Have Some Fun!

Looking for ways to boost your family fun? Check out these ideas from Take a Child Outside, an initiative of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences that encourages children’s exploration of their environment.

Nature Bracelet:
Wrap a length of 2-inch wide masking tape around your wrist with the sticky side up. As you stroll the yard or park, pick up small items to stick to your bracelet — flower petals, fallen leaves, sand and seeds work well.

Shake a Bush: Lay a light-colored sheet on the ground under overhanging vegetation. Shake the vegetation. Many small invertebrates will fall into the sheet where they can be easily observed: Do they hop, crawl or fly? How many legs, antennae or wings do you see? When you’re done, gently shake the sheet so the animals can return to their homes.

Roly-poly Homes:
Hollow out the inside of half a small raw potato with a spoon. Make a small door at the edge of the potato, so it looks like an igloo. Add a toothpick topped with a tape “flag.” Place the potato at the edge of the garden and cover slightly with damp leaves or mulch; gently sprinkle the area with water. Leave overnight. Check in the morning for roly-polies.

Spider Shine:
Find a grassy area near hedges or some woods. Hold a flashlight on the side of your head, next to your eye. Shine the flashlight on the ground and look for tiny sparkles of blue or green light. Keep the light fixed on the sparkle and carefully walk closer. This should lead you to a small, harmless ground-hunting spider, most often a wolf spider. The sparkle you see is the light reflecting off the spider’s eyes.

For more ideas, visit takeachildoutside.org, and watch for Take a Child Outside week, set for Sept. 24-30.

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