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The hubby got a few days off from the road so we loaded up the car on Friday and took off for Sanpete County. We spent Memorial Day weekend up on the mountain with my family and had so much fun. Nature has a way of slowing things down, clearing the mind, and helping a person focus, doesn’t it? I now feel ready to tackle the last week of school. I can’t wait for summer to officially begin! I should totally homeschool, but that pesky math subject always seems to get in the way. So, we’ll just rock summer vacations instead.
Bring on June!
Speaking of June, did you know that June 11th is National Get Outdoors Day?
People from the U.S. Forest Service, Girl Scouts of America, the American Recreation Coalition, and some awesome major outdoor retailers have gotten together to get American youth and families back to nature. On June 11th, there will be outdoor opportunities across the nation featuring traditional and non-traditional outdoor recreation. Utah doesn’t have any official ones, which is disappointing but let’s plan our own anyway!
Y’all know how much Mother Earth means to me and how nature makes me happy. So I thought in correlation with Get Outdoors Day, our monthly focus should be just that… NATURE. I am so excited! What a fun thing to put our energy towards, my brain is exploding with thoughts and activities!*This post contains affiliate links which helps me keep this creative little happy place going*
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Now back to the post…
Here are some ideas to get you and your fam excited too.
Lessons & Printables
Animal Tracks | Exploration America
The cute family over at Exploration America have come up with some really awesome printable animal track cards. They suggest laminating them so they will last for many adventures. What a fabulous idea! Crystal has created multiple printables so stop by and get inspired. Her site has tons of ideas for planning lessons on the outdoors. You’ll love it!
Oh, and her moon phases cards are fun, too!
Nature Walk | Teachers Pay Teachers
Take your family on a nature walk.
Use these little printables to let them record what they saw and how they reacted to it!
The Nature Play Poster | Wilder Child
Nicolette came up with the cutest poster on what nature teaches kids and I LOVE it! Her blog is another great resource for finding ways to teach children about nature. Definitely check out Wilder Child.
Books that Inspire Kids to be Nice to Nature | Edventures with Kids
Jacquie over at Edventures with Kids has a great post on 20 Inspiring Nature Activities for Kids that includes a nice list of children’s books all about loving nature. I found a lot of Jacquie’s posts very helpful in prepping for this month!
She also has a post packed with 25 nature field guide’s that is a wonderful resource!
Find that HERE!
If going on a field excursion to hunt wild flowers or birds is a tad too intense for you, visit your local library and ask the librarian for some books on nature. Spread a blanket on the lawn, enjoy the fresh air, and read as a family.
Who knows, you might be inspired to do a little exploring!
Kids Camp | The Dating Divas
The gals over at The Dating Divas came up with an awesome idea for a Kids Camp!
There are printables, awards, and study units. You NEED to check out their post, I tell you!
Nature Art | Gypsy Magpie (Hey, that’s me!)
Gather little bits and pieces of nature like twigs, rocks, seed pods, and leaves as a family then let the creativity begin! Create villages, landscapes, people, words, the sky is the limit. This activity can easily be done in any yard so don’t feel like you have to plan a big getaway if you don’t want to. You might be surprised at how creative kids (and adults) can be when unplugged for a few hours.
I may or may not have entertained myself with this bark sunshine in the Les Schwab parking lot today while getting my flat tire fixed. Waiting is not my favorite, especially when my phone dies and I’m writing a blog post.
Heber Valley Unplugged | Play Unplugged
If you are a Wasatch County local or a member of one of the other 16 communities rocking Unplugged, go earn some brag badges! There are tons of activities to do and badges to earn! I think they are up to 54 badges in my valley right now. My kids love the program! If your area doesn’t have Unplugged, find out how you can get involved and start a program in your area.
Free Fishing Day | Wildlife, Utah DNR
Several states, including Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington to name a few, have their free fishing days set up for June 11th. To find a complete list, go HERE. Free fishing day is a great opportunity to get your fam out in nature. For the whole day, no licenses are required to fish. However state fishing regulations are still in place so, as always, be smart and kind.
If you need a pole, I love THESE ones.
Summer Soltice | June 20th
Celebrate the longest day of the year as a family by getting outside! This year, the Summer Soltice is on June 20th at 4:34pm in my neck of the woods. This would be a great day to take a hike, plan a picnic, swim at the lake, bird watch, or hit up the local park with an ice cream cone. I think I’ll surprise my munchkins with a backyard camping trip complete with tent and s’mores in the fire pit. If sleeping on the ground isn’t your thing, roll out sleeping bags on the trampoline or put an air mattress in the play fort!
Rain or Shine Mamma has a great post full of ideas for planning a fun “Midsummer” HERE.
Linda has a fabulous blog that I just ran across the other day. I love it! She has fantastic ideas and posts about helping kids develop a love of nature. Make sure to stop by and look around!
20+ Nature Crafts for Kids | Twin Dragonfly Designs
Heather from Twin Dragonfly Designs has a great big post full of nature crafts!
And not just any crafts either, these ideas are dang cute!
18 Camping Breakfasts | DIY Ready
21 Foil Wrapped Camping Recipes | Buzzfeed
Other Fun Stuff:
- Put blankets in the kiddie pool (empty the water first!) and find shapes in the clouds
- Fill the truck bed with sleeping bags and popcorn, then drive out of town for some family star gazing
- Pack a picnic, sand toys, and some beach towels for an afternoon at the lake
- Take a hike you haven’t done yet
- Go on a park tour of your community parks then let the kids vote which one they liked the most
- Plant a garden
- Make flower crowns
- Feed the ducks at a pond
- Hang hummingbird feeders in your yard
- Plant perennials or native flowers to enjoy for years to come
I hope you are as excited about this month’s focus as I am!
If you need more ideas and activities, make sure to check out my Nature Family Focus board on Pinterest. You can find all that goodness HERE. I’ve been pinning all sorts of great stuff and I just can’t stop! From food to quotes like the one above, there is so much out there to help imprint a love of nature in even the youngest heart.
If you join our focus, don’t forget to tag your pics on Instagram with the hashtag #familyfocusnature
I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with!
I hope you had a fabulous Memorial Day and that you are looking forward to the joy summer (and the outdoors) can bring a family.
What do you love about nature?