Set up a hammock for daily reading
Have an adult test trees for climbing and note which are safe-do your daily reading in a tree
Find a quiet spot in your yard or nearby area that you can stake out as your own private nature space. Make it your own with personal touches and make it comfortable for reading
Go on a backyard insect hunt.
Lift rocks and logs as they often like dark, damp places but be sure to roll towards you and always put them back the way you find them. Make a research poster or write up a fact sheet about the insect from the observations you have made. Share your research with others.
Have a nature show and share with your family.
Start or add to a nature collection and set aside a time each day to share your finds. Create your own nature museum using your finds. Label your discoveries like they do in a nature center or museum.
Track the weather in a weather journal.
Keep a record of the daily temperature, cloud types, wind speed and direction. Be the family meteorologist & provide the daily weather forecast for your family or record it and share on social media. https://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-forecasting.htm
Keep a record of seasonal changes.
Note the dates that flowers bloom, trees blossom and when trees leaf out, leaves change color. Try to figure out why they each bloomed or leafed out when it did.
Make a bird feeder from a recycled bottle and hang it near your house filled with seed or fruit.
Try to identify all the birds you see and keep a log of activity at your feeder. Make a graph showing how often each species of bird visited https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yV6V6rtpyc https://www.whatbird.com/birdexpert/statecolorsize/2/6404/birdexpert.aspx
ARE THE FROGS CALLING NOW WHERE YOU ARE?
Go on a walk near water and listen. Try to identify the frog by its call. Keep a journal of the different frogs you hear and research each type. Keep friends and family up to date with what is happening in the amphibian world around you.
Take a color walk.
Walk outside in nature with crayons or colored pencils and document each color you see. In spring you can see a variety of shades of green. How many different shades can you find? Use your creativity to come up with the names of the shades you find. Did you know that being in nature actually improves your eyesight?
Keep a cloud journal
Sketch the different types of clouds you see each day. Try labeling them with the cloud names and predict the weather by looking at the clouds.
Write an adventure story starring your favorite native woodland animal.
Write your own Fairy tale starring an invasive plant or animal as the villain.
Think about setting, characters and plot. Many Fairy tales take place in the woods. Illustrate your story and share it with a family member or read it aloud to a classmate on the phone.
Start a backyard field guide.
Sort your finds alphabetically or by animal classification. Invite your family on a nature walk around your yard using your field guide.
Be a friend to a hummingbird
Hummingbirds are migrating back to our area. Make a simple feeder and keep track of
how many and which species visit your feeder.
Garden friends and foes
There are critters that are friends of the garden (beneficial) and some that are pests to the garden (foe). Check a garden plot for critters and make a list of all you find. Then sort the list into two columns-friend or foe.
Study a worm
Worms are also beneficial to your garden and your backyard. Go on a worm hunt in your neighborhood. Remember they like to stay moist but you can handle them and observe them closely with your eyes or a magnifying glass. What observations can you make? Make an observational drawing, measure your worm and try to determine which side has the head. Provide various types of food, which is your worm interested in?
Create a small vegetable or flower garden.
Use your mathematical skills to plot the space and create the rows. Read seed packages for directions on spacing and depth to plant the seeds. Keep a record of plant growth, using a ruler to track the growth.
make seed Balls
Dig up a little NC clay soil and form a ball (add a little water if necessary). Stash some seeds inside the ball as you roll it. Let the ball dry for a day or two and then become a guerilla gardener and drop/throw your seed ball into a location without any signs of life, spreading new life to a spot that seems unplantable.
keep a butterfly log
Many butterfly species are viewable in our area now along with their larval stage, the caterpillar. Keep a butterfly log recording each color/species you see. https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/butterflies-in-your-backyard
Create a toad abode
A toad is a friend to the garden as it doesn’t eat your seeds or crops but it will help you control the pests that will damage your garden. Help encourage toads by building a toad house or toad abode.
Dissect a flower
Explore, photograph and dissect a flower. Which flower parts can you identify? Draw a diagram and label all of the flower parts.
Make a fairy house, fairy garden or gnome home.
Help the pollinators
Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are some of our most important pollinators and could use your help. Did you know besides flower nectar they also need water just like we do? Research/design and build a pollinator water station.
Look for signs of erosion
Look for signs of erosion near your home or neighborhood. Try to determine what is causing it. Observe and experiment with wind and water. Advise family members or neighbors on your ideas about controlling the erosion.
create a treasure map
Create a treasure map of a location near your home. Be sure to add the cardinal directions and a map key. Hide something for your family to find using your map. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp8VOG8Cgag&vl=en simplistic version
Paint rocks with happy messages and pictures and place them in your neighborhood with a map detailing their location so others can enjoy them and have a smile
explore solar energy
Research, design and build a solar oven. Go on a neighborhood walk and record how many solar panels you see. Look at lighting around the yards as well as on the roof..
Create a map of NC (or whatever state you are in)
Draw a map of NC using chalk on your driveway or sidewalk. Label the mountains, piedmont and coastal areas. Use natural materials to add natural features to your map. n What species of plant live in each of the three regions of NC? Which animals can be found in each?
create a compass challenge course
Create a compass challenge course or hide something using GPS and your device and challenge others to find it.
get to know your neighborhood
Get to know your own neighborhood. Create a map of the neighborhood. Add trees, shrubs and other vegetation to your map. Are there areas that could use more trees or vegetation? Write a letter to your town suggesting areas that need more trees, include your map drawing.
create land forms from sand or mud
Try making various landforms in your yard or neighborhood, make specific landforms found in the world and challenge family members or classmates to identify them.
create a backyard beach vacation
Use your imagination!
Build a fort
Gaze at the stars and see how many constellations you can identify. There are great free apps for phones and iPads to help identify the things you see in the night sky.
Draw the sunrise or sunset
Watch and draw or paint a sunset/sunrise. Do they look the same each day?
Hunt for four leaf clovers
Design a natural board game
Create a checkerboard from natural materials and play checkers with a family member. Think about using stones, seeds, sticks, etc. Can you make a complete chess set from natural materials?
Plan a backyard campout
Make plans to camp out in your backyard with your family. Make an invitation to invite family members, make a list of supplies you will need, plan a food menu and a list of all the benefits of sleeping outdoors. Good luck ! Be sure to keep track of all the nocturnal critters you hear or see on your adventure.
build a camp fire
Follow an ant trail.
Where have they been? Where are they going?
play with mud
Paint or sculpt with mud. Make mud pies and allow them to dry in the sun.
build a hoodoo
Search for rocks and build a tower. Challenge family members and friends to see who can build the highest tower.