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  • Pond watching for creatures

    On a warm day, look for turtles, lizards, or frogs sunning themselves on rocks by a pond. Take a load off and join them for a while by finding your own rock.

    Look for the same animals in the pond that you see sunning themselves on rocks. If you go rock skipping, be careful not to hit any of the animals off their rocks! Sun block and insect spray might both be a good idea here!

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  • Family camping trip

    Camping trips are a great way to bring the family together. Nearby parks have campsites available. Plan some hiking trips, go fishing or just sit around the campfire and roast marshmallows and tell stories. There's a lot to do on a camping trip!

    Pick up a park map or guidebook in advance so you know where all the toilets and facilities are. Bring bottled water to be safe and torches with extra batteries for when the sunsets. Make this a real adventure and have your kids help you pack the supplies!

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  • Take a nature inventory

    Do a nature inventory. Count the different kinds of plants and animals that you find. How many plants and how many animals are there around you?

    Younger kids can just tally plants vs. animals but older ones can identify the different types or sizes of the plants and animals. Take a break and the next time you come back to it, add some more information about the things on the inventory.

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  • Be flashlight explorers

    Try a night time adventure. Go for a night walk in the backyard with torches and see what you can spot. What comes out at night that doesn't come out during the day? It's a whole different world out there once the sun goes down.

    You can take a walk around the yard during the day and note what you pass and then do the same walk at night, comparing what's different. If the moon is bright, leave behind the torches and enjoy the magic of moonlight.

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  • Getting your feet wet

    Pull off your socks, get your feet wet and run around. Maybe there are fish in the water or maybe even frogs? There's no need to go for a walk or hike when there is so much to see in one place! How many live things can your kids find?

    Be careful, could be slippery.

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  • Fun fishing trip

    Have you ever taken your kids fishing? Cast your line: Take everyone out for a day or two or three of fishing. You'll love being outside and on the water with the whole family. For an easy trip, bring or rent rods and sit on the bank of a small or nearby lake.

    Sunscreen might smell bad, but it's essential for an activity like fishing. (At least you'll smell better than the fish)

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  • Go canoeing or kayaking

    Search online or ask your friends to find the closest place to go canoeing or kayaking. Your kids will really love this family adventure.

    Wear bathers so you can jump in before and after your boating. Don't forget the sunscreen and bottled water.

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  • Fabulous creek walking

    Get the whole family together for this one. Become a group of explorers! Put on some water shoes or sneakers and wade up a small creek. Don't forget to point out any fish and to skip any flat rocks.

    Wear shoes with good tread so no one hurts their feet on any slipper rocks.

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  • Explorer

    Your slightly older kids will really enjoy this. Everyone can have an adventure. Pick a hiking trail and consider getting a compass and topographical map of the area. Try to plot your hike on the map as you go.

    Have an adult who is confident with a compass and map go with the kids. Make your hikers always check in with you before they go and after they come back.

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  • Climb a tree

    With a tree you can explore up! Climb and see what you can see.

    Go slow and stick to low big branches.

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  • Count the animals one-by-one

    Every nature place has countless animals. Try counting those you see or hear by taking a short walk or sitting in one place. Or try it silently and compare with your child. What did you see and hear?

    Set an allotted time to do the count? how many can you count in 5 minutes? 15 minutes? Next time bring a paper and pencil and write down the different animals you see as you go by.

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  • What do you hear?

    Stand in the middle of the bush and listen quietly to the sounds for three minutes. What do you hear? Were there animals or just the sound of wind moving through the trees?

    You can walk into different spaces to see if you hear different types of sounds. When you walk back to the house, try to imitate some of the unique sounds you heard.  Check for crickets in any dark places!

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