P1060125  I can’t believe that it’s almost September! I really don’t know where the summer has gone. Our September g2g Outside event is coming up in less than 2 weeks! It is going to be held here at the Sedgwick County Extension Office.

Treats, Treks, & Toodle-oo’s

When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 from 6-7 p.m.

Where: Meet in the Demonstration Garden at the Sedgwick County Extension Office (It’s on the Ridge Road side of the building) for some treats and then we’ll head off on some treks! We’ll be walking on our Nature Trail and perhaps have a scavenger hunt of our grounds as well.

Who: Anyone that’s bringing a child with them!

Cost: FREE!

No RSVPs are necessary.

So, the treats and the treks part of this event are pretty obvious. Maybe you’re wondering about the “Toodle-oo’s” part?

Well, that’s the other part of the news. Those of us that have been working with g2g Outside for the last 5 years have made the decision to end the program after this year. We have lost staff in the past couple of years and all of us, including our partner agencies, have been taking on new and different job responsibilities, leaving less and less time for g2g Outside. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the blog has been pretty quiet this year. There is no longer anyone that is able to spend enough time on g2g Outside to keep offering the program in a way that is thriving and growing. We are all sad to say goodbye to you, but we hope you’ll keep on playing outside anyway!

SO….The September event will be the LAST g2g event hosted by our core team. I know that Tonya is planning to come back for the event, and most of the rest of us are planning to be there.  We hope you can stop by to say goodbye!

The November and December events are still going to happen, just with one of the partner agencies. Keep watching the blog for information about those events. After our December 2013 event, there will be no more g2g events planned for the future.

The blog will still be here for links and references, and I may even post something once in a great while. We hope you will keep on with the good outdoor habits and play that you’ve learned in the last 5 years!

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Have a canoe or kayak gathering dust in the garage?
or
Wanting to get out on a beautiful fall morning and do something in nature that makes you feel good for the rest of the day?

Join us for a “Clean Up & Canoe” on Saturday, October 29th.
Meet at 9 am at 12th Street and Bitting Street, Wichita, KS

 

 

Connecting with nature through stewardship  is not only great outdoors time, it is also a fantastic way to ignite a sense of personal ownership. 

On May 7, 2011,  g2g Outside participated in the 10th Annual River Trash Round Up.  That morning, g2g’ers were part of 648 participants who collected 401 bags of debris from the Arkansas River.  All that trash totalled up to 2.57 tons!  Now that is some serious outdoor stewardship!

Consider taking a trash sack on a walk around your neighborhood – can your kids find “un-nature” items?  Are the items litter or just part of your urban landscape?  These little acts help shape your children’s outdoor ethics for years to come.

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It:
Observe the nests in the trees in your yard (or nearby where you live).

Winter is the perfect time to look up into the tree branches and discover what hides behind the leaves during the rest of the year.

Although most of the small twig and mud-constructed nests will be empty during the cold months, larger nests and tree cavities may hold winter-hardy creatures.  Some visible winter nest users include squirrels and owls (Great Horned owls have even begin to incubate their eggs in the winter!).

Mission Report:

1.  How many nests or nesting cavities (holes in trees) did you find?

2. How many nests were constructed out of leaves and about the size of a basketball (squirrel-made nest)?

3. How many nests were constructed from grass, twigs or mud?

Up for more of a challenge?  Visit a nearby Wichita Wild Habitat Area to see a greater diversity of nests and winter creatures.

One of the most exciting things of Fall for most people are the changing of color on the leaves. It looks like a nature canvas in action: strikes of red, brown, orange, yellow colors. The tress like nature easels displaying all that beauty… It is a perfect time to join that festivity of colors just waiting outside for us. So why not go for a nature walk and enjoy all that fresh “painting”, and absorb the fresh smell Fall scenery brings  to us.

Your mission should you choose to accept is to collect different kind of leaves; look at their shapes, texture and beauty. Are they the same, are they different? Why some of them are fuzzy and others not? How do you think the fuzzines on a leaf affects its ability to hold water? Why leaves are pointed like a needle and other flat like paper? Are all the leaves in one tree the same? Why are they different? What are the colors in one of the leaf? Check out the veins on a leaf!!!!!!

Your mission should you choose to accept is to observe and touch the different kind of tree barks around you. Is the texture rough or smooth? Is it dry or can you feel some moisture on it? is it flaky or more compacted?….

One exciting activity you can do while in your nature adventure is the leaf and bark rubbing. It’s like magic!!!

You will need:

  • Crayons, chalk, pastel, charcoal are ideal. You will want a good selections of colors. Ask an adult to spray the
    picture with hair spray to keep the chalk from smearing.

    "This is magic!!!!!"

  • Paper- Not too thick that the impression doesn’t show, not too thin strong rubbing will tear the paper. Tracing paper is good for older kids but toddlers are better off with standard computer paper.
  • A flat surface like a table or a clipboard
  • Paper clip to keep the in place during leaf rubbing
How to make leaf rubbing?
  1. Collect a range of large and small leaves of different shapes. Look for dry leaves with good veins that will lay flat. If the leaves are too wet, the paper will absorb the moisture and may tear; too dry and the leaf may crumble.  *Avoid spiky leaves such as holy or pine, which will not only puncture the paper but also your skin.*
  2. Place the  leaf veins up on the board, pin the paper with the clips and hold it flat. Tight over the leaf to prevent from slipping.
  3. Peel the paper from a large crayon and lay it flat on the paper.Rub gently but firmly over the leaf to create the outline, working from top to bottom in a slightly diagonal motion, making sure to rub over the edges of the leaf  to expose the outline.

How to make bark rubbing?

  1. Peel the paper from a large crayon.
  2. Press and hold the paperagainst the trunk of a tree.Gently rub the side of the crayon on the paper until the pattern of the bark shows.

    "Where's the turkey? I'm ready for Thanksgiving dinner..."

Holiday Craft: Thanksgiving Place Mat – Tape or glue the paper with the leaves rubbings on a construction paper bigger than your paper. Laminate it and VIOLA!!!  There’s your Thanksgiving place mat and ready for  the turkey…

 Mission Report
  • Show us your favorite leaf and tell us why you like it.
  • If you made the place mat, tell us how you did it and send us a picture.

I think Autumn is officially here – the air is drier, nights are cooler and there is a hint of color on the trees.  This is also the time of year of pumpkin patches, cider pressing, and corn mazes.  What great opportunties to get outside!!

As you decorate the inside of your home for Autumn, Halloween or Thanksgiving, why not bring in items straight from the neighborhood?  Have the kids look around for fallen pine cones, sycamore seed balls, pretty leaves and even colorful stones.

Feeling adventurous in your decorations?  Try capturing a spider’s web for your holiday decorations.

Playing with your child/children outside helps them understand that you value the natural world.  Kids will mirror you values (for awhile) – if you are afraid of something, they will show fear; if you see something as special, so will they.

Consider involving you family in a local “stewardship” event or activity.  Have them help pick up litter that has blown into your yard or neighborhood.  Take them out to see a group of people working together on keeping nature healthy.

The “River Trash Round Up” is an event that is open to people of all ages.  Bring the kids and family down to see what several hands can accomplish!