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What To Do With Your Kids Outside This Summer

Jun 17, 2008
We all know that spending time outside with the kids is a good thing to do, but it can sometimes be sort of boring for the adults. The trick is to be a little more "together" when you spend time together -- in other words, having a bit of a plan helps. Here are some fun ways to get involved in your kids' outdoor play that will help make you a part of the fun.

Observe
This is the main point. Sometimes the most interesting stuff you can find outside remains hidden until you dig down into the details. For example, you see a common weed. Boring, right? But if you take the time to get down close to it you might find that it's got a bug on it. Observe the bug closely and ask your child to guess what the bug is doing and why it's there. No bug? Bet the weed has "hairs" on the stem to discourage insects climbing it to eat it. And if you're sure what you've found is a weed, consider pulling it to show your child the root system and talk about how plants get their nutrients.

Make leaf rubbings
Bring along a crayon and some tissue paper, and let your kids go wild! Even in an urban neighborhood, there are lots of great places to grab a texture or two, and the kids can take pride in making the art all by themselves.

Count your steps
How many does it take for your child to make it from, say, a tree to the rock? How many steps does it take you? How much larger is your stride than your child's? And how many steps would it take a bunny to travel the same distance?

Mimic an animal
See a grasshopper? Or a rabbit? Or a bird? Observe the animal, and try to move like it does. Watching a parent try to mimic the head movements of a bird is a real crack-up for kids.

Never forget the camera!
Some of the best photos of your kids that you'll ever get are of them doing things and seeing things out in a natural environment. Great backgrounds, great expressions -- you'll end up with a photo treasure, every time. And kids love having their pictures taken -- especially when they don't have to dress up and say cheese!

The other thing your camera is great for is documenting what you saw. If your kids find an amazing insect or a cool plant, they're going to want a record of that. And it really sparks their interest if they find a bug that nobody can identify and you grab a photo -- it's fun to do some research together later to figure it out!
About the Author
Sign up for your Free Adventure- http://www.AdventureKidClub.com. Kathy Fredriksson is a busy mother of two and developed tons of fun programs that help kids thrive in the outdoors. For tons of kids adventures and fun ways to get your loving the outdoors: http://www.AdventureKidClub.com
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