Outdoors Family Challenge Recap and Winner Announcement!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Outdoors Family Challenge last week! We had folks participate across several different social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Here’s a round-up of some of the posts, along with the announcement of the winner of a copy of Vitamin N, courtesy of the Children and Nature Network.

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Outdoors Family Challenge Day 7: Apple Picking at Homestead Farm

Photo: Rows of apple trees at Homestead Farm; text: "Apple Picking, Hay Bales, and Llamas at Homestead Farm; We'll Eat You Up, We Love You So"

As a native upstate New Yorker, apple picking runs in my blood. In my fourth grade class, not just one, but two of my classmates’  families owned apple orchards. While the picking – and especially the cider – isn’t as good in Maryland as New York, it’s still one of my favorite fall traditions. So for the final day of the Outdoors Family Challenge, focusing on “local food,” I wanted to pick apples at Homestead Farm. Even though my anxiety got the best of me on the way there, the crunch of apples, a friendly llama, and Sprout’s enthusiasm lifted my spirits by the time we finished.

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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

Nature painting Outdoors Family Challenge.jpg

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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