Get your family exploring with Mini Mountaineers!

Give yourself and your little one the gift of outdoor exploration by becoming a Mini Mountaineer! Kids ages 2-5 are invited to join us for fun, sensory activities in nature designed to support their growing minds.
Hannah Tennent Hannah Tennent
Youth Outreach Coordinator
September 17, 2020

The benefits of spending time outdoors, for both kids and adults, are so numerous that they can hardly be overstated. Nature provides a break  from screens for both our eyes and minds, a place where a lot of our attention is dedicated these days. Before 2020, kids were already only spending an average of  4 -7 minutes playing outside per day.

Studies have proven that the unstructured time kids spend outside builds confidence and promotes creativity. It gets us moving and inspires wonder. Here at The Mountaineers we believe strongly in getting kids outside, because we all have a role to play in protecting the planet. For all these reasons (and because this year has kept us inside our homes far too often) we are thrilled to offer you and your family our Mini Mountaineers program! 

Mini Mountaineers

From September through June, kids ages 2-5 and an accompanying adult are invited to join us outside to explore, play, and develop in a group setting.

Beginning September 29, Mini Mountaineers will meet in-person once a month in a Seattle-area park to go on walks and participate in activities designed to teach kids about the natural world. We will also have an online story time and activity once per month, and provide ideas for activities that can be done at home during those weeks when we do not meet.

We currently have activities available through the end of 2020 and will be posting more for 2021 in the coming months. To participate, you’ll need a Mountaineers Family or Guest Family Membership if you don’t have one already. This program is available in Seattle and Tacoma, please reach out to Hannah Tennent with any questions you may have. 

Tacoma Mini Mountaineers

Seattle Mini Mountaineers

Eager to dive in right away? Take a look at sample activities for you and your children, below: 

Explore Sound at Home

A large part of the exploration that happens in Mini Mountaineers is learning with our senses. Observation is the root of science, and it's an activity that can provide so much joy in children's lives. We invite you to bring some learning into your family's life with these activities focused on sound:

  • Do you have a curious child who's always asking questions about the world around them? Listen to NPR's "But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids" and let someone else answer all those tricky questions.
  • Make a sound map! Bring a writing tool and paper to a comfortable spot. Sit down and doodle a small image that represents you. Then, sit quietly for 5-10 minutes and record all the sounds you hear. How do sounds differ in different locations? Do they change if you're inside or outside? 
  • Collect sticks outside and use them to make a rainstick!  Rainsticks have been used by many cultures long before recorded history so their origin is difficult to pinpoint. The Diaguita people in Chile made theirs from dead cactus stalks, while rattles pierced with iron nails where common with the Togo and Pangwe people of Africa.
  • Go on a photo walk. Let your little one take control of a camera and take photos of things that make sounds around your neighborhood. I found this idea on Karen Cox's blog, where she has a plethora of other sound activities for young learners.

Check out our Stuck Inside series for more great activities you can do at home. 

mini3.jpgMini Mountaineers exploring the natural world around them. Photo by Katie Love. 

Lead image of Mini Mountaineers and their families splashing in puddles in 2019. Main Image by Katie Love.