BERLIN – The 11th Annual Maryland Coast Day festival at Assateague on Saturday was the perfect venue for the Coast Kids program to release its new educational product — “Critter Cards,” a deck of playing cards featuring illustrations and fun facts about local coastal animals.
“These cards are another fun way for kids to get to know their ‘neighbors’ better,” said Kim Quillin, director of the Coast Kids program, part of the Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT). “Like the other offerings of the Coast Kids program, these cards are intended to help kids feel connected to where they live — proud of it — and to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer.”
There have been many studies, summarized by authors like Richard Louv, that show that kids who spend more time outside tend to be happier and more eager to learn and less likely to suffer from problems such as obesity, depression and ADHD.
It’s good news for parents that such a simple thing as spending more time with nature can have such a positive effect on their kids. The new Critter Cards are one more tool parents can use to inspire kids (and themselves) to get to know where they live.
Local artist M. Scott Oatman of Ocean City breathed vibrancy into the Critter Cards project by creating a playful design and life-like, dynamic illustrations. With over 25 years of experience as a successful graphic designer and illustrator, Oatman undertook the project with a high degree of professionalism and enthusiasm. The result is a first-class deck of cards that will add a new dimension to all the standard card games that children and adults enjoy.
The Critter Cards were produced with the members of the Coast Kids program in mind (members receive the cards for free as a membership benefit), but also as a mechanism to benefit all the kids that live in or visit the coastal bays area as well as the Chesapeake Bay area. The cards will soon be sold in area stores and can be purchased online anytime at www.actforbays.org.
Proceeds from the cards will be used to support ACT’s educational programs.