Photo: You can still get outside and play, especially if you have to work all day

It's fundamental for our to kids develop a love of nature they can carry throughout a lifetime.

By Mel Lefebvre, Communications Assistant

When was the last time you had that funny, dizzy feeling after rolling down a hill, munched on an apple picked fresh off a tree, or flew a kite? For many of us, these make up the happy memories of childhood, but we've cast these activities aside in exchange for adult responsibilities, like sitting all day.

To make sure kids are getting healthy doses of nature to last them a lifetime, the UK's National Trust is encouraging kids, age 11 ¾ and younger, to check things off a list of 50 things to do outside.

Some of the 50 activities include climbing up a big hill, skimming a stone, running around in the rain, and making a grass trumpet. But we think these things should be done on a regular basis by the young and young at heart. You can still play, especially if you have to work all day.

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It's fundamental for our to kids develop a love of nature they can carry throughout a lifetime. That's why the David Suzuki Foundation has created a new education guide that gets kids outside to learn from nature. With lessons on biodiversity, where our food comes from, and where our waste goes, the Connecting With Nature guide helps educators capitalize on every child's curiosity about nature, and is the first step in creating the environmental stewards of the future.

Experiencing nature on a regular basis is, unfortunately, becoming rarer as technology infiltrates our lives. This is a scary trend, because we will only fight to protect what we love and understand. If we spend a lot of our free-time watching TV or playing video games rather than in the great outdoors (even if that's a walk around the neighborhood), we're not schooling ourselves in the ways of the natural world.

Getting young people interested in nature and replacing screen time with green time is what the David Suzuki Foundation is hoping to achieve through Connecting With Nature. Helping young people develop this love of nature is key to understanding that we are all deeply interconnected and interdependent on the natural world, and each other.

So, shut down your computer, gather up the kids and grab your coat. Start crossing items off your list... I think I'm going to go look inside a tree or climb a big hill.

Here's the National Trust's list of 50 things to do in nature. Feel free to add to the list!

  1. Climb a tree
  2. Roll down a really big hill
  3. Camp out in the wild
  4. Build a den
  5. Skim a stone
  6. Run around in the rain
  7. Fly a kite
  8. Catch a fish with a net
  9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
  10. Play conkers
  11. Throw some snow
  12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
  13. Make a mud pie
  14. Dam a stream
  15. Go sledging
  16. Bury someone in the sand
  17. Set up a snail race
  18. Balance on a fallen tree
  19. Swing on a rope swing
  20. Make a mud slide
  21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
  22. Take a look inside a tree
  23. Visit an island
  24. Feel like you're flying in the wind
  25. Make a grass trumpet
  26. Hunt for fossils and bones
  27. Watch the sun wake up
  28. Climb a huge hill
  29. Get behind a waterfall
  30. Feed a bird from your hand
  31. Hunt for bugs
  32. Find some frogspawn
  33. Catch a butterfly in a net
  34. Track wild animals
  35. Discover what's in a pond
  36. Call an owl
  37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
  38. Bring up a butterfly
  39. Catch a crab
  40. Go on a nature walk at night
  41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
  42. Go wild swimming
  43. Go rafting
  44. Light a fire without matches
  45. Find your way with a map and a compass
  46. Try bouldering
  47. Cook on a campfire
  48. Try abseiling
  49. Find a geocache
  50. Canoe down a river
April 30, 2012
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/panther-lounge/2012/04/you-can-still-get-outside-and-play-especially-if-you-have-to-work-all-day/

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