National Wildlife Week

March 16-20, 2009 is National Wildlife Week. Founded in 1938 by the National Wildlife Federation, the week-long event was created to bring a greater awareness of wildlife conservation.

There are so many activities for kids on NWF’s website, but isn’t the best way to bring about awareness of conservation getting outside? Of course! So here are their seven suggestions for engaging kids in the backyard or community and getting their Green Hour in:

1) Skipping Stones

2) Make a Milk Jug Bird Feeder

3) Take a Wild Alphabet Hike

4) Make a Bug Vacuum

5) Make a Water Scope

6) Frog Fun!

7) Take Nature Photos like a Pro

photo via Flickr

Here in Oregon, the forecast calls for rain, rain, and more rain this week. (Still hoping we’ll see a little bit of sun later on!) I know this makes me less inclined to take the kids outside, but reading that a Kaiser Family Foundation study found that the average American child spends 44 hours per week (more than 6 hours a day!) staring at some kind of electronic screen fuels my desire to make sure that my kids are more connected with nature, less likely to become obese, and lovers of the outdoors and wildlife.

NW Mom Finds has a great list of PVC-raincoats. Put one of these on your little one and head out your front door. Stomp in the puddles. Look at the worms. Collect wet leaves. Discover what you can see and hear in the rain that is different than when the sun is shining.

Eventually the sun will shine again. This is the best opportunity to check out a local wilderness park. Tryon Creek State Park in the Portland area is a great one to explore. So is Forest Park.

Just simply being outside is in itself a great gift to our children. So how are you going to celebrate National Wildlife Week?

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