One of the delights of parenting is exposing your kids to new things and witnessing their astonishment and happiness. These are the childhood experiences that both you and your children will treasure as they become older, from squelching your toes in mud to chasing grasshoppers and butterflies on a hot day. When a child’s interest is sparked by nature, they are open to learning more, which gives enthusiasm, life-enhancement, and learning opportunities. As childhood play expert Tim Gill so eloquently explains: “Climbing a tree is an immersive, 360-degree experience that virtual or indoor settings simply cannot compare with. It involves figuring out how to start, testing your strength, feeling how the breeze in your face also sways the branches underfoot, glimpsing the changing vista through the leaves, dreaming about being king or queen of the jungle, and shouting to your friends below once you’ve reached as high as you dare One of the best parent-child activities is exploring tidal pools on the beach with a bucket for your best finds. When you explain to your children that animals eat by pushing their stomachs through their mouths to engulf food, encouraging them to gently push a finger into a ruby-colored anemone, finding a hermit crab hidden in a whelk, and marveling at cushion starfish is the perfect balance of glamorous and gross.