Seward Park’s Tales and Trails

Soon after Bergen’s first birthday this past summer, we took advantage of a warm, sunny day, and his new status as a “one- year old”, and tried out the Tales and Trails program at Seward Park’s Environmental and Audubon Center.  The center provides a program specifically geared towards young toddlers (ages 1-3 years).

Exploring the Audubon and Environmental Center

Our experience began with a welcome from the friendly guide.  She read stories featuring aspects of nature that we might see on our upcoming hike.  She allowed the tots to explore with found nests, and lifelike stuffed animals including birds, turtles, and other woodland creatures.

Sharing a real bird!

Next we hit the trail just outside the Audubon Center, and hiked (s-l-o-w-l-y, think, toddler pace) in search of “animals”.  The guide uncovered various logs and rocks to reveal insects of all kinds, and we also kept our eye out for spider webs.  Some of the webs she sprayed lightly with water for the little ones to catch a better glimpse.

Our search for bugs, and other woodland creatures…

Our short journey ended in a wide open meadow.  The guide whipped her net through the tall grass a few times, laid out a white sheet, and emptied the net.  Tons of tiny creatures magically appeared, and the kids used special bug houses with magnifiers to study each and every one.  At this point, Slaed was taking notes, and asking questions! He did not want to forget this special trick.  It was amazing how many insects she was able to capture in just a few swipes of the net.  She said the key to the whole thing is the white sheet.

Getting an close-up look of some bugs!

In retrospect, Bergen may have been a little too young to really take full advantage of the activities.  There were other “babies”, but they were accompanied by their older sibling.  It was hard to keep his attention during the classroom/storytelling portion even though the guide was very engaging.  He was much more interested in tearing down the library of books.  However, we do not at all regret taking him.  We learned a lot ourselves (like the net & sheet trick), and enjoyed watching the other kids at different stages of toddlerdom.  It was interesting to see how they reacted to the activities.  We’re constantly amazed at how fast they change, from month to month even!

Bergen also got to be outside in the thick of things, which more and more we’re thinking is at the top of his list of things he loves to do, aside from eating, of course.

Info to Know:

  • Seward Park (5895 Lake Washington Blvd. South Seattle, 98118) is open from 6 am to 11 pm.
  • Check out the Seward Park Environmental & Audubon Centerfor programs, hikes, tours, and much more.
    • As of now (Fall 2012), they are offering Tales and Trails for toddlers on Wednesdays from 10am-11am.
      • Cost for the program: $2
      • The hike was slow and leisurely enough for us to just carry Bergen though I also had the ergo just in case.  Strollers would not have worked on the trail we went on, but are perfect for the 2.4 mile loop around the park!

      Come along with us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter!



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