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1. Catch insects and study their morphology – Spring is a great time of year to catch a variety of insects or “bugs”! Go digging in the dirt for roly-polies and ants. Take to the skies and try to catch a lady bug, Hoverfly, or moth. Butterflies also start to emerge in the spring, and in some areas, you may be able to catch a few different types of butterflies! Of course, while you may want to catch and examine these creatures to learn more about them you do not want to injure them in the process. A large net and bug viewer like these will help you catch, study, and release your new friends unharmed.
2. Launch rockets and more! - After being confined indoors for the winter months there is something so wonderful about heading outdoors – like the sky’s the limit! Use all of that space between you and the sky to launch some rockets or study some simple physics concepts like trajectory, force and acceleration with a DIY catapult. But don’t worry, they’ll be having so much fun you won’t have to brush up on your physics terms!
3. Go on an outdoor science scavenger hunt – Just download this FREE PRINTABLE Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Page and head outside for an adventure! This can be a fun activity to do with 1 or several friends; you can even put together teams or head to your local park for a change of scenery!
4. Start a rock and mineral collection – Start in your backyard, explore the park, head to a lake or stream! Rocks and minerals can be found everywhere and as you change locations, you’ll probably find a variety of specimens. Unlike bugs or insects, it’s easy to keep and add to your collection throughout the year. Be sure to look closely, perhaps with a magnifying glass or ID Kit to observe the differences between different rocks and minerals. How many different ways can you sort your collection? Can you identify the specimens you have found? The internet is a great resource, or you can find some reference books at your local library.
5. Plant some flowers and vegetables – A perfect activity for all ages and a great way to bring family and friends together! All of the supplies, like soil and pots are easy to find and you can gather seeds from food you already have at home! This is a great way to observe the parts of a plant, learn about what a plant needs to grow, and when they are large enough you can study the morphology of various plants and plant parts with a magnifying glass and forceps. Don’t forget to harvest and enjoy the blooms or food provided!