Eco-friendly summer fun
Discover six ways the family can spend time together learning about nature.
With the summer in full swing, you might be looking for things to do with family. Fortunately there are lots of fun activities that are easy on your wallet and good for the environment.
So, turn off the TV and head outdoors. Here are six eco-friendly ideas for fun activities that will have the whole family smiling from ear to ear.
Pick some berries
There are many U-pick berry farms across Canada, many of which also have playgrounds, wagon rides and other activities. And the fun doesn’t stop in the berry patch — you’ll want to freeze and cook some too! Here’s some advice on how to prepare freshly picked blueberries as well as some recipes and fun picking activities.
Visit a local farm
Many farmers welcome visitors and are happy to talk about their plants, animals and products often by leading guided tours. On some farms, you can get face-to-face with animals and maybe even give a farmer a helping hand. Just make sure to call before you go, ask if they take visitors or volunteers and become familiar with farm rules and etiquette that will keep you and the farm healthy.
Build a tree house
Building a fort or tree house can provide hours of entertainment for your family, and kids will have a real sense of accomplishment when it’s done. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming — there are lots of ways to build an affordable tree house. You can even create a den out of branches and sticks in an afternoon. When it’s finished, the whole family can have a celebratory picnic, or grab some sleeping bags and flashlights and camp out for the night!
Make art from nature
Grab a canvas and easel and take the kids to your favourite park, or find a beautiful spot in the countryside and try some landscape painting. If you prefer making crafts, you might try a pressed-flower mobile or a heart-shaped birdseed ornament that doubles as a birdfeeder, or turn an old glass container into a terrarium made of local plants. There are tonnes of ideas for eco-art — your imagination is the limit!
Create some compost
One of the best ways to give back to nature is to compost. Composting is also a great way to learn about how healthy ecosystems function. You can watch (and touch) the worms in a vermicomposter, or dig into a large pile to see centipedes and other decomposers. Plus, no matter how big or small your composting efforts, you’ll avoid sending good organic matter to the landfill and create healthy soil for your garden and veggie planters.
Tour a botanical garden
If you haven’t been yet, you’ll likely be surprised at how enjoyable a visit to your local botanical garden can be. Many are run by volunteers or a city’s park department — like the Fredericton Botanic Garden, Toronto Botanical Garden or Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver — meaning they’re free. Don’t forget to pack a picnic!
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