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Nature’s Classroom: 5 Great Outdoors Activities for Kids

Nature’s Classroom: 5 Great Outdoors Activities for Kids

The summer season is upon us and this fleeting time of year is destined to be filled with adventures and sunny fun. The following is a list of creative ideas that showcase the beauty and innovation of using nature’s classroom to continue learning even after school it out.

There’s Something in the Water: There is something mesmerizing about water, especially with kids. We all know summer fun would not be complete without lots and lots of WATER. Aside from swimming, water can act as a tool of fun, a chance for play and even an opportunity to learn about science. Here are some “out-of-the-lake” ideas for implementing water in your summer camp fun (all need adult supervision):

  • Fun games like a Bucket Relay Game or Water Balloon Target Practice.
  • Moving Water Boat Races (use tools like garden hoses, meat basters and scoops to motivate the boats to move).
  • Creative Boat Building Using Materials from Nature: What’s a boat race without a fun boat, right?
  • Homemade Aquarium(use smaller containers of water, natural aquatic plants and toy water creatures).
  • Absorption Experiments: Use different materials like sponges, paper, cloth and wood to create some sensory fun for your campers.
  • Water Nature Hunt: Tap into the wonder that lies at the water’s edge of lakes, ponds or streams with a good ‘ol fashioned scavenger hunt.

Go on a Bug Hunt: Did you know that some of the most interesting creepy crawlies come out at night? Arm your campers with some bug spray and a flashlight and go on an after-dark bug hunt. Sides of building and leaves are great places to find unique, multi-legged nightlife.

Explore Language and Culture: Did you know that the Ojibwe word for thank you is Migwetch? Some of the most rich and meaningful culture comes from those who inhabited the earth before us. Encourage your kids to use their summer months or summer camp experiences to learn about new languages, cultures and traditions such as foods and dance. To learn more Objibwe words go here and to learn more about Native American history go here.

Rocking Hunting: Rocks are everywhere and yet another piece of nature we take for granted. But have you ever noticed that some rocks increase in beauty once water is applied? Many stones like quartz and agates drastically change in appearance once they was washed allowing mom and dad to create a fun gem hunting adventure. Simply arm your young explorer with a squirt bottle and a bucket and send them out a rocking gathering expedition.

Make A Den: Many wildlife animals prepare a home for themselves, also called “den.” Dens can be in the ground, in a tree, in a cave or in a pile of fallen branches. Have your nature savvy campers research different types of animal dens, like a bear’s den for example, and create their own backyard version using nature’s own material like branches, leaves and plant life.

One final touch to your DIY camp adventure would be to create an indoor summer camp experience by making mock tents out of blankets, serving camp friendly foods like hotdogs, fruit and cold sandwiches and building a mock campfire from cardboard paper towel tubes and orange and red tissue paper. Top off this activity by reading stories around your mock fire or simply recapping the fun of the day.

What memories will you create this summer?

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Learning by Doing: A Roundup of Earth Day Printables!

Earth Day is only a few short days away!  It’s a time when our communities share a like-minded cause of remembering to care and cherish our Earth.

Earth Day came about after six years of effort from then Senator Gaylord Nelson, who, back in the 1960s, had the foresight to look at the long term impact of pollution on the environment. He was instrumental in getting his message out to college students, who took this issue on with concern and enthusiasm for this project. Earth Day became a National Awareness day on January 20, 1970, with the date set for celebration as April 22 of every year. In 2007, it is estimated that one billion people recognized Earth Day in some way.

Internationally, Earth Day is celebrated at different times, in approximately 175 countries. In the northern hemisphere, it is observed in the spring; in the southern hemisphere, Earth Day is observed in the fall.

There are a multitude of ways to celebrate this very special day from planting a tree, reading Earth Day related books to be “car-free” for a day. Many parents, teachers and caregivers also love the opportunity to deepen the understanding and wonder of this great planet we live on through activity and play. Below is a roundup of many wonderful activities and crafts from moms and earth-lovers just like you and I. Enjoy!

 

Earth Day Printables

3-Part Recycling Cards from Living Montessori Now

Earth Month Scavenger Hunt from Kc Edventures

Earth Day Printable Pack from Encouraging Moms at Home

Free Recycling Crushes Exercises for Kids from Christina Chitwood

Free Mini Earth Day Pack from 3Dinosaurs

Earth Day Action Reminder Cards from Cutting Tiny Bites

DIY Garden Seed Markers with Printables from Merriment Design

Free Earth Day Learning Pack from 3Dinosaurs

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Activity with Printable from A Little Pinch of Perfect

Free Earth Day Playdough Mats from 3Dinosaurs

Earth Coloring Page from What We Do All Day?

Free Earth Day Math Printable Worksheets for Kids from iGame Mom

Earth Day Printable I Spy Activity from The Moments at Home

Earth Day Worksheet from Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading

Earth Day ABC Order from Books and Giggles

Earth Day It’s Time to Recycle Game from Teach with Me

Printable Earth Outlines and Shape Books from A to Z Teacher Stuff

Printable Recycling Game from Adventure in a Box

Pollution and Solution Cards from Every Star is Different

Recycling Do-a-Dot Printable from Living Montessori Now
The day is observed to make all of us aware of our responsibilities towards our mother earth. The way we have been taking all that we can from the earth will one day finish all the coal and hydrocarbon from the earth. Same with all the minerals. We are extracting what all we can. The earth is our greatest friend but we earthlings behave as if we are the masters. The earth supports us in all the ways. It gives us the atmosphere to breathe, the water to drink, and food to eat. It gives us thousands of varieties of plants and it gives us the place to make our home. The earth gives its all to us without any protest, April 22nd is a day (and it shouldn’t be the ONLY day) that we can give back to Mother Earth. Reconnecting with nature is the best way to remind yourself why we’re fighting so hard to protect it.

Earth Day Science and Sensory Activities for Kids

Earth Day is just around the corner! Is your family, classroom or daycare looking for some Science and Sensory fun to help celebrate this very special day? Lucky for you, I’ve done all the searchig for you! Below is a round up of some wonderful activities from earth-lovin moms just like you. Enjoy!

Earth Day Science and Sensory Activities for Kids

 

Earth Day Oobleck from Little Bins for Little Hands

Earth Day Sensory Play from Natural Beach Living

Earth Month Scavenger Hunt from Kc Edventures

Coffee Ground Fossils from Crafts by Amanda

Earth Day Discovery Bottles from Little Bins for Little Hands

Making Recycled Paper from You Clever Monkey

Earth Day Play Dough from Natural Beach Living

Model Magic Earth from 3 Dinosaurs

Which Plastic is Which? Recycled Plastic Science and Craft from Left Brain Craft Brain

What is a Carbon Footprint? From Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Creating Earth Art from The Craft Train

Earth Day Tuff Spot from Adventures and Play

Layers of the Atmosphere from Every Star is Different

Homemade Plantable Seed Paper from Views from a Stepstool

Worm Compost Bin from Something 2 Offer

Wormery Journal from Rainy Day Mum

Upcycled Catapult from Go Science Girls

LEGO Soil Layers from Little Bins for Little Hands

Water and Landforms for Kids from My Bright Firefly

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle A Waste Less Challenge from What We Do All Day

Make a Backyard Water Wheel from iGame Mom

Learn the Water Cycle with LEGOs from KC Edventure

Nature Collection Bottles from Play Learn Everyday

Earth Day Sensory Play with Water Beads from B-Inspired Mama

AND…if you’re looking for some great kid-friendly reading, check out this awesome booklist at Jump Into a Book.

27 Books that Hug the Earth: An Earth Day Booklist for Kids

Earth Day booklist for kids

Check out this nature/earth friendly book from my bestie, Valarie Budayr. It’s a good one!

A Year in the Secret Garden by Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters:A Year in the Secret Garden; a modern spin on a timeless classic. With over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for families to enjoy, learn, discover and play together, A Year In the Secret Garden is an opportunity to introduce a new generations of families to the magic of creating special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and get into the kitchen, craft room and garden.

Earth Day booklist

Bike Fleet Grant Awarded! Details on the Crow Wing Energized Bike Fleet

(shared with permission from Essentia Health-Brainerd)

MINNESOTA SUPER BOWL HOST COMMITTEE AWARDS LEGACY GRANT TO CROW WING ENERGIZED

Brainerd Bike Fleet

{Steffenhagen Photography}

The grant will help fund an educational bicycling program for children in Crow Wing County

BRAINERD, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded Crow Wing Energized with a $50,000 grant to help provide a fleet of 60 bikes to Crow Wing County and the community. The grant is part of the 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.Crow Wing County Bike Fleet

The Crow Wing Energized Bike Fleet will serve as an educational tool for Crow Wing County to help children learn how to ride a bike, bike safety and as a hands-on learning tool on how bicycling can be a part of a healthy lifestyle in addition to a recreational activity. Working with the physical education teachers at elementary schools in the county, the bikes will be part of state-required bicycle curriculum for 3rd and 4th grade students.Brainerd Bike Fleet

To celebrate the grant, Crow Wing Energized and the MNSBHC Legacy Fund hosted an event for Garfield Elementary School students today. Activities included a pre-lunch recess, lessons on bicycle safety, fittings for free helmets and practice-time riding a stationary bike. Brainerd Public Schools Superintendent Laine Larson and representatives from Crow Wing County were on hand to accept the grant from the MNSBHC Legacy Fund.

 

“A recent survey revealed that two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight in Crow Wing County and contributing factors are inactivity and unhealthy eating, habits we don’t want children of our community to adopt,” said Adam Rees, President of Essentia Health-Central and co-chair of Crow Wing Energized. “Crow Wing Energized has already started programs to provide healthier food options to children in the community, but this program and the grant received today, will help us teach kids the healthy benefits of fun activities like bicycling.”
The project is a collaborative effort between Essentia Health, the City of Brainerd, the City of Baxter, Crow Wing County, Independent School District 181, Easy Riders Bicycle and Sports Shop, Crow Wing County Passenger Safety Coalition and Brainerd Public Library. All these organizations will work with Crow Wing Energized to coordinate the bike fleet education program and the transportation of the fleet between schools in Crow Wing County.

“Crow Wing Energized and the community organizations moving the Crow Wing County Bike Fleet project forward are making an important investment in the health and wellness of Minnesota’s children,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund. “We are thrilled to support this initiative as part of our 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, to promote lifelong healthy habits for children in this community.”

 

{Steffenhagen Photography}

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

 

About the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund is a 501(c)3, community advised fund of the Minnesota Community Foundation. Working in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and based on the recommendations of SHIP’s community health boards, the Legacy Fund is providing 52 grants to 52 community projects across our state over the 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII. The work of the Legacy Fund is made possible by Minnesota’s philanthropic community, including foundations, corporations, and individual donors who share our passion for improving the health and wellness of kids from every corner of our state. Its goal is to build awareness of, and invest in solutions for, a healthier generation of Minnesota kids across the state. Through its grant making and awareness initiatives, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s Legacy Fund will leverage this single event into a lifetime of good health for the next generation of Minnesotans. For more information on the MNSBHC’s Legacy Fund, including an introductory video, please visit www.mnsuperbowl.com/legacy.

 

About Crow Wing Energized
Crow Wing Energized is a united approach lead by Crow Wing County Community Services and Essentia Health to improve health and wellness in Crow Wing County by making healthy choices essential. They are looking for collaborative solutions with multiple community stakeholders focused on efforts that can create the greatest community good with their available resources. For more information, please visit http://crowwingenergized.org/.

 

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