Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard.
The Nature Connection
Ever noticed how things look, feel, even smell different after it rains? It’s one of my favorite times to head outside, especially with the kids. They marvel at everything that seems even slightly new and different from before.
It doesn’t matter how long you wait to head out after a rain – there’s still plenty to discover. Our adventure took place several hours after a few days of on-an-off rain. Gone were the dewdrops, worms, puddles and snails, but there was still much to explore.
Our Notes From the Field
The kids begged me to head out to the backyard as soon as we got home from school yesterday – I think because its been more than a few days since we spent any time back there.
The first thing we all noticed that was different from before the rains of the past few days was a half-eaten piece of unidentifiable fruit, which clearly did not come from any tree in our yard. We had fun trying to imagine how it might have gotten there (a big bird perhaps, or maybe a squirrel).
Then the big explorer spotted something very green growing out of the cracks in our concrete, which was most definitely new.
We headed over to our much-neglected garden next and noticed just how sad it looked – even after the rains. Our annuals didn’t fare well – first the heat, then the rain. (I hope to replace this with some fall plantings soon.)
But we did see that plenty of unwanted green growth had taken up residence – weeds of all kinds of size and variety.
There were also beautiful flower blooms that seemed to be showing off a bit. We see them all year round, but never with the white blooms.
In addition to looking around to see how the rain had changed our little slice of nature, we listened, too. We actually heard the rumble of thunder.
Not to be daunted, the kids were content to continue playing with sidewalk chalk and our backyard beach for quite a while before we headed in for dinner.
Just getting outdoors shortly after it rains is a success in my book. To make the most of your exploring:
- Don’t stress about the mess. Chances are good that your kids will encounter wet and muddy stuff. Let ’em have at it.
- Explore at different times. In the first few minutes after the rain stops, there are puddles galore, wet everything and maybe some emerging critters to spy. A few hours (or days) later, things might look very different.
More Ideas for Outdoor Fun
Cooler temps and rainy weather around here have been clear reminders that fall has arrived. Time to pull out the rain boots and jackets to make sure time spent outdoors is comfortable for the kids (and parents, too!). Some ideas for outdoor fun this week: