Story by

Sarah Murdock

May 10th, 2016

The Eagle River Nature Center is just down the road from us. Along the trails, there are signs teaching about the different wildlife and how glaciers move and shape the earth. My girls and I love going there and learning new things. Recently, I have started bring books about moose, bears or other wildlife with us on the trails to aid in their learning.

Having a splash contest with sister

Moose give birth in our cul-de-sac every year, so it is very important for my girls to learn moose safety. We went to the library and got books about wildlife safety, then got the book "If You Give a Moose a Muffin."

On our hike the girls were so excited to see moose tracks and amazed how far apart their footsteps were. It was fun answering their questions about moose pregnancies and whether they live as a family. They were amazed to learn that within their first day of life, a calf is able to stand and already weighs between 35 and 40 pounds. To prepare them for the moose coming into our yard, I shared the warning signs of an upset moose, some of which are ears that have turned back and the hair on their backs standing up.

This winter we bought kicksleds and learned about mushing. My girls felt so empowered using their sleds and mushing with our dogs.

I read If you Give a Moose a Muffin to teach my kids that we do not feed wildlife. There are a lot of bears and moose in our little town, so I feel it is important to teach my kids from any early age that we do not leave food out for animals.

My youngest at the Nature Center.

What surprised me most was seeing that my girls already had a sense of wonderment for moose, yet at innate understanding that it is not an animal to mess with. As a parent, this experience taught me that I should not put limits on what my kids can learn and understand. They are often so much more capable and intellectual than I expect. Kids are sponges. I hope to fill mine with as much knowledge as I can.

Our crew, minus a yorkie that doesn't get out much in winter :)

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