Kids, Health and Nature
Did you know, children have experienced a huge decrease in time outdoors in the last few decades? To be exact, kids spend only 4-7 minutes of unstructured time outside each day! Compare this to an average of 7.5 hours in front of a screen each day. It's time to get everyone outside and exploring!
Spending time in nature can:
- Increase creativity, self-confidence, academic achievement, and cognitive functioning.
- Reduce obesity, stress, depression, and symptoms of ADHD.
- Create compassion and improve social bonds.
- Foster a life-long passion and appreciation for plants, animals, rocks, stars and other elements of our natural world.
- Build stewards of the future, who understand what their impact is on the natural world.
Ways to Connect with the Outdoors
Join Us For a Program
OSMP offers a variety of programs for the public. Come join us! View this month's programming.
Ranger Paula's Passport to Wild Adventures
Explore your open spaces and learn about new trails. Download and complete Ranger Paula's Passport to Wild Adventures to earn a Ranger Paula sew-on patch! To receive your patch, submit a completed passport to the Ranger Cottage and take the Ranger Paula Oath of Stewardship! LINK to trails page?
Nature Adventure Packs
Check out a backpack from the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage to take with you while exploring the area. In it you will find binoculars, guidebooks, bug boxes, art supplies, family activities, and more.
During the summer months on weekends, visit the Flagstaff Summit Nature Center. Learn about which animals live in the area and what type of rocks you might find. While you are up there, explore the Sensory Nature Trail. See if you can hike the whole trail with your eyes closed. Find the tree that smells like vanilla!
Discover Accessible Trails
Check out the Visitors Experiencing Disabilities page for details on accessible trails and areas of open space.
Child Friendly Map
OSMP partner, Growing Up Boulder, has a Digital Child Friendly Map. See what this city has to offer youth. GUB's Boulder Digital Child-Friendly City Map.
Nature Discovery Public Programs
Read along with us as we share some of our favorite nature-themed picture books. Readings are followed by a short hike along scenic kid-friendly trails. Designed for ages 3-5.
Fishing is Fun
Any time is a good time for a fishing excursion. Give it a go and try to catch bass, sunfish, bluegill, and other warm-water species. Learn about interesting fish adaptations and behaviors. These programs are geared for children who have never been fishing before or have limited fishing experience. Equipment and bait are available but bring your own if you can. Also, visit Colorado Parks & Wildlife's website Go Fish for '101 places to take kids fishing'.
Nature Play Dates
Join OSMP naturalists for mornings of exploration, scrambling, creating, and looking for signs of wildlife. Meet other families who also like to immerse and connect with nature. These are a great way for children and parents to find ways to play in nature together!
Come join OSMP and local musicians Jeff Kagan and Paige Doughty, for concerts filled with music, fun, and all sorts of information about our amazing natural world. Concerts take place in the summer months. Watch an online concert.
Seasonal Fireside Community Events
Share the awakening of the seasons with afternoons of storytelling, singing, hiking, and new friendships, all enhanced by the warmth of a fire at OSMP Staff’s favorite shelters.