Get Outdoors

Have you heard about our Get Outdoors campaign? We are encouraging Blackford County residents to get outdoors and enjoy everything our county has to offer. Why? Because enjoying our greenspaces and attending family-friendly local events is good for you! It’s good for you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Not sure how to get started? We’ve got you covered. We’ll be sharing ideas and inspiration on our social media and blog pages for the upcoming season!   Because it is wintertime and going outside to enjoy the Indiana cold weather might not sound so pleasant to you, we filled this blog with family-friendly activities that you can enjoy indoors! Bring the outside indoors with you this season.

Discover Nature Inside

One of the best ways to get outdoors during the wintertime is to discover nature while you are indoors. You and your family can enjoy many activities together while you are stuck indoors because of the cold. The discovery of nature doesn’t need to stop just because the weather has changed. Continue reading to learn more about how you can bring the outside indoors.

Start an Inside Garden or Regrow Food

The beauty of plants is that they can grow almost anywhere, especially indoors! You can try a couple of things to get your family involved in growing and caring for plants. 

The first plants you should try to cultivate are herbs. Most herbs are sturdy and can be grown in many different environments, making them a great first plant to grow. Get a couple of pots and soil. Pick your favorite fresh herb seeds, plant and water. That’s all you need to do! Put your kids in charge of watering the plants. You can also encourage them to track the daily or weekly process of the plants by drawing images or recording the changes in a notebook. 
If you want to try something more intensive, start your outside garden inside! Certain fruits and vegetables can be sprouted inside and then moved outdoors during the spring. Start with things seeds or regrow fruits and vegetables purchased at the grocery store. Get creative with your indoor garden this winter. Check out this article for more specific instructions about plants and growing procedures.

Get Creative with Rocks

While rocks may seem like some of the dullest objects in nature, they are actually quite interesting. There are all kinds of different stones, and some of them could be thousands of years old. Get creative with rocks this winter by collecting cool ones that catch your eye, or if you want to get invested, you can purchase a rock tumbler that washes away years of old grime. Rock collecting is a fantastic hobby that the entire family can enjoy. 

Or, if you aren’t interested in collecting rocks, you can also make them an art project! Buy some paint and brushes, and allow your kids to get creative by painting images, almost like their very own cave paintings. This summer, your kids can pick a special place to leave the rock for someone else to find.

Build a Nature Box or Sensory Stations

Sometimes bringing the outdoors inside doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as creating nature boxes and sensory stations. One of the fantastic things about nature is that it engages all of our senses. Creating nature boxes allows kids to feel, smell, see and hear nature indoors. 

You can include so many exciting things in sensory stations. Add rocks, sand, small branches, grass, leaves and dirt. Those are only a few of the options. One way to make this activity all-encompassing is to work together with your family to find the items for the nature boxes. 

Indoor Birdwatching

Did you know that you can enjoy bird watching indoors? Indiana has a wide variety of birds that stay in the winter, including our state bird, the cardinal, which you can distinguish by its beautiful red color. Put a comfortable chair in front of a window in your house and wait for the birds to come. Install a bird feeder or bird bath in front of your favorite window for quicker results. When it gets warmer outside, make sure to use our Bird Watching Passport and record which birds you spot.

Set Up an Indoor Campsite

One way to bring the outdoors inside is to camp inside! Camping inside is a fun family activity for kids and adults. Set up your tent and unroll your sleeping bags indoors. Spend the night with fire sounds on youtube and make some hot dogs and smores on the stove. 
Prepare your kids for a summer camp out by teaching them camping safety, how to build a fire, and showing them camping supply lists. For more fun inside camping information, check out this great blog!

Make Bird Feeders

One great use of your time this winter would be making bird feeders. We already talked about how you can add a bird feeder to attract more birds, but did you know you make them for cheap at home? All it takes is a trip to your local craft store and some bird seed. There are many cool ideas, like using old glassware, plastic bottles, milk cartons or fruit peels. Check out some of these awesome ideas here! Before you head out for bird seed, check out our Bird Watching Guide to create a list of the birds you want to attract.

Create a Treasure Shelf

Do your kids constantly bring you little treasures when you are outdoors? We have the perfect solution! Give them their very own treasure shelf. It gives them a place to display all the unique treasures they find outdoors like cool rocks, leaves or sticks. 

Not only can they display them for the entire family to see they can also investigate them when you are spending cold days indoors. Creating a treasure shelf is a simple way to bring the outside indoors.

Get More Information

We hope that we sparked some ideas on how you can bring the outside indoors this season. If you participate in any of these activities, make sure to take a picture and tag us on Facebook with the hashtag #getoutdoorsbc. For those who don’t already follow us, check out our social media! Get more fun tips and suggestions for getting outdoors by reading articles on our blog.