There are so many benefits to getting children outside and exploring nature in their own backyard! Children who spend time outside are more engaged in learning, more positive in their behavior, and are physically and mentally healthier (AAP).
Want a simple outdoor activity for kids of all ages? Go on a Bug Hunt! Gather a few supplies:
- A hard surface
- Crayons, markers, pencils or pens
- A safe place to explore (A backyard is perfect. Don’t forget to look under rocks and on leaves!)
- A magnifying glass (optional)
These kids went on a bug hunt and found an ant, a worm, a fly, a butterfly and a stink bug. Other things to search for: spiders, bees, ladybugs, moths, beetles, caterpillars, or roly-poly bugs. If you can’t identify a bug, draw it and look it up on Insect Identification: Oregon
-Do a bug hunt more than once and compare your findings. Did you find the same bugs in your yard, or were they different? Did you find them in the same place?
-Check out an e-books about Going on a Bug Hunt
-Do a crafty bug project (Cool Kiddy Stuff)
-Make an insect habitat or bug hotel using a plastic soda bottle, sticks and leaves (Red Ted Art). The simplest are piles of twigs, leaves and debris in your backyard-left untouched until you choose to explore. And, if grown-ups want to attract insects (especially those that are beneficial), design a bug hotel to attract insects and bees (Urban Gardens).
-Scribble, draw, and write to help develop your child’s early writing skills. Explore early literacy info to learn more.
–More ideas for spending time outdoors while social distancing (Healthychildren.org)