Tag Archives: Kids

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Bounce for Fun and Health on a Trampoline from Big Game Hunters

The idea of jumping on a trampoline just makes me smile. With good reason. It’s tons of fun. Jumping on a trampoline can be exhilarating and enjoyable, even for kids and adults who don’t consider themselves athletic. Bouncing and rebounding on a trampoline also have multiple health benefits. These activities provide tremendous aerobic exercise and muscle toning without joint stress; improve circulation, coordination and balance; reduce toxins and stress; enhance bone mass in children; and much more. Trampoline skills contribute to children’s physical, cognitive and social development, researchers say. Trampolines also get kids outdoors, another tremendous contributor to health and wellbeing.

Above all, jumping is joyful, natural and fun for people of all ages.

Trampolines and their use have changed a lot since my childhood. All but gone are the exposed springs and open-sided trampolines. There’s even a greater variety of trampoline color, shape and size than there once was.

Big Game Hunters, a long-time expert in the trampoline field, offers trampolines from many different brands, including Sky High, JumpKing and TP; trampoline accessories (like enclosures, pads to cover the springs, and ladders to help people up and down); and assistance in choosing the right trampoline for your needs. Big Game Hunters also offers giant garden games, super whimsical playhouses, croquet sets, sleds, and lots of other items to enhance outdoor play and fun for families and others.

Photos and images: Big Game Hunters.

This post is sponsored by Big Game Hunters. The content is my own.


Fun Winter Activity: Create Ice Art

If winter’s cold weather has you thinking you can’t play outside, think again. There’s simple fun to be had by creating ice sculptures, or ice art. All you need are some empty containers with large openings, rain or tap water, food coloring, and some freezing weather to bring your winter artist out of hiding — or at least outside.

Gather a variety of empty containers with large openings, such as milk cartons, juice boxes, and disposable cups and bowls. Collect rain or water in your containers and color with food coloring, if desired. Leave the containers of water outside to freeze. Carefully remove your containers to reveal the ice sculptures!

Not cold enough where you live? No problem. Have fun making ice sculptures in your freezer!

Active Kids Club in Toronto and Sanborn Western Camps in Colorado both have excellent ideas and photos to inspire your ice art.

Go Explore Nature has lots of ideas for winter backyard nature fun, no matter what the weather!

Photos: Top – Active Kids Club, Bottom – Sanborn Western Camps


Be a Citizen Scientist: Join the Great Sunflower Project

Do you have 15 minutes to spare? If so, you can be a citizen scientist. Over the past few years, citizen scientists — ordinary people who help scientists and organizations track the count and behaviors of such creatures as birds, butterflies, bees and others — have been active and helpful information gatherers. After all, researchers can’t be everywhere, and many of us have habitats in our backyards and neighborhoods that can help others gain important information about nature.

And, if that isn’t enough, citizen science makes a fun family or classroom activity, getting naturalists of all ages and abilities  outdoors together and providing them with something to do and a way to feel helpful and a part of the Earth’s larger ecosystem. Don’t let the name intimidate you. All you need to participate in citizen science is the desire to observe nature to the best of your ability for a period of time and record what you see.

Scientist Gretchen LeBuhn, of the San Francisco Bay Area, hopes to get thousands of people counting this weekend through her Great Sunflower Project. You can count bees on sunflowers, bee balm, cosmos, rosemary, tickseed, and purple coneflower. The instructions on the site are very easy to follow and complete.

Pollinators (a group in which bees are in important member) affect 35 percent of the world’s crop production, studies have shown. In recent years, bee populations have declined so drastically, due to climate and environmental change, that scientists are struggling to understand and reverse what they call  “colony collapse disorder”.

Us citizen scientists can help identify where native bee populations are doing well and where they’re doing poorly. Even if you can’t help this weekend, planting sunflowers or other bee-friendly flowers can help the bee population in your area.

The Great Sunflower Project takes place July 16 this year. (Updated for 2013: The Great Sunflower Project is August 17, but you can participate any time.) There are lots of other great citizen science projects. Some are event-based and others are ongoing.

These include:

The Great Sunflower Project
Project Feeder Watch
The Great Backyard Bird Count
Lost Ladybug Project
Monarch Watch
Firefly Watch
Frog Watch USA
National Wildlife Federation‘s Wildlife Watch
Ice Watch
Acoustic Bat Monitoring
Hummingbird Migration Map
Project Budburst
Project Squirrel
The Weather Observer Program
NASA Meteor Count
Snow Tweets

Still looking for more fun citizen science projects? Check out SciStarter or Cornell’s Citizen Science Central.


Have fun!

You might also enjoy:

Have Fun Attracting Bees, Butterflies and Birds

2010 Great Backyard Bird Count

Read Join Project Feeder Watch

Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman



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