Your New Year’s Resolution To Get Outside More – 26 Ideas from A-Z

from Wildlife Promise

New Year's Resolution - More Fun OutsideHere’s a resolution that can help you lose weight, connect more with your kids or grandkids, and feel more at peace. You can do this – just get outside for a new activity every two weeks.

It’s the perfect way to enjoy your National Wildlife Federation certified wildlife-friendly garden this year.  (Your garden isn’t certified yet?  Start the year off right by certifying it now.)

A – Animal Homes

How many different animals have created a home in your Certified Wildlife Habitat? Our worksheets can prompt your family to look a little closer.

Search for animal homes in your backyard

Search for animal homes in your backyard

B – Bugs at Night

Set up a lamp outside near a white sheet, and see who comes to visit. How many different species of insects frequent your Certified Wildlife Habitat? How does it change as the seasons change?

Set up a light and sheet to observe bugs at night

Set up a light and sheet to observe bugs at night

C – Camera Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of items in your Certified Wildlife Habitat. For smaller children who can’t read yet, you might need to draw little sketches of these items. Then let them have a camera and ask them to find everything with their camera.

Taking photos in nature

Taking photos in nature

D – Dig for Dino Bones

Create an archeological dig in your Certified Wildlife Habitat with pretend dinosaur bones.

Pretend dinosaur bone dig

Pretend dinosaur bone dig

E – Explore Sand, Silt and Clay

Try this experiment to learn about the different kinds of soil in your Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Digging by a stream

Digging by a stream

F – Freeze Frosty Ornaments

If you mix vegetation with some yummy treats for wildlife, you might see a squirrel nibbling on your ornament.

Ornaments made from nature objects frozen in ice

Ornaments made from nature objects frozen in ice

G – Garden for a Birthday

For someone’s birthday, plant a mini-garden with seasonally appropriate colorful blooms. Make a sign to celebrate their birthday.

Garden for a birthday party

Garden for a birthday party

H – Homework Outside

Create a homework station outside to help students get some green time while studying.

Doing homework outside

Doing homework outside

I – Ice Cube Games

Make multi-colored ice cubes with juice crystals or food coloring and play these games to cool off on a hot day.

Colorful ice cube for summer ice cube games

Colorful ice cube for summer ice cube games

J – Journal the Moon

Spend time in your Certified Wildlife Habitat at night. You more likely to see wildlife, and you can also watch the phases of the moon. Imagine a family tradition where you step outside at night once a month for the full moon.

Keep a journal of the moon phases

Keep a journal of the moon phases

K – Kite Flying

You might need to venture beyond your Certified Wildlife Habitat if you have a smaller area. Flying a kite at an ocean beach can be great for beginners due to the consistent wind off the waves.

Toddler flies a kite

Toddler flies a kite

L – Leaf Boats

Learn how to fold a leaf into a boat shape and you have an instant outdoor-friendly toy for your water feature.

Float a boat made from a leaf

Float a boat made from a leaf

M – Mystery Bag Nature Game

Find items in your Certified Wildlife Habitat and put them in a fabric bag. Then take turns reaching into the bag to guess what is inside.

What's inside the mystery bag?

What’s inside the mystery bag?

N – Nature Notebook

Make a simple notebook and draw items in your Certified Wildlife Habitat. You could draw the same plant through the seasons to see how it changes.

Draw in your handmade nature notebook

Draw in your handmade nature notebook

O – One Yard Grid

Mark out a one yard square in your Certified Wildlife Habitat and count what you find.

Use our chart to count how many animals and plants you can find in a one-yard square

Use our chart to count how many animals and plants you can find in a one-yard square

P – Pitfall Trap

Make this simple “trap” for a few nights in your Certified Wildlife Habitat to see which creatures live along the soil.

Pitfall trap for learning about insects

Pitfall trap for learning about insects

Q – Quest for Conifers

Twist-ties hold sprigs of conifer on this handy-dandy chart that you can use to show which conifers are in your Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Make a chart showing all the conifers in your yard

Make a chart showing all the conifers in your yard

R – Race Sticks

On a hot day, you would be surprised how much fun you can get from racing some sticks in a stream. Decorate them with bright colors so they stand out as they float along.

Fancy decorated sticks for racing in a stream

Fancy decorated sticks for racing in a stream

S – Sit-Upon from Recycled Packaging

To sit peacefully in your Certified Wildlife Habitat, you could make this cute “sit-upon” from dried fruit or juice pouches. It keeps your seat dry and is light enough to carry around as you explore.

Sewing a sew-upon from recycled packaging

Sewing a sew-upon from recycled packaging

T – Tracking Skills

With some orange peels, making a simple tracking game in your Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Practicing tracking skills with orange peels

Practicing tracking skills with orange peels

U – Unusual Trees

As a family, keep a list of any unusual trees in your Certified Wildlife Habitat or in your neighborhood. My family has given these trees names and personalities.

Find amazing trees near your home

Find amazing trees near your home

V – Vacation Photos Decorated

Enhance a photo frame with twigs or other small items from your Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Decorate a photo frame with small twigs

Decorate a photo frame with small twigs

W – Window Sun Catchers

Take petals from flowers in your Certified Wildlife Habitat and put them up as sun-catchers in your windows. It’s a great way to warn birds away from hitting windows as well.

Petals in a window sun catcher

Petals in a window sun catcher

X – X Marks the Spot in our Rock Tic Tac Toe Game

Gather some flat rocks from your Certified Wildlife Habitat and make a tic tac toe or checkers game with paint.

Playing checkers with pieces made from rocks

Playing checkers with pieces made from rocks

Y – Yellow Paper Daffodil Wind Sock

Make a pretty craft in the spring while learning about spring breezes.

Paper daffodil wind sock craft

Paper daffodil wind sock craft

Z – Zap Away Rainy Day Blues by Racing Corks

Find a slight hill on a paved surface near your Certified Wildlife Habitat and set up a race for wine corks.

Race corks in the rain

Race corks in the rain

Bonus: Garden for Wildlife

Become a Wildlife Gardener with National Wildlife Federation. It’s free and you’ll get great wildlife gardening tips and learn how to certify your garden as an official habitat.