Star Valley Nature Co-Op serves as an option for families for childcare and outdoor activities
The Star Valley Nature Co-Op is an organization that presents an option for families for childcare, but also a place to get your kids outside doing activities.
Organizer Aubrey Ridd says they are running multiple locations between Grover and Smoot right now. She says the age ranges from potty trained young kids to 12 years old.
“This gist of it is we are offering outdoor play and learning for kids,” Ridd said. “And the people running the show are other trusted parents.”
She says part of her job is creating a calendar where four or five days a week there is something you can plan on for an activity. She says you can either drop off your child or come along with them. She says it is also child led.
“So, the kids tell us what they are interested in learning that day,” Ridd said.
She says you can either pay a little bit to the co-op which helps administration keep going along with a teacher. She says some are exchanging their time to help as well. This means parents serve as mentors in the organization to be able to have their own child involved. She says it basically works as hour for hour.
She says many times the kids will come in and just show you what they want to learn outside. She gave examples of children wanting to build a bridge over a creek or learning what certain things may float differently.
“So, really like anything that you could learn in an indoor setting,” Ridd said. “Can absolutely happen outdoors as well.”
She says while the children lead it, there is a teacher there that helps the children when they lose their focus or what not. She says they may cover things like identifying different song birds or different animals they see.
She says they post the calendar a month in advance. She says it seems the most popular times people have chosen are in the afternoons, but that doesn’t mean if there is interest, they couldn’t do mornings.
“It can really grow and evolve depending on what the families within the Co-Op are wanting from month to month,” Ridd said.
She says the plan right now is to continue if there is interest. If there is, she says she will need the public’s help to keep going in the winter. She says anyone can call her if they have access to private property they can use.
“Summer or winter where we can come and use it once a week, maybe a couple of times a week,” Ridd said. “And if it is a place that has a shelter that would be amazing for the winter where the kids can go in for a little bit, get warmed up, and head back outside.”
She says if anyone can help with that, if you have questions, or if you want to get involved the easiest way to contact her is by phone. You can reach her at 505-485-9288. She says she has times available for July to those that are interested.