Now that summer break is in full swing – you may be looking for some fun activities that will get your kids out of the house. Green outings are a great way to get you kids involved in the environment and add a little more excitement to long summer days. Here are 9 of my favorite eco-friendly summer outings for kids.
1. Local Farms
A farm is a great outing to show your children how our food is grown and harvested. They can see which fruits and vegetables grow in your area and can also have a hands on experience with a farm animal. Many local farms have classes that allow the kids to milk a cow, collect eggs from the hens, feed the goats and sheep, and ride a horse. You could also visit a fruit farm such as a strawberry patch and spend the day picking strawberries, find a nice place to sit, wash the berries and enjoy on the spot with whipped topping that you packed.
2. Nature and Science Museums
Our local nature and science museum offers exhibits that allow the children to see, touch and even climb on parts of their environment. We recently experienced fabulous exhibits on natural disasters and your health. At these particular exhibits, you could see the effects that a natural disaster has on our environment and the other showed what your face may look like as you age. You can also check out an IMAX – it’s always a super fun time.
3. Butterfly Pavilion
Visit a butterfly pavilion and experience free flying butterflies, birds, subtropical and tropical flowers, plants and trees. We love the butterfly pavilion, and could spend hours there looking at the butterflies up close and personal.
Your local zoo may offer a junior zookeeper program where your child can learn about caring for the animals as well as learn about their natural environments and any threats that they face. This is an amazing experience for children who are especially interested in animals and show interest in growing up to work with them as a career.
5. Nature Preserves
Your local nature preserve may offer guided tours to learn about the animals that live there and many offer classes as well. You can also simply pack your binoculars and camera and then hit the trail for an afternoon of animal sight seeing.
Your local library is stocked with information about the environment that your children will love. When Eben was younger he always enjoyed checking out issues of Ranger Rick and National Geographic Kids. His favorite part of our library, by far, is the window seats, it’s a great place to hang out and read – he could spend a lifetime there.
7. Botanical Gardens
Visit your local botanical gardens and learn about native plants, trees and flowers. Our botanical gardens has a great exotic frog exhibit which Eben loves. Many offer classes and have ample space for an outdoor picnic. While you are there, look closely for bugs and birds – don’t forget your magnifying glass and camera.
8. Hike and Swim
No matter where you live there is somewhere outside where you can explore. Whether it is a park or hiking trail, let the kids look in nooks and crannies and climb on the rocks. If you live in a n area where you can take a long nature hike, pack a lunch and enjoy it next to a watering hole where the kids can take a swim.
9. Your Own Backyard
If you want to stay close to home, take a walk around your neighborhood or local park. Prepare a nature scavenger hunt for the kids by writing down several items on a piece of paper, give each of your children a pencil and a bucket and collect the items found on the list, such as a leaf, rock, flower, feather, etc;. This is tons of fun and gets them looking for items they may have usually overlooked.
What are your green outing plans for this summer?