Metro Atlanta biologist leads nature hikes for kids

The pandemic has taught us many things, including the importance of spending time outdoors. And getting kids to explore and engage in nature is the mission behind a unique business created by a metro Atlanta biologist.

"I just love being outdoors, and so I created Tyke Hike to share that enthusiasm with kids and with families," says Anne Marie Hoffman, founder of Tyke Hike, which offers regular treks through local parks for 2- to 5-year-olds and their parents. Hoffman fills the roughly 75-minute journeys with crafts, stories, and science activities, all aimed at getting kids interested in a world that’s not made up entirely of pixels.

"It's getting away from those screens, it's getting away from those devices, it's being creative, it's being active outdoors in nature," Hoffman says.

That’s exactly what local mom Katye Watts was looking for, especially during this past year.

"The pandemic and quarantine have really made our outside time so much more important," says Watts, who’s brought her children on several Tyke Hikes.  

And while the young explorers on each Tyke Hike will always come away with some new interesting bit of knowledge, sometimes … they also leave something behind!

"My daughter actually lost her shoe during one of the hikes, and Anne Marie and I were in the mud — picking out, pushing around — and the shoe was gone!" Watts says laughing. "So, she hiked the rest of the hiked without a shoe and, you know what? She didn't complain once, because she was outside."

Along with offering regularly scheduled Tyke Hikes, folks can also book a customized Tyke Hike for their friends and family. The company also makes Tyke Hike To-Go kits, which include nature-themed activities and may be mailed directly to homes. For more information on these services, click here.

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