Looking to add a little zen to your life? With your toddler in tow?
If so, take a few hours and visit the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardens, located on the CSU, Long Beach campus. Spanning just over one acre of land, the gardens provide a lush landscape that is sure to calm even the most excited tot. From the pond stocked with colorful koi to the bridges and stepping stones, just waiting to be crossed, your little explorer will delight in the adventure.
There is no admission fee to enter the gardens, but be sure to have enough change for the metered parking, located right outside the entrance. Pack a light snack that you and your tiny explorer can enjoy by the shady pond or the tucked-away Japanese tea house.
While visiting, see if you and your tot can find all the places where bamboo is growing. Let your little one touch the bamboo, discussing how panda bears spend up to twelve hours a day sitting around, just eating this interesting plant.
On the way home, stop by your local library and pick up a copy of the beloved children's book, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? Watch your child's face light up as you explore the animals in this brilliantly illustrated book.
The Japanese Gardens hold endless possibilities of fun, exploration and even relaxation. How many toddler-friendly places provide all three of those virtues?!
For directions and visiting times, visit the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden's official site.
Visit the list of local Long Beach public libraries for hours and locations.
Interested in some extension activities to use with your tot? Making Learning Fun has great resources and printables that can be used to link up with a panda bear-themed unit of learning.