by Sue Slotterback

For the past seven weeks children ages 4 through 13 have been having fun getting wet and muddy. They’ve made animal costumes and had a parade, created a project for the Cape May County 4H Fair, presented a whale puppet show, caught fiddler crabs, fed turtles, had a sponge cloud relay, painted shells and rocks, created concoctions in the Mud Kitchen, put on their very own weather forecast, and even kissed a horseshoe crab!

To adults, all this pretending, painting, and just plain playing may seem frivolous, but in reality these are only a few of the ways children learn best, fully engaged and giggling, gaining stepping stones through the garden of understanding the natural world around them.