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Outdoor kids: finding snake skins and slug races

Welcome to the middle of summer! How did that happen? In some ways, it's going so fast I can't believe it. Other days, I start to wonder why it is that my kids think they need to follow me to the bathroom and be with me every single minute of every day and how I've managed to keep my sanity thus far.

The short answer? The great outdoors. My kids are better people when they play outside. The hula hoops and jump ropes have seen a lot of action Then there's the nature appreciation stuff. We've found two snake skins, which have become hallowed treasures. And the kids have also debuted a new game: snake slithering out of its skin. That's a good one for a really hot day when you've been out all morning, and it's time to retreat to your blissfully chilly basement and sort of play, but not really exert yourself.

I was also hanging with Heather's son a few days ago, and he was telling me about something he recently did at a nature camp: slug races! All you need is a few slugs (we have plenty), a hula hoop and some time. Pick a slug, put it in the middle of the hoop on the ground (substitute a chalk circle on pavement, or make a circle with string if you're not a hula-hooping fiend as we are in this family). And then just watch and cheer and wait for your slug to crawl to victory!

Next up? We're setting up a stake-out to spy those ravenous birds that have been eating all of our blueberries. We won't really take them out. We'll just give them friendly encouragement to move on. Maybe force them to listen to really bad loud music. You know. CIA tactics.

What are your favorite outdoor kid activities so far this summer?


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