Natural Learning

Places that Support Natural Learning in Michigan- Part 4

by Therusticfive-

Today is all about my favorite place, nature. We spend as much time as possible outside exploring and playing. There are SO many benefits of spending time in nature. Check out my previous blog on how spending time in nature makes me a better mom here

Let me introduce you to one of our favorite places to explore, Fredrick Meijer Gardens. Fredrick Meijer is located in the beautiful city of Grand Rapids.

Fredrick Meijer has both inside and outside areas. They have an outdoor sculpture park, indoor and outdoor gardens, exhibits, and a children’s garden area. There’s something for everyone to explore.

Our favorite area to explore is the Children’s Garden area. There are 10 different garden areas for the kiddos. We can explore the Great Lakes at the Great Lakes Garden, visit a one of a kind Treehouse at the Treehouse Village, dig for fossils in the Rock Quarry, look for critters in the Wooded Wetlands, or experience our senses in the Kid-Sense Garden. There are a few other areas as well, but I wanted to leave a couple for you to discover on your own. 

Digging for fossils at the Rock Quarry
Exploring the different types of trees at the Treehouse Village
Young Scout and daddy exploring the Treehouse

We also love looking at the beautiful sculptures and water areas that are outside. Not only do we get to be outside in nature, but we also get to be active by walking the many different trails that wonder through the different outside areas. 

Observing the letter sculpture

Another area the kids really enjoyed was the Tranquility area. This area included foam blocks to build our own sculptures, an insect hunt, sand to rake, a bridge to cross and several others. According to their website, this exhibit was closed on Dec 18th, 2016. We will miss this exhibit, but we are excited to see what the new exhibit will include. 

Building his own sculpture
Scout exploring the Zen area

The last area I want to talk about is the Michigan’s Farm Garden. This is definitely not the last area of the Gardens as there are many, many more areas, but this one is another of the kids favorites. Here we can explore life on a farm including a barn, sculptures of barn animals, a farmhouse and gardens. It’s a way for us to step back into time to the 1930’s. 

Getting water the old fashion way

Fredrick Meijer is a must see if you are in Michigan, but be sure to plan for a couple visits to truly explore everything. There is so much to see and do. We’ve made two visits this year and still haven’t explored it all. 

Fredrick Meijer also offers a membership which is the best investment if you plan to make several trips in a year. We are members and plan on making several more visits before the end of our membership. 

So next time you find yourself around Grand Rapids, be sure to check our Fredrick Meijer’s Garden and Sculpture park. You won’t be disappointed and there is so much there to support your child’s natural learning. It’s one of our favorite places. 

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I’m Melissa Dow, M.ED. I am a wife, mama of 2 and a bonus mama of 1. A former public school educator with 7 years of experience in both special education and general education who is on a new journey to help parents guide their children to uncover their true passions in order to find their life purpose. I love spending time out in nature whether hiking, running, camping, canoeing or just playing in our backyard (aka our outdoor classroom). I also enjoy reading, learning new things, organic gardening and creating our a simple life.

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  1. susanhomeschooling

    This looks like a really cool place to visit. I especially like the huge water pump.

    19 . 12 . 2016

    That place looks amazing! I love hearing about cities that support getting outside.

    19 . 12 . 2016
  3. Therusticfive

    It really is an amazing place. They have a wonderful nature center too. 🙂

    19 . 12 . 2016
  4. nourishingmyscholar

    Outside play and exploration is the best!

    20 . 12 . 2016
  5. Therusticfive

    Yes it is! ❤

    20 . 12 . 2016
  6. workingmommagic

    That looks like such a fun day! We love a good day exploring outside!


    20 . 12 . 2016

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