The Maryland NCLI Coalition encourages teachers to integrate the environment into their curriculum. Whether it is counting butterfly species outside your window, planting a garden at school, or raising terrapins in the classroom, teaching students about the outdoors gets them excited. Here are resources to help you Get 'Em Outside!
12 Things To Do With Your Family Outside
- Take a walk—around the neighborhood is a great option but try to take advantage of nature trails. Bring a lunch and make a picnic of it!
- Go swimming—one thing Maryland has is water! Whether it’s the ocean, bay, or a swimming pool, gather the family and jump in! Be sure to check local beach conditions before you go.
- Do art outdoors—try fish prints, leaf etchings, sidewalk chalk, letting the kids finger paint with mud, or just bringing the easel outside!
- Catch Bugs! From frogs to fire flies, see what your family can catch (and release!). Try using an insect net, especially in tall grasses.
- Have a campout—whether it’s just in the backyard, on a campground, or in the woods, give your child the experience of sleeping outside! Take part in traditional camping activities, such as making s’mores around a campfire, or put your own family spin on it.
- Start a garden—the possibilities are endless and will keep your kids occupied all year. Let your kids choose the plants or plant a Bay-friendly garden.
- Be part of a Wade-in! Initiated by Senator Bernie Fowler, wade-ins are community events that bring people together to investigate water quality and water clarity. Click to see a list of events.
- Go to the zoo—Take a tour or just walk around and explore.
- Catch dinner! Go fishing…try your luck with the Maryland Fishing Challenge. Be sure to check fishing regulations for local waters, or use Maryland state waters, where kids under 16 can fish without a license. Moms and dads can get their fishing license here.
- Go to a state park - Maryland has over 41 state parks . Go out and enjoy them! The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring Park Quest - see if your family is up to the challenge!
- Clean the Bay—the official day might have passed, but the Bay could always use some cleaning. Live too far? Go pick up trash around a local body of water!
- Go on a family outdoor educational program. Try a Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Program or a Bay Discovery Program.
See our Get ‘em Outside page for more ideas and activities!