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Have you ever taken a safari? The only one I have ever been on is the one at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and while it was fun, it is not something that our family can do regularly. Like you, my fellow Devoted Grandmas, I want to give and show the world to my grands, and I am always looking for ways to make learning even more fun.
Enter the idea for the backyard safari adventure!
As the name suggests, a backyard safari adventure transforms your backyard (or another outdoor area of your choosing) into an experience complete with native insects, foliage, and animals, plus a checklist for your grandkids to record their remarkable findings! Here’s how it works and everything else you need to know:
1. Plan your adventure
Before your grands arrive, take a stroll around your backyard, taking note of all the living wonders – from the common garden birds, buzzing insects, and beautiful plants to the oh-so-elusive critter tracks. Once you have your findings, whip up an illustrated checklist or bingo sheet for each grandkid so they’ll have a visually fun guide for their adventure.
2. Equip your explorers
Every intrepid explorer needs their toolkit, so make sure your grandkids are prepared with a magnifying glass, a notebook and a pencil for jotting down observations, a jar for gentle bug-catching (remember, we’re gentle with our tiny friends), and if you’ve got them, a pair of binoculars. Remember, the idea is to observe and learn, not disrupt. (We want all the critters to go back home unharmed!)
3. Lay down the safari rules
Before our explorers set off on their adventure, we need to set some ground rules to ensure they respect Mother Nature and stay safe. Explain the importance of not disturbing nests or other animal homes, and if there are areas in your backyard where you’d rather they not venture, make those boundaries clear beforehand.
4. Embark on your adventure
Now that all the prep work is done, it’s time for the fun part! Let your little adventurers run free, ticking off their checklist or drawing pictures as they spot their backyard creatures and plants. If they’re struggling to find something, help them out with some gentle hints.
Once their exploration comes to an end, it’s time for a chat about their grand adventure. Discuss their favorite finds, the surprises they encountered, and the curiosities that tickled their brains. Any questions you can’t answer? That’s another adventure, as you can look up the answers together.
Last but definitely not least, remember to throw a little celebration for your successful safari adventurers with a themed snack (think “ants on a log” or a wildlife-themed cake) or a simple backyard picnic. If you like, you can even up the ante with a certificate of achievement for each of them.
Since dress-ups are fun and adorable, I present to you this 12-pack of hats perfect for even the smallest of explorers!
…just in case your grand doesn’t already have his or her own pair of binoculars 😉
This backyard safari adventure not only makes for a fun-filled day but also inspires a love of nature, teaches respect for wildlife, and of course, builds sweet memories with your precious grandkids. Enjoy your safari, my Devoted Grandma friends!