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Children & Nature Network

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a proud member of the Children and Nature Network.

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Have you had your Green Hour today?

Nature Rocks logo and link

Easy nature tools & tips for your family!

Be Outside

girl swinging on rope swing over body of water

Being outside is healthy and fun!
Credit: USFWS

Nature Rocks - Easy nature tools & tips for your family
Nature Rocks is a national program to inspire and empower families to play and explore in nature. Our mission is to make it easy for you to have fun in nature, and connect with others to do the same. We want all families in every city in America to see for themselves how much Nature Rocks. Your kids will be happier, healthier and smarter, and besides, it is generally free and a rockin’ way to create and share fun quality family time.

At http://www.naturerocks.org, parents can find 100+ fun, easy-to implement, inexpensive (or free), and interesting activities based on your specific needs (time available, ages of children, etc.) The parent-friendly website offers a search tool for you to input your zip code and quickly find a list of nearby parks, forests, and locations that offer nature tours, classes and even gear. You can also take advantage of additional tools to invite family and friends to join in Nature Rocks activities – spreading the fun and turning nature adventures into adventure parties.

With its wide range of activities, in-depth information and plethora of tools, how-to’s and tips, Nature Rocks ensures that any family – whether you’re outdoor enthusiasts or nature novices – can enjoy getting into nature without getting in over your heads.

30 Ways to Get Kids to Play Outside
Be Out There™ the National Wildlife Federation's initiative to inspire families across America to open the door and get outside offers tips to get kids outdoors! A daily dose of the outdoors improves children’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.

An Outdoor Tradition - Hunting
Many families get outdoors and hunt together. A new interactive web site, Your Guide to Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges, provides hunters with an easy search mechanism to find a refuge by special interest, such as game species (i.e. deer, waterfowl, big game), zip code, youth or special needs (i.e. universally accessible), or using any combination of topics.

Recreational Activities
This website consolidates recreational opportunities provided by all federal agencies located at one handy Web site. This website promotes Connecting People With Nature concepts by making it easier to find places to get outside to recreate in activities ranging from biking to winter sports.

Families Tool Kit
Children and Nature Network Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit: Do It Yourself! Do It Now! provides inspiration, information, tips and resources for those who are—or who might be—interested in creating a Nature Club for Families.

CDs of the Urban Bird Sounds Project
This audio guide was created by a group of high school students as a way to help others learn about and study birds in their own communities. Although the focus is on birds found in the Boston area, where the student authors/narrators live, most of the species can be found throughout the continental US and beyond. You may listen, download materials, and learn how to make your own, or order a free copy.

Dynamic Earth
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History brings a brief introduction into the physical science of the history of Earth alive in a unique fashion with this website. Sections include Gems and Minerals, Rocks and Mining, Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes, and the Solar System. The website can be viewed either as multimedia or in a print version.

Nature Inquirer
The Natural Inquirer is a middle school science education journal. Scientists report their research in journals, which enable scientists to share their research with each other and middle school students. Each article tells about scientific research conducted by scientists in the USDA Forest Service. New Natural Inquirers are available including: "Worming Their Way In" about invasive aggressive earthworms in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and "Climate Change Education Collection" which consists of four single monographs. Each monograph introduces climate change research through the presentation of one research paper. You may order these free monographs.

Wildlife Forever
The mission of Wildlife Forever is to conserve America's wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat, and management of fish and wildlife. The Wildlife Forever CD-ROM Curriculum is a conservation education supplement that teaches students about a variety of wildlife species, natural resources, ecological concepts, and conservation. The curriculum includes 14 lesson plans designed to cultivate a feeling of personal responsibility for the wonders of nature. They also offer a downloadable lesson plan from the website, along with other products and resources.

Last updated: September 13, 2010