Jenny created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families. Jenny is a homeschooling mom to four children.
- Researching the kinds of rocks and minerals native to your area that you might find.
- Learning about the Mohs Hardness Scale so you can determine the toughness of any stones you find.
- Gathering the tools you need, like a hand spade, magnifying glass, sunscreen and a hat.
You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to ignite the explorer in your child’s spirit. You can explore your backyard both day and night.
- Build a tree fort.
- Make a nature collage.
- Play games like horseshoes, bocce, croquet or bean bag toss.
- Sing songs around the campfire.
- Tell spooky (or not-so-scary) stories in the tent with a flashlight.
Backyard exploration empowers your child with a sense of independence and adventure, but also gives you a chance to keep a close eye on how things progress. When you’re ready to move out of the backyard, try exploring in a nearby park.
- Going on a nature-themed scavenger hunt.
- Watching and journaling about birds, squirrels and other native wildlife.
- Practicing orienteering on walking trails.
- Geocaching or going on a treasure hunt.
Parks are a great way to expand your kid’s experience with the natural world. When they are ready to venture further, consider a state or national park.
State and National Parks
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Exploring ruins
In many parks, kids can even become junior rangers. This is an exciting goal to talk about when you are starting out by enjoying backyard nature activities.
Getting your kids outside means making them happier and healthier. Playing outdoors has been shown to reduce stress, teach social skills, improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of obesity. Being outside lets your kid do the thing they love the most— be a kid.
If you haven’t already read the book, it’s a great place to start - Relationship Reboot: Break free from the bad habits in your relationship.
David B. Younger, Ph.D. is the creator of Love After Kids, for couples that have grown apart since having children. He is a clinical psychologist and couples therapist with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 13-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old toy poodle.