DALLAS — March 12, 2011 - Instead of spending time doing the same old activities with your children during spring break and into the summer this year, get outdoors and teach your tykes a little about the earth. Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Create an organic garden in your backyard and if you have time, do some composting too. Backyard gardening is a great way to teach your children about the importance of not only eating healthy, but also being self-reliant.
2. You’re probably already recycling at home. If you’re not there’s never been a better time to start than now. Already recycling? Have your children do the sorting and explain to them just how much can be recycled every day. An upcoming green event in your area might also be a good way to obtain even more helpful information.
3. Find a green organization and have your child volunteer for a few weeks. How about a local group that plants trees in the area—a good way to promote cleaner air. Visit www.arborday.org and find an organization near you.
4. Head to a local nature center for some outdoor quality time. Many nature centers offer a great place for children to learn more about nature through educational programs, hands on activities and outdoor trails.
5. Send your child to a nature camp for a week or find a day camp. Local Recreation Centers offer all sorts of eco-conscious nature friendly programs for children and it’s a good way for them to make new friends.
6. Create a fun game that can be played outdoors. How about nature bingo? Create a table of items for your children to look for while visiting a nearby park or even on an overnight camping trip. You can clip pictures of these items from magazines and as your child spots each item, he or she can mark it off the list. Examples might be animal prints, nuts, seeds, flowers, bird feathers and local stones.
7. Set up a bird feeder in your yard and have your children help to keep the food plentiful for local birds. As the birds enjoy your yard, you can teach your child about local birds and migration patterns.
8. A picnic in the park is always a fun time outdoors. Forget about the wicker and plastic and use old plates and cloth napkins instead. Pack organic foods and then sit on the ground and teach your child how to engage with the earth.
9. A trip to the local Farmer’s Market can be educational and fun, offering information about organic and local foods. Even better, there are plenty of food samples for your child to try as well.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. Her latest release this April is about Fredericksburg, Texas published by Channel Lakes Publishing.
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