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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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  • 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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  • Build a mini-creek

    Grab some shovels and dig down into the dirt. If you see water quickly, you might be able to build a mini-creek in your own backyard (if you live in a wet area). Once you get enough water flowing, drop a stick in it and watch it float away.

    Put the creek on an incline so that the water is flowing and not stagnant. Choose a moist spot of land to ensure that your digging will lead to some water!

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  • Tell stories around the campfire

    Everybody has a tale to tell and a campfire is one of the best places to tell it. When you're out camping think of one of your favourite times as a child and tell your children. Have them tell stories about their favorite times with family or outdoors.

    Don't be afraid! Finish the storytelling off with a ghost story around the campfire.

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  • Eat outdoors

    Eating alfresco can be a real family treat. Take dinner outside one night either as a picnic on a blanket or with a couple of folding chairs and a table. Enjoy the nighttime breeze and the sounds of crickets, birds or other creatures.

    Have some insect spray handy in case any make a fuss. Make it a summer tradition and give your kids something special to look forward to as the seasons change.

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  • Mud pie master pie maker

    Do you have any pie tins lying around the house? Take your kids outside where there is some good looking mud and bring a mixing bowl and the pie tin. Get your hands in there and glop several handfuls of mud into the mixing bowl). Stir the mud concoction so that you get all the lumps out and it's as smooth as brownie batter. Pour the mud into a pie tin and leave out in the sun to dry!

    If you have no true mud available, just do the same using sand or dirt and a cup or so of water. Put some grass or leaves on top of the dry pie as a nice garnish. Let your kids have fun experimenting with different types of pie: garden soil, dirt, mulch, sand, mud or a combination of all of the above.

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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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  • Make or play on a rope swing

    Pick out a sturdy tree with your child. Look for one with a strong branch that runs parallel to the ground. You and your child are also going to need to find a strong stick to be the swing part of the rope swing. Have the adult reach the branch by use of the ladder. Secure the rope using a clove hitch around the branch and the stick.

    When tying the rope to the stick, tie towards the middle of the stick for proper balance. Test the rope swing by pushing down on it with your feet still on the ground.  Safety first! Make sure the rope swing can safely swing you before you let the kids have a go. Swing away!

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  • Let's take a hike

    Grab or download a map from a local park or preserve. Pick a trail with the help of your kids. When you have an open Saturday or Sunday, go for a hike!

    Don't be afraid to go for a shorter or longer hike! Do whatever fits your schedule at the time.

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  • Have a picnic in your backyard

    Not sure what to do for lunch today? There's nothing better than having the family out for a picnic. And your backyard is a perfect place. Keep things simple and easy for you by making PB &J and packing fruit.

    Buy some watermelon and bring along a blanket for a truly authentic family picnic.

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  • Nature photo safari

    Have your kids take charge of the camera today. Let them take pictures of all the leaves, trees and animals that interest them. When you view the pictures later, talk about what you saw and what was so interesting about the different things.

    This could be a fun activity to invite some of your child's friends along for. The children will have fun comparing the different things they notice.

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  • Catch some bugs!

    Not afraid of little critters? Try making an insect trap with syrup or honey on a piece of paper or cardboard. See who comes to visit. Then set them free in their natural habitat.

    Make sure to use just enough stickiness to catch them initially, but not so much that they'll drown. Try to identify the different critters that stop by.

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