Explore and Bond With Your Family in Nature

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 | Comments Off on Explore and Bond With Your Family in Nature

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For many places in the country, fall is the perfect time of year to get outside and have some family fun. Perhaps you’ve been cooped up for the last few months because of the sweltering heat or you anticipate months of winter hibernation to come. Whatever your situation has been, take this time to get your family out of the house and into nature this fall. Family bonds are grown in fresh air and in forests. Don’t worry about getting dirty and have some fun watching your kiddo’s explore and learn more about the world around them. Read on for two fun family activities designed to help you teach your children how to appreciate all of the wonderful things nature has to offer!

#1: Looking for Leaves:
Take your children outside and ask them to find as many different types of leaves as they can. Encourage them to only pick leaves from the ground but ask them to take notice of each leaf’s unique characteristics as they add them to their basket. Once the leaf hunt is complete take all the leaves inside and sort them into groups according to the characteristics your children determine. Have your kids trace their leaves onto paper to color or they can scan their leaves to create digital images to be used again and again.

Ask your children questions to start a larger conversation: What do the leaves have in common? Do any have veins? Where? Who found the biggest leaf? The narrowest leaf? The smallest leaf? Can they trace the veins on their leaves with their fingers?

#3: I Spy – Nature Edition:
It’s good for your children to understand the world around them. Create a list of items for your children to search for outdoors and have them record their findings in a notebook. Ask that they take notes and draw sketches of what they find – or if your kiddos are high tech you can have them use a digital camera to take pictures. Have them search for things such as spider webs, insect holes, animal tracks, animal dens, or bird nests.

As your children questions to start a larger conversation: What kind of spider would make a web like that? What type of insect would live in that hole? What type of animal makes tracks like that? What type of bird would build a nest like that?

Can you think of other ways to encourage your children to explore outside? What family activities can you plan for your family outside this fall?

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