday, January 23rd
Topic: Chilly Day Hike
About: We’ll break out the hand warmers for this one ‐ because you don’t want to miss this hike! Come with us and explore the beautiful winter landscape of Hays Nature Preserve like you have never experienced it before. Who knows, maybe the adventure will end with Operation Green Team’s world famous hot chocolate…
Dates: Monday, January 28 & Wednesday, January 30
Topic: What’s the Buzz?
About: It’s winter and the bees are gone! Come find out what bees do during the winter months. If you miss hearing the bees buzz, we will make our own bee buzzers so you can make one of nature’s most famous sounds by yourself!
Dates and Times:
- Saturday, January 5th at 9:30-11am & 2:30-4pm
- Monday, January 7th at 9:30-11am & 2:30-4pm
- Wednesday January 9th at 9:30-11am & 2:30-4pm
- Monday, January 14th at 9:30-11am & 2:30-4pm
- Wednesday, January 16th at 9:30-11am & 2:30-4pm
- Wednesday, January 23rd at 9:30-11am & 2:30-4pm
- Monday, January 28 at 9:30-11am & 2:30-4pm
- Wednesday, January 30 at 9:30-11am & 2:30-4pm
Location: Hays Nature Preserve
Note: Space is limited. Call 256‐532‐5326 to reserve your spot and to get more information.