Activites for Families


Activities for families

Family Fun

With my family, any excuse for a celebration works. And other than open play in the woods, my favorite time with my family was Sunday- Family Fun Day. It was the day that my stepdad reserved for play. Living in the Finger Lakes gave us all sorts of recreational activities away from home, and they were often spent with our cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. Our whole family used to vacation together in the 1,000 Islands region. We work hard so we can play hard. That was the personality and culture of our whole family.
We even added in our friends sometimes, as we got older. So there were family plus activities as well. I don't see that much anymore. Except in my family. I am 60+ and still want to celebrate with my cousins. It is so cool that I have that becuase my daughter moved to Wyoming to raise her family there.
We are starting a new generation and it's fun watching our grandchildren play together. Next weekend is Easter, and thats our families egghunt with the golden egg.
So I hope to encourage you to think about the traditions you want to pass on. And want to start this year, because there is no better time than the present year. 
Family Fun at Home

Whether it is a weekend at home in our jammies to camping or movies outside, Hope will make it fun.

We love to cook over a campfire and binge on our favorite shows. We usually have a theme that we chose ahead of time and just be spontaneous with everyone having a moment to do what they dreamed up for the family. 

Now, I love my plants and trees-especially trees. However, I pour my heart into activities and projects centered on the wildlife. 

Articles on wildlife are hard to find. So here is one incase you are like me.

I believe that little ones should be identifying rabbits, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, ducks, fish, bugs, frogs and butterflies. Those animals seem to be everywhere that I have traveled and the generic names are great until they get older. OMG I forgot snakes; they are everywhere as well. Then they can learn about the other animals near you. 

Now my step father thought it was imperative that they know why the wildlife was seen in the area that we saw them. Like were they headed to the stream for water or the garden for a snack. Or maybe they hide in the brush or trees to keep them safe from predators. It makes them notice the surrounding area as a animals home and we need to honor them by not leaving trash or harmful items that might be harmful to them. 

25 Wildlife Activities You Can Do at Home

Get connected with nature and the outdoors by participating in a variety of outdoor and nature education opportunities and resources for individuals and families.

  1. Start a Bird List for your backyard. Listen and look for birds in your yard. Note their color, size, shape, and sound. Visit The Cornell Lab's All About Birds website for help with identification.

  2. Build a nest box for birds. Some birds, such as bluebirds, kestrels, and wood ducks, nest in tree holes. Each of these birds live in a different habitat. Use CT DEEP wildlife fact sheets to learn which bird nest box to build depending on your neighborhood habitat.

  3. Make a bird nest! Gather materials (twigs, grasses, rootlets, moss, mud) and try your hand at building your own bird nest. It may not be easy. Hint: Use a plastic container to use for your nest!

  4. Do a neighborhood count for ducks and geese. Do not feed waterfowl as ducks and geese should not eat human food, like bread, and feeding ducks and geese can make them more likely to catch a disease.

  5. Search the sky on windy days for soaring hawks and vultures.

  6. Start a Bird Life List. Write down the date, location, and names of birds you see anywhere outside for the first time in your life!

  7. Watch the behavior of birds. How do birds communicate with each other? Look for signs, such as nest building (carrying nesting material), feeding young birds (birds carrying insects), and territory marking (singing). People in Connecticut are currently noting which birds nest in the state and compiling the list for the Connecticut Bird Atlas.

  8. Plant a garden for birds and pollinators. Use native plants as these provide the best food for wildlife. Look up information on the best plants for butterfly gardens. Be sure to include some milkweed for monarch butterflies.

  9. Keep a phenology log. Find nature’s “firsts”, such as the first day you see a tulip bloom, a hummingbird, or a monarch butterfly. Visit the Journey North website for more information.

  10. Start a nature journal. Sketch what you see while sitting quietly outside. Add notes about what you have observed.

  11. Catch a spider orb web. First, make sure the spider web is not occupied. Then, collect it on a black sheet of construction paper. Use acrylic clear spray to save your web.

  12. Conduct a butterfly survey in your neighborhood. Write down the name of every butterfly you see! If you don’t know the name, write down information about the butterfly (color, shape, size) and use BugGuide or iNaturalist to help with identification.

  13. Conduct a Bioblitz in your backyard. Use iNaturalist to help identify everything you see in your yard.

  14. Listen to wildlife sounds during the evening and try to identify what you are hearing. Keep a tally of the different animals you hear (peepers, owls, coyotes, and more!)

  15. Create a backyard wildlife plan. Try to attract birds, pollinators, and other wildlife by providing food, water, shelter, and space. (Family-friendly Projects to Improve Backyard Habitat for Wildlife)

  16. Find an invasive plant species in your backyard and design a Wanted, Dead, or Alive poster to show others how invasive species affect habitat for wildlife. More information on invasive plants is available from the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group.

  17. Conduct an experiment. Find an anthill, put different bait nearby. Predict which food the ant will like. Observe the ant’s behavior.

  18. Make your own insect net (for examples, go to YouTube) with simple household materials. Go outside and catch some insects!

  19. Observe the behavior of squirrels and sketch their activity. Do they live in leaf nests or tree holes? What are the squirrels eating? Which trees do squirrels seem to prefer?

  20. Take a trip around your house and note where you find animal signs, such as old mud dauber wasp nests or insect cocoons. Map these on a drawing of your home habitat.

  21. Search your neighborhood for different types of tree cavities. Look for and note evidence of wildlife use. Snags with tree holes are important as wildlife habitat!

  22. Set up a trail cam and view wildlife visiting your backyard.

  23. Hang a white sheet in your yard at night with a lamp (ultraviolet works best!) lighting it. Then, survey for different kinds of insects that might have been attracted by the light.

  24. Survey for and count flying bats during evenings. The CT DEEP Wildlife Division has been studying bats by recording night sounds during survey routes. Learn more about this project in Connecticut Wildlife magazine.

  25. Learn and survey for calling frogs and toads during the evening in your neighborhood. Some amphibians are affected by disease. Research more information on amphibian (and reptile) diseases.


Outdoor Learning Resources

Just for Kids Activities

Family-friendly Projects to Improve Backyard Habitat for Wildlife
With planning, these projects can each be completed in less than 2 hours.


Extended Family Celebrations 

Our entire family celebrates and vacations together, So as kids we have celebrated with our cousins all our life. They are our best friends. As our children grow, they have photograph albumns filled with pictures of fun with grandparents and aunts and uncles to. 

So here are a few options for some vacations that you might want to consider;

Family Vacations: Independence Hall

At Independence Hall and National Constitution Center, kids will learn about history and see the Liberty Bell. Find out more about Independence Hall.

Family Vacations in Colorado

Colorado means adventure for kids. Activities include hiking, rafting, skiing, and animal watching. Find out more about family vacations in Colorado.

Family Vacations in Canada

When planning a family vacation to Canada, you'll find great sights to choose from. Learn about planning a family vacation to Canada at HowStuffWorks.

Family Vacations in California

California holds museums, beaches, and parks for the whole family. Learn all about the best kid-friendly attractions in California at HowStuffWorks.

Family Vacations: Mackinac Island

On Michigan- Mackinac Island, tour on bicycle, foot, or by horse-drawn taxi. Learn about family vacations on Mackinac Island.

Family Vacations: Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport recreates pirate days in a 19-acre living history museum. Learn about family vacations in Connecticut's Mystic Seaport.

Family Vacations: Lake Placid

At Lake Placid, kids can enjoy a variety of luge and bobsled rides, watch ski jumpers practice or learn to ski jump. Find out more Lake Placid.

Family Vacations: Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach offers a great family atmosphere, thanks to a lively boardwalk and an amusement park. Learn more about family vacations in Myrtle Beach.

Family Vacations in Mexico

Mexico offers family vacations with Mayan culture, whale watching, and festivals, plus sun and sand. Learn more about family vacations in Mexico.

Family Vacations: Virginia Beach

A classic summer beach town, Virginia Beach features fabulous beaches and a 2.5-mile long boardwalk. Learn more about Virginia Beach.

Family Vacations: Times Square

Times Square features numerous family attractions including the flagship Disney store, ESPN Zone and a wax museum. Find out more about Times Square.

Family Vacations in Hawaii

Hawaii is exotic -- and a great place for family vacations. Whether you like history, hiking, or the beach, learn where to take your family in Hawaii.

Family Vacations: Key West

Visit Key West for swimming, surfing, the Sunset Celebration or to see Hemingway's house. Learn about family vacations in Key West and Florida.

Family Vacations: Green Mountains

The Green Mountains lure visitors throughout its six seasons. Learn why the snow-capped mountains are a must visit and which two seasons to avoid.

10 Popular Baby Boomer Activities

Baby boomer activities range from skydiving to going to concerts. Take a look at 10 popular baby boomer activities to learn more about this generation.

Family Vacations: Little Havana

Little Havana features free festivals, salsa, games, and unique cuisine from Cuba to Peru. Find out more about this family vacation in Little Havana.

Family Vacations: Plymouth Rock

Plymouth boasts more than just a ten-ton rock. Learn why granite takes a back seat to Plymouth's whale watching, kayaking and historic scenery.

Family Vacations: Harvard Square

Harvard Square brings Ivy-League class to your coffee and conversation. Learn why you should stop at the Square on your trip through Boston.

Family Vacations: Walden Pond

Walden Pond has boating, the 2,680-acre

Family Vacations: Cape Canaveral

Cape Canaveral gives behind-the-scenes NASA tours, and launch pad and rocket visits. Learn about family vacations in Cape Canaveral and Florida.

Family Vacations in Nevada

In Nevada, families can opt for outdoor adventure or sightseeing, or they can play in Las Vegas. Find out more about family vacations in Nevada.

Family Vacations: Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg depicts the lives of early settlers. Find out more about family vacations at Colonial Williamsburg.

Family Vacations: Graceland

Elvis Presley home, Graceland, showcases memorabilia of the Memphis native. Learn more about family vacations in Tenessee and Graceland.

Family Vacations: Henry Ford Museum

Plan a family vacation to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. This unique collection of Americana spans 350 years of American history.

Family Vacations: Kentucky Derby Festival

The famous horse race is just part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Learn more about all the acitivites at the Kenutcky Derby Festival.

Family Vacations: Pigeon Forge and Dollywood

Pigeon Forge and Dollywood deliver family vacations filled with music, food and theme park magic. Learn more about Pigeon Forge and Dollywood.

Family Vacations: Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World offers four major theme parks and dozens of attractions. Learn more about this popular family vacation spot.

Family Vacations: Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World offers a glimpse of all that goes into making the festive floats for Carnival. Learn more about this family vacation here.

Family Vacations: Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center will launch your entire family into a great adventure. Find out more about this awesome family vacation.

Family Vacations: Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island features world-class golf courses, white-sand beaches, hiking, and relaxation. Learn about family vacations on Hilton Head Island.

Family Vacations: Miami's South Beach

Miami South Beach features white sand beaches, art deco, restaurants and unique nightlife. Learn about this family vacation in Florida.

Family Vacations: Atlantic City Boardwalk

On the Atlantic City Boardwalk, kids can enjoy rides, games, saltwater taffy and fudge. Learn more about family vacations to Atlantic City.

Family Vacations in New Mexico

In New Mexico kids can explore dark caverns, hike, ski, camp, visit museums and attend festivals. Find out more about family vacations in New Mexico.

Family Vacations: Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park offers horseback riding tours, bus tours, and bicycle trips. Find out more about Gettysburg National Military Park.

Family Vacations: Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement

Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement give insight into England's first settlement in America. Learn more about Historic Jamestowne.

Family Vacations: Spooky Cemeteries and Haunted House Tours

Take your family off the beaten path and onto a dark, mysterious one with the Spooky Cemeteries and Haunted House Tours in New Orleans. Learn more.

Family Vacations: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a party for the senses and a grand ol' time for the whole family. Learn more about the festival here.

Family Adventures

I admit that my family is a bunch of adventure junkies. There is not much out there that we have not tried. We had 16 years of no babies and just in the last 2 years started having babies to cherish every moment with when we get together.

We are now regathering as the elders of the family. And are learning that sharing the things that we love with our childrens babies and toddlers makes it so much more fun. Thier first moments of adrenaline and joy are a new thrill for all of us. it's contagious and a huge source of joy for us. And though we rely alot on Facebook to keep us connected between the holidays, our adventures are full of laughter and lots of picture taking again.

Family Outdoor Adventures already has it's own section on this website:

Outdoor Play for the Whole Family

Parks and Playground Activities

Backyard Nature Fun

Finding Joy Outdoors

Backyard Wonderland

Incredible Family Links for Nature Activities

Family Walks and Photography

Camping at home or away

Activities for the beach

Nature play in the woods/forest

Nature in the city

Exploring the Wetlands and Other Types of Wild Waters 

Meeting the native plants and amimals


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Finding Adventure Close to Home

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In our Backyard Sanctuary

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Family Fun

So something that I have never shared online before is that I spent 16 years as a foster parent. And 10 years working at a group home. My foster children were treated just like they were my children. In fact I just talked to my first foster child last weekend. But holiday traditions were fun because we let them tell us what was their favorite tradition from their family from that holiday...that they wanted to do with us.

It was a blast every holiday to every child have their moment through out the day.  It was very bonding and healing for them to still be able to connect to good memories from their lives. And they really loved it.
So even if your family isn't typical, make sure you give special moments to each person there. It seems simple but it really makes a difference to your families personality and warmth between each person there.

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