Outdoors Family Challenge: Day 6 Experience – Wheaton Regional Park

playgroundstrails-and-trains_-wheaton-regional-park

One of the greatest gifts that spending time in the outdoors has given me is the ability to adapt. That skill has been infinitely handy as a parent, where situations change in seconds and expectations regularly get stomped all over. Yesterday, it led to a lovely afternoon in Wheaton Regional Park – even though we hadn’t planned to go there in the first place.

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Outdoors Family Challenge: Day 7 – Eat local!

outdoors-family-challenge-day-7-prompt

Welcome to Day 7 of the Outdoors Family Challenge! This is a seven day challenge to help get you and your kids outside, living more sustainably, and connecting more with nature and each other. You can read about our experience yesterday or check out the archived prompts on the Outdoors Family Challenge pageIf you would like updates each morning with the activities, sign up for the email list or like my Facebook page.

 

Visit a farmers market, farm stand, local farm or pick-your-own.

One of our biggest but most overlooked connections to nature is our food. More than any other industry, agriculture is intimately connected to natural cycles, influenced by the weather and ecosystems. Unfortunately, most people are quite disconnected from what ends up on their plate. But with the growth of interest in local and regional agriculture, it’s the easiest it’s been in decades to connect with where your food comes from, even if you live in a city.

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Outdoors Family Challenge: Day 6 Prompt -Visit a Park

outdoors-family-challenge-day-6-prompt

Welcome to Day 6 of the Outdoors Family Challenge! This is a seven day challenge to help get you and your kids outside, living more sustainably, and connecting more with nature and each other. You can read about our experience yesterday or check out the archived prompts on the Outdoors Family Challenge page. If you would like updates each morning with the activities, sign up for the email list or like my Facebook page.

 

Visit a park that’s new to you.

So often, we don’t spend the time to explore what’s right in our area. You don’t need to go to Yellowstone or Hawaii Volcanos National Park to experience the benefits of a park. Today is National Public Lands Day, which makes it ideal for making the most of the lands that belong to all of us.

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Outdoors Family Challenge: Days 4 and 5 Experience

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The artist at work.

Some days, everything just works. Other days, your three-year-old gets stung by a bee. As my mom’s friend used to say when they worked in an elementary school together, “The bus is going to hell and you’re driving it!”

Yesterday, we completed the Day 4 activity but I didn’t get to write about it because my children hate sleep. When I got home from work, we had a lovely time poking, smashing, smudging, and squishing leaves, weeds, and clover into finger paint. Sprout also used his fingers to create a lovely swirl of red and blue.

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Outdoors Family Challenge: Day 5 Prompt – Take a Bug’s Eye View

outdoors-family-challenge-day-5-prompt

Welcome to Day 5 of the Outdoors Family Challenge! This is a seven day challenge to help get you and your kids outside, living more sustainably, and connecting more with nature and each other. You can read about our experience yesterday or check out the archived prompts on the Outdoors Family Challenge page. If you would like updates each morning with the activities, sign up for the email list or like my Facebook page.

 

Take a bug’s eye view.

Nature often feels the most significant on the large scale – at the tops of mountains and edges of oceans. But the small scale offers untold wonder and insights. Millions of organisms that are essential to how the world works live under our feet every day.

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Outdoors Family Challenge: Day 4 – Integrate Nature and Art

outdoors-family-challenge-day-4-prompt

Welcome to Day 4 of the Outdoors Family Challenge! This is a seven day challenge to help get you and your kids outside, living more sustainably, and connecting more with nature and each other. You can read about our experience yesterday or check out the archived prompts on the Outdoors Family Challenge page. If you would like updates each morning with the activities, sign up for the email list or like my Facebook page.

Integrate nature into art

Nature has inspired creative expression since art began! Many of the earliest cave paintings are of animals. In addition to inspiring art, nature can also provide the canvas and tools to create it.

Go outside and find some materials you and your kids can use to make art. Some possibilities include leaves, acorns, pinecones, blades of grass, sticks, dirt, sand, water, and weeds. Let the materials themselves inspire you.

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Outdoors Family Challenge: Day 3 Experience

Photo of sunset

Day 3 of the Outdoors Family Challenge in my house almost ended as soon as it started. When I came in the door, Sprout was playing with his Duplos. I asked him, “Do you want to go outside?” To which he promptly answered, “No.” Fortunately, I wasn’t deterred and he wasn’t being terribly stubborn, so we headed outside five minutes later. The scavenger hunt (PDF) didn’t exactly go as planned, but plans never quite do with three-year-olds.

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