Walk With Wonder

Sonia Thompson

"Children can't bounce off the walls if we take away the walls." -- Erin Kenny

A group of children on a Wonder Walk (all photos courtesy of Wonder Walks).

We all know children thrive on quality time spent in nature. But what exactly makes their time outdoors quality? Enter Wonder Walks, guided group nature walks designed for children in the Oxford, Mississippi, area. The goal of Wonder Walks is to foster a basic understanding and respect for all living things and inspire the confidence that learning through self-discovery can provoke.

The brainchild of Oxford resident Katie Boyle, Wonder Walks is an opportunity for kids to get to know the wild world right in their backyards and to feel comfortable and safe in nature. Boyle's classes all incorporate earth and life sciences. She says that when in the woods, children begin to understand the meaning and impact of living science through studying the natural world, which builds a foundation for future studies.

Boyle says that during her walks, children might learn the names of trees, or roll over a log and find creatures living underneath. They may catch a frog, view at salamander eggs under a magnifying glass, or witness a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. The surprise, excitement, and joy on their faces when they experience these every-day occurrences in nature both delight and amaze them.

Boyle conducts all Wonder Walks hikes on the University of Mississippi’s South Campus Rail Trails, and registration for the spring semester is now open here.

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