Fun for Earth Day — and Beyond

by Maria Dolan

Fun for Earth Day — and Beyond

Simple ways to foster a love of the great outdoors

Make the most of walks. Park a few blocks away from school or a birthday party. On the way in, ask your child what he sees, hears, and smells, or challenge him to a game of “I Spy” (“I spy two things that are puffy and white!”).

Plant a mini-garden. Even a small pot on a back porch or windowsill can do the trick. Peas and catnip are notoriously good sprouters.

Invest in a few tools. For under 20 bucks, you can buy a toy-store bug viewer. Or try a pair of binoculars turned around, which magnify.

Visit the water’s edge. Find the nearest beach, pond, lake, or puddle and plant yourselves beside it — you’ll be surprised how a pool of water sparks kids’ curiosity.

Find nature near you. At, a new site from the National Wildlife Federation, you’ll find easy suggestions — many from other parents — for activities kids can do right outside your door, no matter what the season, whether you live in a suburb or a city. Click on “NatureFind” to locate a park or recreational area near you.