With creeks across the continent, a sensory adventure is just around the bend
STODGY OLE WEBSTER may not recognize “creaking” as a word, but it’s a verb in our book. And in this age of screens and video games, it’s more important than ever to get the kids outside and experience nature. (Heck, that’s why most of us RV anyway.) Fortunately, creeks are natural—and near-universal—playgrounds with hours of splashing, exploring, and, yes, even learning (you sneaky parent, you). Here’s how to make the most of your experience wherever you are, coast to creaking coast.
What to Bring
Creeking doesn’t require much, supply-wise. But a few items will make your experience smoother and more fun. For example, water shoes help give your kids a better grip on slippery surfaces and protect those delicate feet. (Who wants the drama of a stubbed toe?) And because you’re actually encouraging your kids to get wet and dirty (way to go, you!), you might as well bring their swimsuits and/or some old T-shirts. Remember, creeks are tiny ecosystems. With lots of tiny life. (We’re talking about bugs here.) Bring some nature-friendly bug spray to keep away the mosquitos so the kids can explore more and complain less. With the pesky bugs repelled, it’s also great to have some nets and buckets to explore the cooler creepy crawlies. Speaking of which …
Fun Things to Do
Half the fun of exploring is getting to take a closer look!In a creek, your kids will get lots of those. Look at that rock under the water. And at that crawdad under the rock. From frogs to fossils, it’s a world of constant discovery—which makes your kids feel brave. With their net, they can catch crawdads, fish, and bugs without having to touch anything slimy (unless they want to). But maybe the best thing is the feeling of independence your kids get. Building bridges out of sticks? Skipping rocks across the water? Splashing their big brother? Give them the go-ahead to a creek out a little bit.
Time spent in a creek can kinda … slip downstream. This means you may end up spending more time in the sun than expected, even with some tree cover. Take no chances: Bust out that sunscreen. Also, kiddos aren’t the only creatures who love creeks. Snakes do too. They love still waters, sunbathing on warm surfaces, and hiding under rocks. Keeping the kids on the lookout is a good idea and it’ll amp up the adventure factor. Because creek depths vary with rainfall, always keep your little ones in your line of sight while creeking. And there’s no shame in putting life jackets on those who can’t swim.