Clarifier to be inserted????
Getting creative is a great way to engage the kids.
Look around the back yard or neighborhood and create a scavenger hunt.
Ask for some simpler finds, like pine needles or a pinecone, and then dig deeper: are there any plants with purple leaves in the neighborhood? Maybe a certain yard has a red flower (look but don’t touch!)
Discover textures in nature. Compare the imprint of different trees.
Next Level: identify the trees and start a nature journal with your findings.
Trail, creek or neighborhood cleanup.
Put on a pair of work gloves, grab a bag, and do your part and help clean up a trail, river or creek bank, or street in your community.
Next level: Categorize what you have found in your nature journal. What is the most common material you found? What can be recycled? Composted? Put in the garbage?
What’s the weather today?
Create a weather wheel.
Draw or print out different types of weather and put them in a circular pattern. Use a paper clip or laundry clips to mark the days weather.
Next Level: Be more specific. Record the temperature, humidity, percent rain or sun and log it all into a nature journal.
If there aren’t hazardous conditions, put on your raincoat and head outside to watch!
Or you can head to your window or your car and watch in a protected place, too.
Next level: Record the length of the rainstorm or snowstorm. Does how hard the rain or snow falls change? Does the rain change to hail or snow or vice versa? Write down how long the storm lasts and describe the sounds and sights you observe.
Do you speak bird?
No? Then here is your chance.
Download a birding app, like eBird.org, and start identifying what’s in your backyard. Learn birds’ songs and characteristics.
Next level: Visit bird feeder web cams to observe birds found nearby or in different parts of the world (start here: allaboutbirds/cams). Install one or more birdfeeders and fill them with different types of seed. Keep a feeder journal, try to draw the birds you see and describe their outstanding features.
Next, next level: Become a citizen scientist! Sign up to participate in the Tug Hill Tomorrow Bird Quest at tughilltomorrowlandtrust.org/bird-quest in the spring, or sign up to collect bird sightings November through April for Cornell’s Project Feederwatch at feederwatch.org.
Create a mandala.
Place the rocks in artistic circular patterns. This can be done in your backyard or with the rocks at Sandy Neck. Take pictures and share with family and friends.
Next Level: Read into the origin of a mandala. Add the information to your nature journal.