Explore Outdoors

Explore Outdoors provides fun and educational outdoor experiences for children and families in the Seattle area. Our offerings include: Parent-and-Child Nature Classes These family-friendly nature classes are suitable for children ages 2-6 and their caregivers.

They are held in parks throughout the Seattle area, including the east side. Children will engage in hands-on activities and explorations of nature while learning scientific concepts and building their understanding of the natural world. Adults will learn about natural history and get to know other parents, grandparents, and caregivers who enjoy the outdoors in a fun and welcoming environment. Guided Nature Walks and Hikes Our hikes are tailored for a variety of audiences, including families, scout troops, homeschooling groups, after-school clubs, and adult groups. Learn about local natural and cultural history on a hike that engages children and adults alike. Choose from a variety of local park options, lengths, and difficulties. For more information or to request a class or hike for your group, email [email protected], or join our mailing list on exploreoutdoors.us.

Mission: The mission of Explore Outdoors is to inspire curiosity and joy while building scientific understanding of the natural world through personal experiences and investigations of nature. We seek to accomplish this by providing engaging outdoor classes, hikes, and tours in parks throughout the Seattle area, tailored to meet the needs and interests of children, families, and adult groups.

Operating as usual


The Log 2: Another year

Stuck at home? Here's a little freebie nature lesson you can do with the kids, inspired by this awesome viral video featuring over 20 wetland animals...

One Busy Log
Watch this very cool compilation video from a trail camera showing a variety of animals crossing a natural log-bridge over the course of a year.

Observation & Recording: Have your children try to name all the animals they see. If they are writers, they can make a list, or they can dictate the names to you. If they don't know what an animal is, have them describe it so they can find out it's name. Feel free to pause the video as often as necessary. Ask your children to notice what sounds the animals make and what they are doing. Why do you think they behave they way they do? Why would they be crossing the bridge? (Not just to get to the other side - what do you think is over there that they want or need?) At the end of the video, a list of species is given - compare your list to the real one.

Literacy & Writing: The children can choose one species that interests them and learn more about it - how does it grow up, what does it eat, where does it live, when is it active, etc. They can write a report about their animal or you can read to them and then quiz them about it. This is a good resource for kids to use to learn about animals: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/

Art: Draw a picture of one or more of the animals. Include some of the things they need in their habitat.

Dramatic Play: Create a "log bridge" at home (could be as simple as a folded towel on the floor) and act like some of the animals crossing it. For more advanced learners, create a play involving interactions between the animals. What would they say to each other?

Do you have other ideas about how to use this or other nature videos in homeschooling? Comment below.

The Log 2: Another Year

Nature | PBS

OMG, how cute are these weasels?

Stoat cam! Here's what happens when weasels take over your backyard... Stream "The Mighty Weasel" here: https://to.pbs.org/38qRmmh

📹: Robert E Fuller


Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy

Feeling a little down? Digging in your garden might help!

gardeningknowhow.com Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain as Prozac without side effects and chemical dependency. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier in this article.


4 Scientific Reasons Why Kids Should Be Outdoors

Four reasons among many to encourage kids to play outside...

outdoorproject.com No matter what your interests are, it’s only natural to want to “spread the stoke” for the activities you love. In a community of outdoor enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies, it’s easy to state a case for the benefits of being outdoors. It’s where you hit those natural highs, break personal...


Just 20 minutes of nature significantly lowers stress hormones

In this stressful time, it's even more important to spend time outdoors...

treehugger.com A new study reveals that for urban dwellers, spending just 20 minutes with natural elements makes stress plummet.


The Wood Wide Web: How trees secretly talk to and share with each other | The Kid Should See This

How trees use a network of fungi to send messages and resources...

thekidshouldseethis.com Trees secretly talk to each other underground. They're passing information and resources to and from each other through a network of mycorrhizal


10 Enchanting Spots In Washington You Never Knew Existed

onlyinyourstate.com Did you know about any of these hidden gems in our state?


Plants Complain to Their Friends When the Neighborhood Gets Too Crowded

gizmodo.com Plants don’t like to be touched. For these immobile organisms, it means they’re likely growing too close to a neighboring plant, and that their access to available sunlight is under threat. New research shows that touch-sensitive plants can communicate a warning message to their related neighbor...


Birds Can See Earth's Magnetic Fields, And We Finally Know How That's Possible

sciencealert.com The mystery behind how birds navigate might finally be solved: it's not the iron in their beaks providing a magnetic compass, but a newly discovered protein in their eyes that lets them "see" Earth's magnetic fields.


This New App Is Like Shazam for Your Nature Photos

Merging technology with citizen science...

earther.com In July of 2016, thousands of people wandered out into streets and parks under the guidance of a hugely popular wildlife app. The app was Pokemon Go, and the wildlife did not, in any real sense, exist. Yet while Pokemon fans were attempting to collect fantastic—if ultimately digital—animals, som...


The Importance of Outdoor Play for Children

natureplayqld.org.au Have you ever sat at a park or nature reserve and watched children play? I mean really watched them, not just the occasional mandatory glances to make sure they are ok? Children, like other animals, learn through playing. If you watch a nature documentary that follows young animals around in the wil...

Parent & Child Nature Classes Continue at Lincoln Park this Summer! Mondays, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Attend a single class or the whole series!

Dates and Topics:
July 9 - Radical Reptiles
July 16 - Incredible Insects
July 23 - Captivating Crows
July 30 - Rascally Raccoons
Aug 6 - Lovely Leaves
Aug 13 - Crazy Crustaceans
Aug 20 - Spinning Spiders

More Information: http://exploreoutdoors.us/parent-and-child-nature-classes/

Cost: $22 for one child and up to two caregivers. $32 for two children. Children under age 2 are free.

Registration: http://f8s.co/1r0b

Questions: Email [email protected]


Here's what ancient trees looked like...

Ancient trees had bizarre growth patterns.

United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

This Mushroom Timelapse will totally mesmerize you.

'Hanging on the streets of the forest floor with this incredible fungi timelapse from Planet Earth II. Shot by Steve Axford.
www.artFido.com/popular-art" Via StreetArtGlobe

World Economic Forum

Learning from mother nature. Read more: http://wef.ch/2hmnLBJ


Please, can we stop all the indoor recesses?

"Keeping kids indoors and preventing them from engaging in vigorous outdoor activity is more of a health hazard than fretting about the potential for falls on slippery ground or the unlikely chance of frostbite developing in mere minutes. In reality, kids are fairly resilient and aware of their own physical limitations, particularly if they're allowed to develop those skills from an early age."

treehugger.com Kids can -- and should -- play outside in almost any kind of weather, as long as they're dressed properly.


The More Time Your Child Spends Playing Outdoors, The Smarter She Will Be


teachertomsblog.blogspot.com At the beginning of the 2015 school year Seattle's Public School teachers were on strike. They had a list of demands, m...

[03/09/18]   Spring 2018 Schedule:

Mondays (AM) - Parent & Child Nature Classes at Lincoln Park

Tuesdays - Natural Science Classes for K - 5th Graders at Labyrinth Homeschool Group in Sammamish

Wednesdays (AM) - Garden & Science Program for Hutch Kids Preschool in South Lake Union

Thursdays (PM) - Outdoor Science Day for Alki Coop Preschool

Fridays (AM) - Garden & Science Program for Hutch Kids Preschool

We are available to schedule on-demand field trips, science enrichment classes, birthday parties, and more on selected Thursday mornings, Friday afternoons, and Saturdays. Email [email protected] for scheduling options.


Squirrels Organize Their Nuts Better Than Some Humans Organize Their Closets

gizmodo.com Ah, the simple pleasure of a perfectly stacked soda display or an impeccably organized closet. Who doesn’t feel at least a little reenergized after a bout of over-the-top arranging? Turns out, our squirrelly friends might feel the same way about neatly-organized nuts.


The wolves of Yellowstone... this short, beautiful video illustrates the importance of of biodiversity, including how predators maintain balance in an ecosystem.

14 wolves were released into a park - No one expected the miracle that the wolves would bring! 🐺


How Safe Is Learning Outdoors? Just as Safe as Learning Inside UW Study Finds - Tiny Trees Preschool

tinytrees.org Hannah Frenkel, MPH, compared injury & illness rates at indoor & outdoor preschools. The result: children learning & playing outdoors is just as safe as learning and playing inside.


The Woman Who Charted the Last Great American Wilderness

A fascinating story about one of the first Canadian women explorers, who hiked 550 miles in two months in a skirt and beat her male rival by 6 weeks!

"In contrast to many male expedition journals from the era that glorify suffering and triumph, Hubbard’s is a paean to the wilderness. “When the day’s journey ended I had seen so much that was beautiful, and so varied in its beauty, that I felt confused and bewildered,” she wrote. Out there, “I had none of the feeling of loneliness, which I knew everyone would expect me to have. I did not feel far from home, but in reality less homeless than I had ever felt anywhere.”"

outsideonline.com In 1905, Mina Hubbard completed the expedition her husband died attempting—and beat the pants off his swaggering rival.


The zoo beneath our feet: We’re only beginning to understand soil’s hidden world

"The awareness of this biosphere should change the way gardeners think about cultivating plants and heighten everyone’s understanding of the natural world."

washingtonpost.com Some of the greatest wonders of the universe are oh so close.


Playing Outside Makes Kids Happier, Healthier And Smarter (But 7 Minutes A Day Isn't Enough)

Kudos to Texas Public Radio for this podcast on the importance of giving children sufficient outdoor play time.

tpr.org Despite evidence that children who play and learn outside are healthier, happier and smarter , the average child today spends just four to seven minutes


The Ultimate Hiking List for Puget Sound Families

parentmap.com 10 guides to kid-friendly hikes in the greater Seattle area


An Animated Guide to Never Getting Lost

A few easy, useful tips about navigating in nature...

atlasobscura.com Learn to navigate with the moon, stars, trees, and more.


15 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In Washington Should Take

onlyinyourstate.com You can bring the whole family along for many of these shorter, 5-mile hikes!


The Most Successful Female Everest Climber of All Time Is a Housekeeper in Hartford, Connecticut

outsideonline.com Lhakpa Sherpa ​​has climbed Everest more than any other woman—​and now she's on the mountain trying for her seventh summit​. So why doesn’t anyone know her name?


Bear poop yields 1200 seedlings at RMNP

"No one in the park had done it before, but they decided to plant the scat in the park's greenhouse to see what would happen..."

9news.com They did not pick out the seeds, but simply mixed the scat with soil in germination trays.


Why You Need More Dirt in Your Life

"Human beings need to be exposed to the biota in the dirt, in the ground, especially when they’re kids, as a way of inoculating us to diseases that appear later in life. Kids these days are not being exposed to dirt because they’re not allowed to play outside. Their parents think dirt is dirty. But both the newest science and the oldest traditions tell us the same thing, which is that the ground is alive. The ground gives us life."

news.nationalgeographic.com Soil helps build up our defenses against disease and imparts a sense of the sacred—and we are killing it.


The Intrepid '20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society

The inspiring story of "explorers in an age of homemakers" who collectively covered hundreds of thousands of miles across five continents...

atlasobscura.com Excluded from the men-only Explorers Club, they established their own group for adventurers.


Is Fungus the Material of the Future?

Fungi: a sustainable alternative to plastic, rubber, wood, and leather. Now, when can I get my hands on some fungus slippers?

smithsonianmag.com Scientists in the Netherlands have found a way to make slippers and other household objects using fungi

Dan Rather

Great words from Dan Rather on nature's power to give us hope...

Along a stretch of the Texas Colorado river that runs through Austin where I love to wander the robins are back. The age-old indication that spring is once again with us. And along parts of New York’s Beaverkill river where I often wade the eagles are nesting their young again.

It’s hard to fully express how good it made me feel to see the robins’ return and the eagles’ nests rebuilt.

In the cauldron of chaos, confusion, uncertainty and danger that so many Americans feel today, given developments in Washington and elsewhere, perhaps it’s no wonder we are all looking for even brief interludes of hope and peace. The return of early signs of spring is, to me, anyway, a reminder that, whatever the news of the day, life is filled with constants. And that nature is one of them.

Such a reminder leads to contemplation of the long arcs of life and history, and quiets, however fleetingly, worries about the headlines of the moment; a respite from jangling cell phones, binging computers and the drone of cable channels.

Any long walk in the woods, or anytime I’m on the water with a fly-rod in hand, does this for me.

But one can experience it in even the biggest, most bustling city, too. As just one example: behold the increased number of hawks in New York City. As reported recently in various places, the hawk population is on the rise in Gotham, especially among the Red Tailed Hawk that have long favored some of the buildings bordering Central Park. Nobody seems to know exactly why the number of city hawks is climbing. Everybody seems to welcome it.

The poet Robert Frost once advised, “We may choose something like a star to stay our minds on and be staid.” Well, if the stars aren’t out try a nature walk. Fix on a robin, or a hawk, or a new eagles’ nest and be staid.


How the Victorian Fern-Hunting Craze Led To Adventure, Romance, and Crime

"At the height of fern fever, even the truly discerning Victorian hostesses abandoned tea parties in favor of organized fern-hunting. Soon, they were organizing daylong woodland expeditions, complete with picnic baskets and competitions for who would find the rarest specimen."

atlasobscura.com "Pteridomania"—an obsession with ferns—gripped the era's amateur botanists.


11 women who made wilderness history

In honor of International Women's Day...

wilderness.org President Trump, his fossil fuel administration, and anti-conservationists in Congress are attacking America’s public lands!

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college in Seattle?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.



About   Contact   Privacy   FAQ   Login C