Be a Part of Something Bigger: Activities to Engage the Youth
We are living in an age where social media has captured the interest of all the youth across America. Because of this rise in social media and online presence it is important to not forget to take active steps in providing a way for your children, nieces, nephews or friends to develop a love for the outdoors. This can be a simple as taking them for a walk in the woods, to as complicated as teaching them to hunt and be successful in the woods. The plain fact of the matter is take time out of your busy day, to perpetuate a desire in them to enjoy the outdoors like you have. Cro-Mag Outdoors believes that for the outdoor community to survive, we must pass our heritage on to the younger generation. And for that reason, we have created a list of exciting and interesting activities for you to do with your little ones.
Catching Night Crawlers
This is an activity that will allow your children to develop stealth, quick reflexes and a sharp eye. Since the summer is upon us, most children are home from school and can stay up later than usual. This activity is weather and nighttime dependent, but if you can catch it at the right time, it will be an activity that they will beg you to do.
Bucket or Container
Wait for a storm that finishes right before nightfall. After it is dark, wait 45 mins to an hour for the ground to saturate with water. This will give the night crawlers enough time to emerge from the ground and lay on top of the soil/grass. Slowly walk around the yard with the children, and use the flashlight to spot the worms on the ground. Be aware that they can feel vibration from walking, and will descend back into their hole, so going slow is a must. After a night crawler has been spotted, have the child slowly reach down and then quickly grab a hold of the worm. Pull them slowly out of the hole so they will not break. Place them in a bucket and then repeat. This will be extremely interactive for the child and they will have an adrenaline rush. Be creative with the worms caught, take the children fishing, or put a night crawler for sale sign in the yard, and have them sell their harvest.
This activity is also very interactive and can be a fun for a weekend day when the weather is hot, and the children want to cool off. Catching crayfish will also teach them coordination and a keen eye.
Take the children to a shallow, slow moving creek where there are a lot of rocks in the water. Crayfish love to make their homes at the entrance of a rock, and swim under them when they feel threatened. Begin by finding flat rocks that they can pick up. Have them lift the rock towards them, very slowly. The moving water will clean the silt that was disturbed from lifting the rock and the crayfish will be exposed. Then have them reach in and grab the crayfish on the tail side of the head right behind the pinchers. They will miss a few to start with but make sure to encourage them, and they will figure out how to become successful at catching them. Place them in a bucket and put a few rocks in it for cover. Allow them to take the catch home and keep them for a few days. This will allow them to have peaked interest in this activity, then when the time is right take them back to the creek and release them.
Picking Wild Berries
This activity is season dependent, and make sure that you are aware of the natural berries in your areas that are edible. But this activity is amazing and teaches the children what berries are edible and can provide a delicious dessert that they can also help make.
Find out what local berries are in your area and where to find them at. This could be a blackberry patch, a strawberry patch, apple orchard or anything else. Give them a container that they can fill up and send them loose on the patch. Give them smaller containers because they are easier to fill, and this will give them a sense of accomplishment when the bucket is full. Once you have enough to make your desired recipe, end the picking session. Remember keep the activity short so that they do not become bored, and they will always want to go.
Getting children to become involved in the outdoors needs to come from the adults in their lives. Take an active approach and encourage them to get outside and play. These activities are unique and very engaging, which we all know is the key to building interest in a hobby. Do not become frustrated or overwhelmed while teaching them, they are children and they are learning just as you have. Make a difference in their lives and our tradition will live on forever.