4 Fun Ideas to Keep Kids Busy
School is just around the corner, and kids are back from camp and other summer adventures. You’re probably hearing, “I’m bored!” If you are running out of ideas to keep kids entertained (and want to limit their video game or TV time) read on! We’ve listed four eco-friendly activities that are fun for the whole family, easy on the budget, and help Take Care of Texas.
#1 Keep Cool, Get Down Under
Did you know there are at least 3,000 known caves and sinkholes in Texas? Show your kids ways to keep our water clean and how to help protect these natural resources by teaching them how water recycles and best practices for protecting groundwater for Texas’ underground environments.
As the thermometer rises, plan on getting low to enjoy the natural delights of Texas down under. Caving tours are offered at Colorado Bend State Park and Kickapoo Caverns State Natural Area. Other public caves offering an amazing variety of speleothems (rock formations), fossils, and history include: Cascade Caverns and Cave Without A Name (both near Boerne), Caverns of Sonora (Sonora), Inner Space Cavern (Georgetown), Longhorn Cavern (Burnet), Natural Bridge Caverns (New Braunfels), Wonder Cave (San Marcos), and West Cave, a botanical preserve and travertine (limestone) cave near Austin. The Caverns of Sonora is considered by many to be the most beautiful cave in the world. Enjoy the cool, clean air of Texas down under.
#2 Build Your Own Rain Barrel
Talk to your kids about how we use water every day. It's good for drinking, for washing, for cleaning (ugh!), for swimming, and for lots of other things. But do they ever think about where our water comes from? With our state’s continuing drought, growing population, and limited supply of both groundwater and surface water, even little Texans need to use water wisely. And rainwater harvesting is a great way kids can learn about the environment while helping parents cut water bills. Download our free publication, Rainwater Harvesting with Rain Barrels, today.
#3 Make A Rain Gauge
Yes, it’s August, and it’s hot and dry in Texas. It’s also the best time of year to do a little rain dance with the kids to take their mind off the heat. Get them excited about how much rain will eventually fall in your backyard. As they wait for it to fill up during the next big thunderstorm, they can make a chart to keep track of how much rain falls in a week or a month. Use this helpful Rain Gauge Project guide. For more ideas on how you and your family can conserve and protect Texas water, visit the Texas Water Development Board’s Kid’s Page.
#4 Give Kids the Moon, the Stars, and a Meteor Shower!
Our great air quality makes it easier to see the starry night sky so kids can better appreciate the universe around them. Do your part to keep Texas air clean with these steps your family can take. Then, get outside to see this year’s best meteor shower!
The Perseids will peak on the nights of August 11 and 12. Plan to stay up late, and visit a state park or other area away from the glow of city lights. Perseid meteors will appear to "rain" into the atmosphere from the constellation Perseus, which rises in the northeast around 11 p.m. Once you have settled in, lie back or position yourself so the earth’s horizon appears at the edge of your peripheral vision, with the stars and sky filling your field of view. Meteors will instantly grab your attention as they streak by.