Here are 3 fun outdoor activities that you might not have used before!
Humans rely a lot on our sense of sight, but do you know what sense we use even more than sight? Hearing! We usually make maps based on what you see but you can also make them based on what you hear instead. To make your own sound map all you need to do is find a nice spot down to sit, close your eyes, and listen to the sounds around you. Try identify all of the individual sounds. Draw a dot at the center of a piece of paper. That is you. Draw what you think is making the sounds around you on the map and make it as far from you as you think it is in real life. When you are all done you can try and find the sources of the sound and see how accurate your map was.
When spending time outdoors it is often important to know how much time you have left until the sun sets. You could look up what time sunset is online but local terrain can make sunset a little earlier or later than what is listed for your general area. Luckily you have probably already have a sunset estimating tool on you ... your hand!
Hold your hand stretched out away from your face and angle it so that the sun is just at the top of your pointer finger (but don't look directly at the sun!). It takes the sun about an hour to move the width of your four fingers and about fifteen minutes for each finger. So if you can fit two hands and two fingers between the sun and the horizon then you have about two and a half hours until sunset. Handy!
Safely Catching Salamaders
If you want to catch and observe salamanders, using a plastic bag is an easy way to keep them safe! If you see one in a stream, place the opening of the plastic bag in the water in front of the salamander. Gently nudge it from behind to get it to walk into the bag. Keep a small amount of water in the bag, but not too much! After observing for a few minutes, be sure to release it in the same place you found it, preferably near a rock it can quickly climb under!