Tips for Tuning into Nature

Tune in to Nature

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By Alice Pearce

Four years ago, then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski recognized both the increasing lethargy of American youth, and the remarkable outdoor beauty in the state, and proclaimed an “Oregon Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights,” which emphasizes that every child in Oregon should have opportunities to: climb a tree, camp under the stars, walk barefoot on the beach, or simply play in a nearby park.

A few easy, inexpensive ways Central Oregon families can turn off technology and start tuning into nature:

Build a Fort…and You Can’t Do Your Homework Until You Do!:

Create a routine where kids have to be outside for a minimum of 20 minutes a day.


Pack a picnic, choose a natural setting and hang out. Skip rocks. Go nature-spotting on bikes. Try Riverbend Park, the Deschutes Canal, Shevlin Park, Drake Park and Pilot Butte. Keep a family log of the birds, insects and animals you find.

Plant a Seed:

At home, all you need is a flower pot and
a few seeds for homegrown horticulture and an up-close encounter with nature at work. For inspiration, check out Hollinshead Community Garden where families can adopt their own garden plot.

Charades, anyone? Designate Family Movie Night:

It may be painful at first, but try to pare back screen time and carve out more connecting time by choosing only one night per weekend for media.

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