Many of us spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer, but sometimes we need a little extra inspiration to get out this time of year.  The great thing is, it really is as simple as just stepping outside…

Here are a few ideas, but even making a list of your family favourites to draw on can be helpful!  And really, once we step outside, a world of wonderful experiences await. Most of which we couldn’t have planned if we tried!
And don’t let the rain stop you! I read a sign once that said “there is no such thing as bad weather, just innappropriate clothing.” Well said.

  1. Just bundle up in woolies, rain gear and gumboots and you’re good to go!
  2. Walk barefoot on the beach
  3. Search for signs of spring down a local trail – songbirds, berry blossoms, skunk cabbage, pussy willows…
  4. Collect a few leaves and make leaf rubbings (put paper over a leaf and rub a crayon over it)
  5. Become a detective and look for signs of animals or insects… tracks, feathers, chewed leaves
  6. Take a stroll at low tide and discover the wonderful array of intertidal life
  7. Close your eyes and smell – tree needles, flowers, dew etc.
  8. Tiptoe through the forest like a mouse, can you move without making any sounds?
  9. Make a dandelion chain
  10. Lie on your back and watch the clouds… what do you see?
  11. Build a sand castle and decorate it, use mussel shells for shovels
  12. Count how many different insects you find on a small patch of ground
  13. Play animal charades
  14. Bring a sketchpad out and draw what you see, start a nature journal
  15. Make an obstacle course on the beach, balance on logs, jump over seaweed, race to a shell…
  16. Collect berries
  17. Roll down a grassy hill
  18. Try to find all the colours of the rainbow while walking down a beach/trail – you might be surprised!
  19. Build a fort
  20. Pack a picnic and visit somewhere you have never been before… a new beach, forest, trail
  21. Bring a blanket out and stargaze, look for shooting stars

For more fun ideas and great nature programs for children and families check out the Raincoast Education Society, Tofino Nature Kids, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Tofino Parks and Recreation and the many great tour operators and guides in the area.

Jen Pukonen is a local naturalist and mother of two. She can often be found exploring and playing on local trails and beaches with her family.

Bulletin Effective: January 23 - January 25

⚠️Highway 4 at Kennedy Hill is reopen to essential travel only (in passenger vehicles & light pick-ups) between 8:00am and 12:00pm (Noon) on Saturday, Jan. 25. After this, the road will be closed in order to install a bridge. Thank you for postponing your travel to Tofino this weekend.

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