THE IDEA: Head outside after the sun goes down with flashlights to explore nature at night.
During our recent backyard camp out (which I will report on in detail on Monday, so be sure to check back), we decided to explore nature at night. All it took were a few flashlights and some sugar-charged kids to turn it into a true adventure.
OUR NOTES FROM THE FIELD
After enjoying s’mores by the campfire in our backyard, we headed off with flashlights in hand to see what our neighborhood nature looked like at night. The kids were so excited to hold their own light source that there were no objections.
The big explorer chose a spotlight rather than a traditional flashlight, ‘cause that’s how he rolls.
We weren’t long into our walk before the big explorer decided it might be fun to try climbing a tree. In the dark. With crocs on. He didn’t do too bad, considering.
As we continued on, we spent a couple of minutes just listening to the sounds of the night. We didn’t hear too much, but I was amazed as always that the kids were quick to stop talking to see what they could hear.
The big excitement of the walk was discovering this spider spinning its web. (I apologize for the poor quality of the photo, but I’m no good at taking pictures at night.)
Dad and the little explorer found it first and warned those of us following to walk around. Good thing, because it was near impossible to spot. The big explorer informed me that that was because spiders spin invisible webs to catch their prey.
I love it when the student turns into the teacher.
All you really need for this activity is a flashlight. To make it more fun:
- Add glow sticks to the mix. Sometimes a little “bling” helps give kids the extra nudge they need to get excited about heading out the door.
- Dress for the weather. Make your little ones’ comfort a top priority to ensure a positive experience. We tend to overdress to ensure no one gets cold.
MORE IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR FUN
With school finally in session in Los Angeles, summer has officially ended. Now it’s time to find ways to get outdoors amidst somewhat busier schedules. Here are a few ideas:
- Try one of these 13 things to do with rocks
- Go cloud watching
- Make wildlife treats to welcome critters into your backyard
- Run through a pile of leaves
- Or give one of these 50 ways to explore nature in your own backyard a try