Natural Knowledge: Phinizy Nature Center program teaches kids about the outdoors

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Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020
News 12 This Morning

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- If you're looking to get your toddler active and outside, Phinizy Swamp Nature Center may have the program for you.​ It's called Puddleducks, and it combines arts and crafts with education and nature.

On a normal day, you can head down to Phinizy Swamp and find different animals, but on the second Tuesday of every month, you can find another group here -- the Puddleducks. It's a program for toddlers and their parents.

Camilla Sherman is the assistant education director at the center. She says it's a great program to help kids learn about the outdoors.

"It's kind of an exploratory program. There's a different nature theme for each class," Sherman said. "Every time they read a storybook that goes along with the theme, they make some type of craft. They go on a hike and they get some chance to explore."

The theme this month? Possums. The kids had storytime, played outside, and made a possum craft.

"The younger you can expose kids to the outdoors, the better."

Sherman runs field trips for older kids and says a lot are scared of bugs or seeing other animals outside. She's hoping programs like this change that.

"These kids are getting the chance to see that maybe they don't need to be so afraid when there is a bug and that it's okay to be outside," Sherman said.

She says the program has grown a lot in her two years working here and hopes to grow it more as word spreads.

"I really feel like there is a need for it and it's important. And once parents see how their kids can have such a positive experience, I think they're spreading the word about how great it was and they're coming back."

The program only costs five dollars and is available for kids up to age five. All the money goes back to the center to maintain their facilities and funding programs.

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