10 fun nature-based activities to try this summer!
June 2020 By Kirsten Dallimore, Sierra Club BC Environmental Educator
I am pleased to announce that summer has officially arrived!It is time to start preparing for a happy, healthy and creative season.
These past few months have been a very challenging timefor everyone. What is clear though is that spending time outside is safe and will greatly support your immune system, physical and mental health. Iencourage all of you to support yourself, your family and friends through outdoor exploration and learning this summer season.Please remember to follow COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines by following the evolving public health guidelines in your community.
Nature is a place of healing and learning, and is full of potential for incredible adventures. There are so many wonderful ways to appreciate thelocal ecosystems close to home and connect more deeply with nature.Perhaps you like to go to the beach or spend time at the lakeswimming or fishing.You may enjoy visiting the oceanand doing sometidepool exploration.Maybe you appreciatehiking in a forest or relaxingwhile having a picnic under the shade of the trees.Getting into the garden and spending timetendingtofruits, vegetables and flowersis also a wonderful activity to connect with place and produce local food.
Consider how different activities supportyour connection to a local placein different ways. Nature is our home that we share with all of the other living beings and we need to find ways to live in balance with them.
Ipersonally will be out this summer enjoying activities close to home such as packrafting on the local Gorge waterway, going for hikes in the CRDregional parks and exploring tidepools at the beaches here on Vancouver Island. Iencourage all of youto take the time to find your favourite local nature spots.
To support you through your explorations and learning, I have put together a list of 10 activities with links to materials you can easily print, watch or listen to with your kids. These will expand your awareness and open up your senses while out on your nature journeys this summer.
Here are 10 fun ways to connect with the natural world:
Love to sing and want to connect with nature through music? Check out the Lyrics to Gathering Songs shared by the Fresh Air Learning School.
Make the Sit Spot activity part of your family’s daily routine in developing a deeper connection to place. Clickon theSit Spot activity sheet and videoto learn how!
Take a walk along the beach to observe local seaweed!Print and bring along the Marine Exploration Seaweed guidewith you on your adventures to support your identification of marine seaweed and plants.
Grab a hat, sunscreen and binoculars (if you own a pair) and head out for some bird watching. Print and bring along the Bird Scavenger Huntto help guide you in observing birds in your local environment.
Develop your sense of touch and smell by playing theNature Memory Gamein a yard or local park.
Owlshave amazing vision! Try expanding your own field of vision by using your Owl Eyes to observe your surroundings. Watch this fun Owl Eyes videoto guide your experience and use theOwl Eyes Activity Bookletto record your observations.
Learnhowto make your very ownhummingbird feederand support local pollinators in their journey.
Make the time and space for your child to share daily nature stories. Take a small anecdote from your experience in nature and then share it with a friend or family member. Share the story using all your senses. Describe to them what you were seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling on your skin and what you felt in your heart while out in nature. Maybe you even tasted something like berries.You can also recordyour anecdoteby writing it down or capturing a moment through a photo or drawing.
I wish you all the best this summer and I look forward to hearing your summer nature stories and how you engaged with these activities.
We love hearing from you! Share your nature stories and experiences with the Sierra Club BCEducationTeam firstname.lastname@example.org