Summers in the Midwest are a great time to get out and enjoy nature. Hiking with kids is wonderful exercise and a fun family activity. Just be sure to follow some basic safety tips to make sure everyone has a good and safe time.
Planning the hike
Hiking is a fun way to explore new areas. You can start by taking a few minutes to prepare so everyone has a good time.Continue reading →
Everyone loves blowing and playing with bubbles. Wouldn’t it be great if the bubbles didn’t pop the instant you touched them? We have just the recipe! This activity involves a little pre-planning — you make the bubble solution the day before — but it’s worth it.
1 cup distilled drinking water
1 tablespoon dish soap
1 teaspoon of glycerin (available at most craft and drugstores)
Straw and/or bubble wand*
Clean glove (or sock) — helps keep the bubbles from popping
* You can also make your own bubble wand. Check out the directions below – you just need a wire hanger, needle nose pliers and some beads.
Playing music is fun, but you don’t need expensive instruments to make music. Using some simple household items, you can make your own instruments and then start grooving and playing together.
DIY Drum Activity
Packing tape (clear)
Cylinder-shaped object open at top and bottom (cardboard oatmeal cylinders work well, ice cream buckets, or a section of large PVC pipe)
Remove both ends of the cylinder you plan to use. Be sure to cover any rough or sharp edges with tape. Take the packing tape and make big strips across one of the open ends (run the tape about two or three inches down the side of your drum). Be sure to keep the tape tight across the top as you work. Make an X with every two pieces of tape you use. Keep placing strips of tape until the entire top of your drum is covered with at least two layers of tape.
Nothing ruins fun in the outdoors like a good case of poison ivy (or oak or sumac). While some people experience minor irritation when they come in contact with one of these poison plants, others can have an extreme reaction that lingers for days and even weeks. You don’t even need to touch the plant directly. Sometimes just contact with another person or object that is carrying the oils from the plant can cause irritation.
Avoiding the rash
If you’re going to be outside in a wooded area, wear protective clothing such as pants, or high socks if wearing shorts. Make sure your child wears gloves if gardening or doing yard work alongside you. If you do come into contact with an irritant, washing any potential oils off of the skin and underneath the fingernails within 10 minutes of contact will improve the likelihood of reducing the symptoms. Consider using a barrier protectant such as “Ivy Block,” which needs to be reapplied every four hours.
Nature provides boundless ways to engage children. A walk outside can become an adventure with just a few helpful tools and an active imagination. Here’s an activity that can be easily done anywhere with kids — including your own backyard or the neighborhood park!
Bug Fun Facts
Did you know that if you put all the insects in the world on a giant scale, they would weigh more than all the humans?
Scientists estimate there are 6 to 10 million insects in the world and only about 1 million have been identified and named.
Insects are an essential part of the natural world and vary in size, color and shape — just like the plants they depend on. Insects have specialized eyes, mouths, legs and wings that allow them to interact with plants and animals in unusual and interesting ways.
You can take a Bug Safari anywhere, just step outside to discover the wonderful world of insects.
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