Now that it's starting to warm up, kids really want to be outside but sometimes they go outside and they come right back inside because they don't know what to do! But Amy Butler is the educator here at the North Branch Nature Center, and of course she has some great ideas on things that you can do with your kids, to keep them outside a little while longer.
"Yes, and one way to keep them outside is to go out with them and enjoy the outdoors with them. You're modeling your love for the outdoors and being comfortable outdoors, so if you're out there with them, they're going to spend more time."
"And they want to be with you."
"Yes, and they want to be with you so it can be a whole family affair. One way to keep children outside and engaged is to have the bag of tricks! They are very easy to put together, you have all of these things in your household. Paper, and pencils for journaling..."
"Yes, I wouldn't have thought of bringing paper and pencils to go play outside."
"Yes, children love to draw, and write about what they see and what they hear outside and this is a way for them to do that, and also keep some memories from your time outside as well."
"Another one is to have a field guide out with you. And I love this field guide because it has everything in it, mammals, flowers, birds, reptiles, amphibians."
"So if they see something, they can practice looking it up and finding out what it is."
"Exactly! Beautiful photos, not too heavy. Some other great scientist tools , and kids love tools, are hand lens and a little bug box with a magnifying lens on it as well. Those are for looking at things up close. "
"And string! This is something that most people don't think of, but if you've got sticks and string and a pair of scissors you've got an hour covered outside with some children! Children love to build, so having some string to tie things together, make a spider web in between two trees, they'll know what to do with the string so this is a really, really great tool to have in your bag of tricks as well."
"And it's important for kids to spend some time outside, a lot of kids spend way too much time inside these days."
"Yes, 6.5 hours a day for the average American child they spend in front of a screen, so television, video games or anything like that. It's really, really important for children to be moving, using their muscles and when they're moving and using their muscles, their brain is developing and they're also connecting to their community by being outside."
"And having fun!"
"And having fun!"
PO Box 4508