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Archive for the ‘Natural Fun In Your Own Yard’ Category

Kids love to explore the great outdoors and nature gives us so many wonderful ways in which to enjoy summer!  Added bonus…it’s super cheap, if not completely free! Here are some ways that my family takes advantage of natures free entertainment during the summer months:

Scavenger Hunt

We’ve been doing this every summer since my oldest daughter was big enough to toddle along and hold a pale.  We mix our scavenger hunt in with a walk or hike but you certainly don’t have to leave your yard for this to be enjoyable.  I make up a list of things that they will look for while we are out walking or hiking and they each carry a pale and find as many things on the list as they can. When we get back to the house we look at all the treasures we found!

This is the most recent picture I could find of one of our scavenger hunts and it’s almost two years old! How sad is that?! I guess I’ll need to bring my camera with on the next one.

Look To The Clouds

Kids love to use their imaginations.  So let your kids use theirs while lying on a blanket together looking up at the sky.  It’s fun to see what masterpieces they’ll observe in the clouds and even more fun to listen to how they explain the cloud images they see!  The other day when we were out we saw a mermaid, monster truck & jelly fish, among many other cloud masterpieces!

Capturing Nature

Watching kids run around, laughing, while chasing after a butterfly or grasshopper with a net in hand is always so fun to watch!  My kids love to catch bugs or frogs or whatever in a bug catcher and observe them as they move and squirm around.  My kids favorite catches are butterflies, frogs and fireflies.  (Let them catch a jar full of fireflies and bring them into their room to watch them blink as they fall asleep…my kids love doing this!)  If you have a magnifying glass it’s even more fun as you explore these creatures a little BIGGER!

My son is the child in our house who most loves catching things.  Because I’m not entirely fond of bugs, reptiles or amphibians (Yes, I’m girly.) we do have a few rules like we have to treat the captured critters gently, the little critters can only come in the house if they are in containers, and all critters have to be released after 24 hours, except caterpillars (So we can watch them metamorphose, but we let it go as soon as it’s out of its cocoon.) and Dot, a salamander we caught this spring who has become a pet.

Have A Picnic

Pull out that picnic basket, or just use a grocery bag if you don’t have a basket, and have your kids help you pack a lunch to enjoy on a blanket in your yard.  My kids love picnics and we do them quite frequently either in our back yard or on our porch.   I’m not sure why but they always request lemonade for out picnics so I must always be prepared!  It’s usually after our picnics that we enjoy cloud art!  Double fun!

Star Gazing

A few times each summer we let the kids stay up really late on a Friday night and we lay down on our lawn chairs, snuggling under quilts and see who will spot the first star of the night.  Then as more and more stars appear we look for different constellations, like the big and little dipper and Orion.  Since we aren’t constellation experts we love to use my husbands Google Sky Map  application that locates constellations for you when you hold it up to the starry night sky!  We are hoping to do this tonight after our first bonfire of the summer!  The kids always hope to see a falling star so we’ll see!

What are some ways that your family likes to enjoy nature!

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