Ten Easy Ways to Connect Your Family To Nature

Short on Vitamin N? Here’s a brief list of nature activities to help you connect your kids, and yourself, to the health and cognitive benefits of nature time. (For a more complete collection of 100 actions, for families, schools, and communities see Last Child in the Woods, from which the following suggestions are drawn.)

  1. Invite native flora and fauna into your life. Maintain a birdbath. Replace part of your lawn with native plants. Build a bat house. For backyard suggestions, plus links to information about attracting wildlife to apartments and townhouses, see the National Audubon Society’s Invitation to a Healthy Yard. Make your yard a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Certified Wildlife Habitat.
  2. Revive old traditions. Collect lightning bugs at dusk, release them at dawn. Make a leaf collection. Keep a terrarium or aquarium. Go crawdadding — tie a piece of liver or bacon to a string, drop it into a creek or pond, wait until a crawdad tugs. Put the garden hose to good use: make a mud hole. (Your kids will sleep well later.)

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