“Nature is a destination,” write Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer, the authors of The Kids Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up. “But you don’t have to travel anywhere to find it. Just open the door and step outside.” That idea of fun and adventure in “nearby nature” infuses their entire delightful new book. This is an especially important concept at a time when kids are spending much more time with electronics than they are in the natural world. The Kids Outdoor Adventure Book offers a perfect counter-balance to indoor time, with activities that are easy for even the busiest families to enjoy.
The book is wonderfully, and helpfully, arranged by seasons (each of which is declared “the best season”.) Each season features an array of fun outdoor activities, so that a reader might be inspired to tap a maple tree or find a turtle in spring, catch a firefly or find fossils in summer, go owling or conquer a corn maze in fall, or go ice fishing or whittle a branch in winter. In addition to all the activities, which are presented in a fun check-list fashion and have guidelines as to the “adventure scale” of each one, there are plenty of larger-scale projects, outdoor games, destinations, and foods to make, so that families and others can be kept very busy doing the book’s activities over many years.
The Kids Outdoor Adventure Book is very rich. It features a range of activities, from those that are simple to do, but might have escaped notice, such as “Roll down a hill like a log” (something my daughter loved to do) to more exotic ideas like “Go spelunking” in a cave. Rachel Riordan’s extremely cute illustrations complement the breadth of ideas in this jam-packed, fun-filled book. Tornio and Keffer, who are judges in the 3rd annual ClifKID Backyard Game of the Year Contest, have captured the joy of being alive and the rhythm of the seasons and the natural world. Readers of this book will surely be inspired to open the door to their own outdoor adventures.
Want to get your own autographed copy of the Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book? Enter to win the CLIFKid ZBar and book giveaway.
Other Slow Family posts you might like:
Join Project Feeder Watch and Other Fun Citizen Science Activities
8 Fun Things to Do While It’s Still Summer
Have a Cloud Race
Keep a Moon Diary
American Academy of Pediatrics Advocates Recess for Kids
Posted in Nature, Play, Reading, Seasons, The Great Outdoors
Tagged Books, Ken Keffer, Kids Outdoor Adventure Book, Nature, Nature Activities, Nature Games, Outdoor Play, Outdoors, Stacy Tornio
Watching the sky and clouds can be somewhat of a luxury in our busy lives. When we think of unhurried childhoods, many of us picture a lazy afternoon or early evening, laying in the grass and gazing at the sky overhead, allowing ourselves to daydream as the clouds drift to form various shapes.
Clouds provide the perfect backdrop for our imaginations, after all. Formed from evaporated water that rose through the air and condensed, clouds are lovely, miraculous, ever-changing and not to be missed, even in the most frenzied childhood.
As you concentrate on the clouds, you’ll probably discover differences in their formations, appearances and speeds as they move across the sky. What do some different clouds look like to you? Is there a story you can make up, starring a cloud?
Got two or more people and seeking a more structured game? Have a cloud race:
- Lie in the grass or sit on a chair.
- Players or teams choose a cloud and root for it to go faster than the others across the sky.
Want to know more about clouds? The Enchanted Learning has great information for learning how to identify different kinds of clouds and discovering how clouds form. You may also be inspired by these 25 unbelievable cloud formations.
Have fun racing and dreaming!
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman
Everyone loves scavenger hunts. It’s great fun to be on the lookout for things. Hunts can turn a simple walk into an adventure or a game. They can cause us to look around in nature a little more closely than we may have.
In many parts of the world, a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt can get you outside during winter. See how many heart-shaped objects you can find and keep track of the number of them as you explore. You may be surprised, once you look very closely, at just how many heart-shaped items there are in nature. I dug up a few around the internet:
New for 2013:
For more inspiration, visit my Hearts in Nature photo album on Facebook.
Read the inspiration for this scavenger hunt, Active Kids Club’s Outdoor Valentine Link Up.
You might also like Love in Nature and in History.
Photos: Tariqweb, Public Domain, Public Domain, dvortygirl, Angi Unruh, Public Domain, Public Domain, Calum Redhead, Pixdaus, Public Domain, Public Domain, Public Domain, Claude Truong-Ngoc, Public Domain, Public Domain, aussiegirl, Bigstock, Bigstock
Posted in Holidays, Nature, Seasons, The Great Outdoors
Tagged Active Kids Club, Hearts in Nature, Nature Activities, Nature Games, Nature Heart Photos, Nature Heart Pictures, Nature Hearts, Nature Photography, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Games, Outdoor Valentine, Photography, Scavenger Hunt, Valentine's Day, Valentines