Nature Activities for Middle School Girls (page 2)

By — Nature Deficit Disorder Special Edition Contributor
Updated on May 17, 2010

Let Girls Use Nature

If you can find a place that will allow active use of the land, try activities like picking flowers, digging in the soil, or building tree forts. Making useful and creative things with real tools gives a sense of accomplishment and appreciation for the resources from the earth.

More Fun Activities

  • Besides the typical outdoor activities, we have had success with:
  • Going with a good friend to a nature-based summer camp.
  • Doing a river clean up as part of Virginia Clean Waterways month. 
  • Participating in World Water Monitoring Day. 
  • Planting herbs and nature crafts for the local farmers market. Some programs allow 4H clubs to participate for free.
  • Making a video "nature tour" to send to cousins.
  • Backyard campouts.

Be Patient

After years of saying "go outside, it's pretty," I see my daughter walking around the yard and playing catch with the dog with a phone glued to her ear.
I like to think that meaningful exposure to nature when kids are young is "money in the bank," a reservoir of feeling and awareness for future self-knowledge and decision-making.  So go put the phone out on the porch and grill some pizzas. Tell her to call her friends-isn't there a full moon tonight?

Additional Resources

Amaze! The Twists and Turns of Getting Along by Girls Scouts of America. 2008 The guide for Grades 6-8 for the new GSA leadership "journey" program.

Little Big Minds, Sharing Philosophy with Kids by Marietta McCarty. Marietta teaches philosophy and has wonderful suggestions for books, poems, music, and movies to use when romping in the world of nature, friendship, humanity, courage, freedom, compassion and other universal ideas.

Mother-Daughter Project.  How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds, and Thrive Through Adolescence. By Sue Ellen Hamkins and Rennee Schultz.

Teaching Green, The Middle Years. Hands-on Learning in Grades 6-8. Edited by Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn.  

This We Believe. The 14 Characteristics. National Middle Schools Association.

Ann Regn is the Director of the Virginia Office of Environmental Education coordinating the state's environmental education Virginia Naturally program. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State University and a M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University. She has more than 25 years of experience working with youth and adult volunteers in camp and nature settings. Her awards include Environmental Educator of the Year from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; the Presidential Award from Virginia Association of Science Teachers, and Virginia Environmental Education Leadership. She serves on the boards for the Flora of Virginia, Wintergreen Nature Center, and the National Environmental Education Advisory Board.

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