Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
As the weather gets warmer and parents look for fun, and maybe educational, things for their kids to do during this shelter-in-place, consider sending them outside to explore their own yard!
Look for birds to identify either in the yard or flying in the sky. Maybe plants are blooming in the yards, such as henbit or wild violets. Both plants are considered weeds, but could they possibly be beneficial to other wildlife? (Hint: They are – Bees LOVE henbit and wild violet is food for the fritillary butterfly larva.) What other plants are growing in the yard? What type of trees?
Indulge your inner entomologist to discover what insects are being sheltered in the grass. If you don’t have a magnifying glass, the zoom feature on a camera phone can be used to identify some fascinating creatures. Maybe you have a budding geologist in your family. What kind of rocks are in the yard? Is it a commonly found piece of limestone or is it a glossy piece of obsidian?
Now would also be a good time to develop some photography skills. Use your camera or phone to take photographs of the world outside your window. Experiment with lighting and filters. Create a slideshow to show off your skills to your family.
We may think that we can only “get back to nature” by leaving the city and heading to a wildlife preserve or a state park. Those are amazing adventures to have, but during the current shelter-in-place status, this is not always practical and nature isn’t just found in those areas. Nature is everywhere, we just have to look for it.