Zion Nature Center’s monthly Mommy & Me program was filled to capacity on day one of registration.
The class breaks down and introduces different animals and various nature elements to children ages 1 through 3.
“These activities make nature OK for her age,” Lindsey Schmitz, mother of Jacqueline Schmitz said. “It takes scary away. It’s not scary if you learn about it.”
September’s class focused on fish, and the group hiked to a bridge to find fish swimming in the creek.
Mindy Murdock, Zion Nature Center’s park naturalist, read two books to the children about fish before they hiked back to the nature center for activities.
“I like being able to get outside and learn about the local habitat,” Autumn Hansen, mother of Mary Jo Hand and Hazel Hand, said.
Activities for this month’s program included toy fishing with magnets, using a fish net in a bucket of water with different toy animals in it, fish coloring books, and more.
“They do a nice job setting up,” Bailey Mason, mother of Nicholas Mason and Katherine Mason, said. “It is not play, they are learning.”
This is the Mason family’s second time attending a Mommy & Me class at the nature center. The first was last month’s on the topic of butterflies.
“The class inspired us to get Indiana native plants,” Mason said. “We found two caterpillars and bought butterfly habitats for them. We just released one that had turned into a butterfly.”
Not only are the children learning, but the adults are as well.
“He learned about chrysalis and eggs,” Mason said. “We adults learn a lot too. We are from Fishers, it’s over a half hour drive, but it’s worth it.”
The topics of the class depends on a lot of variables.
“A lot of the topics have to do with the season and what the little ones go toward as they visit the nature center,” Murdock said. “We try to keep the topics easy for them to grasp.”
Murdock warned that the popular program fills up fast.
“It’s something we’ll keep doing,” Murdock said. “We’re discussing what else we can offer for this age.”
The next Mommy & Me program will feature bats and it’s offered at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 25 at the nature center. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 1.
To register for Mommy & Me or other programs at the Zion Nature Center, visit the website at www.zionsville-in.gov/270/Zion-Nature-Center. The Zion Nature Center is at 690 Beech St., Zionsville.