Fun nature activities for kids!
Nature Connection Game
Bat and Moth
This is a fun game that many children have played as a group as part of an Everyone Outside program. Here is a version you can play with only 2 (or 3) people. The basic idea is that one person is the bat and is blindfolded. The other person is the moth. The bat must find the moth(s) by listening…a bit like echolocation. Every time the bat claps their hands, the moth must freeze and clap in response. Watch the video and learn how to play at home!
Video made by staff at Wild Earth (another great nature connection school).
Foraging Garlic Mustard
Garlic mustard is an invasive species that takes a long time to get rid of! We figure, since it also happens to be edible, why not eat some of it while we are at it!
Look for garlic mustard in the early to late spring and try to pull it before the seed heads form on the white flower. The leaves taste delicious in pesto, salad and mixed in with butter or cream cheese. Watch the video here to see Lisa use it to flavor cream cheese.
To learn how to make pesto, click here for a video made by our friend Jen Huddleston.
To make sure you have the right plant, just rub some between your fingers and smell it. It should smell garlicky and remind you of pizza!
Garlic-mustard Date 1894 is a drawing by Mary Evans Picture Library
Gathering dandelions is a fun activity you can do all summer long!
Did you know the entire plant is edible?
Here's a recipe for a treat you can make with the flowers!
For printable instructions, click here: Dandelion Flower Cookies (pdf), or watch Emmy show you how to do it in this video!
To make this dandelion recipe you get to spend a few minutes outside in the sunshine in your favorite dandelion patch gathering fresh dandelion blossoms. Dandelion blossoms steeped as tea can help relieve headaches, menstrual cramps, backaches, stomach aches and even depression. So, not only will this dandelion recipe be a tasty treat, it will be another way to access the healing properties of these beautiful sunny yellow flowers.
2 quarts of dandelion flowers
Juice of 4 lemons
Sugar/honey to taste
Instructions: Bring the flowers inside and place them in a gallon jar. Fill the jar with room temperature water and add the juice of 4 lemons. Add fresh honey to taste, and chill. You can strain the flowers out after a few hours or just leave them to fall into the glasses when you serve the lemonade.
Copyright © 2020 LearningHerbs.
Letterboxing is a great way to interest kids (or anyone) in taking a walk. It provides a challenge and a fun goal. There are over 100 letterboxes hidden in the Durham area, almost 400 letterboxes in Middlesex County and many more hidden across the state and beyond.
Letterboxing is a treasure hunt type game in which you follow clues to find a small box often along a trail in the woods. In most boxes there is an original hand carved stamp and a notebook. You bring your own notebook and stamp the stamp in the box in your notebook. You may also bring your own stamp and stamp it in the notebook in the box. It provides a fun challenge when you go for a walk.
Clues for finding these boxes are posted on 2 great websites:
Letterboxing.org (click on getting started) or Atlasquest.com
(Please be sure to reseal baggies and boxes carefully so that they stay dry and rehide boxes in their original location , completely hidden from view.)
Woodland Scavenger Hunt:
There is so much to notice in the woods. Sometimes, sitting quietly in one spot can help you notice more things. Try it today!
Click here for a printable PDF
Backyard Scavenger Hunt:
No matter where you live, you can notice nature around you right near your home. When you turn on your watching owl eyes and listening deer ears you can notice amazing things in nature. Try it today!