As a teacher who taught summer camp for many years I thought I would share a few easy activities that are great for summer camp programs or parents looking for something to do outdoors with their children this summer.
Place a piece of masking tape sticky side out on each child’s wrist. Go for a nature hike or simply go outdoors and allow them to decorate their wristband with flowers, leaves, etc. by placing them on the sticky adhesive (inform the children beforehand of any dangerous plants in your area that should not be touched as well as to not place anything sharp on their wristband/bracelet)
Fill a jar with play sand or moist soil. Catch some ants by placing jelly or Kool-Aid on a plate outside. Place the ants in the jar and add some fresh food scraps to the top layer. Cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth and a rubber band. Observe your new ant farm and watch what they create. Release the ants once you are done obsserving them.
Count the Insects
Make a guess of how many insects live in your backyard or schoolyard. Write down your guess. Take a hula hoop or piece of string and go into your backyard, park, schoolyard, or open filed and place it down on the ground. Carefully search the area within the hoop or string, counting all of the insects your see. Look in the grass, under sticks and leaves, on top of the dirt, on flowers, and in the air.
Children love to observe insects. To make a simple bug catcher that allows students to observe them lay a Pringle’s can on it’s side and cut out a “viewing area” from the top side. Cover the opening with clear plastic or a piece of transparency. Poke holes in the lid. Add some grass and sticks to the inside. Catch bugs and place them inside for children to view and then set free.