Spring is officially here and that means it is a great time to get outdoors. Spending time outdoors feels like a foreign concept to many 4-H members these days, but being out in nature has many positive benefits. It allows members to disconnect from devices and technology, focus on being present in the moment, and engaging with others. Direct exposure to nature has also been found to have a restorative and calming effect.1
Most 4-H families associate being outdoors with going to summer camp or an event that takes much effort. However, spending time reconnecting to nature should not be scary or overwhelming. Here are some easy ways to make time outdoors more accessible to young members:
- Host a scavenger hunt! Click here for an activity sheet that you can share with your members. You can set up a marked off area at your club meeting space and hide similar pictures (bird, butterfly, etc.) around the area. Encourage members to complete a “BINGO” row (or the whole card) by visiting each station.
- Have older members in your club that are working on reading skills? Include fun facts on the pictures and have the members read each one to ‘complete’ the station
- Use this scavenger hunt on a club (or family) field trip. Visit an Ohio State Park and spend time hiking a trail. Pack one of these activity sheets to identify as many items as you can.
- Not sure where your closest state park is? You can find more information at https://ohiodnr.gov/
Want to include some other activities that combine time outdoors with protecting our environment? Bring the outdoors into a club meeting. Ohio 4-H has curriculum available to help you celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd. Visit the “Earth is Our Home” Curriculum at https://ohio4h.org/earthday. You and your members can learn more about Sustainability, Germination and Plant Growth, Climate Change or even Pollination.
Spring is a time of growth and renewal so why not try a new outdoor activity or two with your Cloverbud members!
- Made for Retail. Scavenger Hunt List Pad – Explore & Backyard. 2018. Madeforretail.com