Wyoming kids need to “Get Wild,” according to the Wyoming Department of Education. 

To get kids outdoors, the WDE is hosting an event at Washington Park this Thursday from 5:30-7 p.m. It will be at Shelter No. 2 and will include free food, gifts, and many outdoor games. 

The “Get Wild Wyoming” engagement project is WDE’s nature-based education initiative. Wyoming’s biggest educational resource is outside, with our diversity of plants, animals, and scenery. WDE says, “It can be any form of learning where children are actively engaging with their natural environment. It can take place at home, in one of our beautiful state parks, at the big pine tree on the school playground, or anywhere outside.”

The Wyoming Department of Education cites Harvard's Health research as to why children need to be outside. 

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Sun just feels good, overall. It also helps the body make vitamin D, which is necessary for bone development and immune system strength. Sunshine also promotes healthy sleep and mood-boosting. 

It’s recommended that children spend an hour being active each day. Outside, that includes bike riding, hiking, exploring, playing at the park, or a variety of sports. 

Executive Function
Executive function is the capability to prioritize, plan, organize, problem-solve, and multi-task. The best practice is by doing–children need to have unstructured time to try these skills. Making up games, communicating with other kids, and overall figuring things out. 

Taking Risks
In order for children to gain confidence, they have to overcome adversity. Climbing trees, playing at the playground, and making new friends outside of school (like at said playground) can provide opportunities.  

Children need to learn social skills, like working together and communicating. Unstructured settings, like the outdoors, provide opportunities for socialization outside of school, sports, and other formal settings.

Appreciation of Nature
Harvard states that the future of our planet depends on our children, so learning to enjoy it early is influential in that appreciation. Plus, the beauty of the outdoors and the fun it can provide are experiences needed at every age.

The Get Wild Wyoming initiative is a partnership between WDE, Wyoming State Parks, Wyoming Game and Fish, and the Wyoming Department of Health. It focuses on supporting the overall mental and physical wellness of a child through nature-based education.

5 Kid-Friendly Hikes Near Laramie

We live so close to such great mountains, yet exploring them can sometimes be intimidating, especially with kids. Here are a few nearby options. Sneakers, snacks, and water are all you need (perhaps sunscreen and bug spray).

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