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Day 1: Create art with nature, the introduction to the Junior Ranger Activity Book and an animal riddle

Outdoor ideas and inspiration

We understand that these are difficult days for many people, and we want to help. To that end, we will be posting daily ideas and inspiration (weekdays only).

For parents, we will frequently share simple activities to engage your children with the outdoors and keep them healthy and occupied. Check out past ideas on our engagement blog and on Facebook and Instagram.

For all ages, we will post reading material and inspiration to help you make healthful outdoor time and nature watching a part of your new normal. We also encourage you to check out our Harpswell Nature Watchers Facebook group and sign up for Harpswell Nature Watchers emails.

Today you can find in this post:

  • An outdoor activity for kids: Create with nature
  • A resource: Pages 1-9 of the Junior Ranger Activity Book
  • An animal riddle and link to a Nature Notes article

Outdoor activity for kids: Create with nature

  1. Go outdoors.
  2. Collect a variety of natural objects (rocks, sticks, leaves, shells, bark, etc.).
  3. Get out a cookie sheet.
  4. You can do the next step indoors or outdoors. Arrange your natural objects to create art or a structure. Let your child do what inspires him or her. She/he might make a picture or build a log cabin, a bridge a playground or a museum.
  5. Ask open-ended questions like, “Tell me about this.” You can also have your child write a story or a how-to about what he/she built. This activity encourages imagination, creativity, story-telling, problem solving and engineering.
  6. Take a picture of your child’s creation and share it with us at photos@hhltmaine.org. We’d also love to hear your ideas for nature-based activities! We’ll share them on our website and social media.
A nature creation made at the Forest Playground last summer.

Resource for families: Pages 1-9 of the Junior Ranger Activity Book

The Junior Ranger Activity Book includes engaging science content, activity ideas and trail maps! It’s a great resource to learn about and explore nature and get outdoors, even if you don’t live near Harpswell. The book was created by Emma Levy, who was a high school senior when she wrote it. Click here for more about the book.

We will be releasing the book one chapter at a time over the next several weeks.

Click here to access the first nine pages of the book.

If you would like a physical copy of the whole book (without having to view it online or print out pages), you can order it on our website for just $5 + $4 shipping (which is less than what it costs us to produce). Click here to order.

Animal riddle

What mammal is brown in the summer, white in the winter, lives from the deep south to the Arctic and has up to 10 babies in April or May. Click here for the answer, and to read more about this interesting animal.

Trails and Preserves in Harpswell and beyond

For more information on where to get outdoors in Harpswell, click here.

For more information about where to get outdoors in the broader southern Midcoast region, click here.

Your own backyard and neighborhood are also great, safe places to spend some time outdoors.