Fall fun for the family

 

Scientists think that experiencing nature helps people de-stress. It might even improve brain function. Keep those young brains in top form by getting kids outside this fall. Here are some ideas from Nat Geo Kids.

Build observation skills with birds.

Not all birds fly south for the winter; they might even be flying into your backyard! Check out these wacky fliers, or read up on a few bird species. Then help build observation skills by sending children outside to count how many birds they see. (Get more kid-friendly ideas from Nat Geo Kids’ Bird Guide of North America.)

Bring on the birds!

Attract more birds with this DIY birdbath. Constructed with a few terra-cotta planters, this project is fun yet simple enough for kids to do themselves.

Teach documentation skills with trees

Test kids’ tree knowledge with this leaf quiz. Then take the games outside to see how many trees kids can identify. (Younger kids can simply state the differences between trees they see.) Get started with these tips from the Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Trees.

Take photos.

Help children document what they observe in nature—whether it’s trees or critters—with outdoor photography tips. These videos also have some great ideas.

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Foster categorization skills through food (kind of).

Teach kids categorization skills by sending them on a backyard safari. Challenge them to write down all the plants and animals they see under different headings, like mammals, birds, trees, and so on. Of course, all that activity will make them hungry! Head back inside for some fall harvest snacks kids can make themselves. After all, it’s about time for your little animals to hibernate!

Attract wildlife.

Sometimes wildlife needs a little help to make an appearance. Make sure your backyard is wildlife friendly with these ideas. Hint: Kids make perfect assistants!