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  • Make a tree house

    Whether your son wants to be a pirate or your daughter wants a club, having a tree house is the coolest thing. Even a simple one will be full of memories. Plan ahead to make sure the tree house and tree are both safe enough to handle your children's weight and antics.

    Ask a neighbour who's built one for some advice or event to help.

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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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  • Name the clouds

    Name the different kinds of clouds you see and find out how many days they appear each month. Can you find out how and why different types of clouds are formed?

    Draw or paint the clouds one day and imagine them in a whole new way! Take a book out from the library about clouds so you can tell all your friends about them.

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  • I spy five things that fell from the sky

    Look around on the ground near some trees. Can you spot anything that fell from above? Try to find 5 different things, take a good look and figure out what they are.

    Have everyone do the activity independently and then compare notes. Keep a stack of your 5 different things and add a new one from time to time.

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  • Tree, meet my child

    Have your son or daughter meet a tree with their eyes closed or blindfolded. Have them feel and smell the tree and tell you what they noticed. If they are nervous you can guide them and help them touch the tree.

    Extend this activity by holding your child's hand an taking a walk around a park or the yard blindfolded. Look out for things that are safe but might be interesting to touch or feel.

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  • Note the changing seasons

    Time flies and before you know it spring has turned to summer or summer to autumn. Take a walk and take notice of those things that change from month to month. What colour are the leaves? Are there leaves on the trees? Does the grass or ground look dry?

    Keep a record of the things you noticed for the different seasons. Then at the end of the year, sit down with your kids and look at all the changes that they saw. Take pictures to have as mementos.

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  • Look for shapes in the clouds

    Find a plot of grass and lay down with your child. Look at the different cloud shapes. Do you see anything? What could they be?

    Put some sunscreen on in advance so you can stay our for a while without worries. 

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  • Silent sharing walk

    Take a walk outside with your kids. Suggest they look and listen for interesting things as you walk. Point out and share cool rocks, big trees, scary spiders and more without talking.

    Bring some insect spray in case any make a fuss. Carry a torcch and try the walk at dusk. It's amazing the different things you'll find.

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  • Sneaky secret agent, mission: bug discovery

    This is your mission if you choose to accept it. Create mini search parties and seek out bugs and insects. Compare relative sizes and shapes - not all bugs are alike! For an extra challenge, try catching one in a jar, but don't forget to let him go once you're done.

    Find some pictures or a chart of bugs online and print it out so your child has a suspect in mind when he begins his search.

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  • Design a walking stick

    Get your child ready for family hike with a cool walking stick. All she'll need is a dry (not green) fallen branch that's a little higher than her waist--and easy to grip.

    Have fun one day by painting it or tying a ribbon around the stick to personalize it. An adult can whittle the child's initials or design in the side of the stick.

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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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  • Paint or draw the sunset

    Use any and all materials for this creative activity. You're likely to have a great view of the sunset anywhere so have some supplies handy and the next time you see the sun coming down, run outside and get started.

    Lay some newspaper down to take care of the mess. Put multiple sunset drawings on your fridge or wall together so you can see their differences.

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