Join the Texas Children in Nature network at the annual Summit and Champions Luncheon. The Summit will bring together leaders from the conservation, education, health, faith and built-environments to share best practices and new innovations that will inspire others to take action.

Texas Children in Nature (TCiN) is a program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. TCiN supports the network of over 500 partner organizations who are dedicated to creating equitble access to nature for children and families. Research shows that children who learn and play in nature are healthier, happier and smarter. Join us this year at the Summit and find out why Texas continues to lead the children in nature movement to connect over 3 million children with nature each year. 

Location:  Holiday Inn Corpus Christi Downtown Marina, 707 North Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Register for this event by clicking on the Ticket button below. Once you are registered you can manage your schedule and networking events.

Registration includes: Access to all sessions, breakfast on Dec. 6 & 7 and access to the Champions Luncheon.

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Thursday, December 6 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Engaging pre-K kids and Their Parents in Outdoor Exploration – at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve

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We began a weekly morning Growing up Wild program at our learning center.  Structurally it was simple to plan as the well-constructed curriculum is already written. Our modification was that we required the parents to participate.  We did not use it as a half day ‘mother’s day out” program, instead we made it dual function to engage the kids and work with the adults as co-instructors.   The program is an incredible success.  We expanded the times to include an afternoon session on the same day to accommodate demand.  Now we are discussing if we’ll add an entire day to the program next year.  The key to our program is that I try to address the adults as much as the kids.  If we play a game, the parents are always part of the game as the predators or prey.  When we catch grasshoppers, they work with their child.  When we do crafts, while we keep them age appropriate, a step might require the parents.  The curriculum comes with home connections sheets, which we edit and make into at home follow-up activities and encourage them to share their completed activities next week.  The whole idea is to get a kid interested in the natural world AND to mentor the parent as their long-term instructor with a foundation of how to explore and enjoy the outdoors with their kid.  I would like to share with you  the successes and challenges of our program.  As a broader discussion we will explore the ideas of introducing families with little outdoor experience to outdoor play.  What are the barriers?  How can we address their concerns and build a value of nature in families with little prior nature connection?

avatar for Caleb Harris

Caleb Harris

Education Coordinator, Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve
I was almost sad one day, but I decided to be awesome instead. True story

Thursday December 6, 2018 1:45pm - 2:45pm CST
Padre Island A