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Being outdoors offers many opportunities to be in touch with nature.  Children and adults alike are amazed by wildlife and especially nocturnal creatures so why not plan some outdoor activities to learn more about the other inhabitants of the woods.

Try taking a flashlight walk and you’ll be amazed by the beady eyes that stare back at you.  Many animals such as owls, deer, raccoons, opossums, and many insects or squirrels will only come out at night.  For more fun, turn off the flashlight and take a moment to let your eyes adjust to the dark.  Our surroundings are truly amazing and the sights and sounds after dark is a reminder that while we sleep, much of the animal world is hard at work gathering, digging, prowling, and stalking.

Star Gazing is another great activity for clear evenings.  Many mobile phones today have the app which when pointed to the sky give you the names of planets or constellations.  What a great learning tool for children and adults too!  Another game is to use the stars and connect the dots to imagine your own shapes or animals.  Or you could guarantee going to sleep by attempting to count the myriad of glistening specks! Star gazing is a great activity for camping as there is usually less light pollution allowing for greater visibility.

Hide and seek is always a nighttime game favorite or the other option called sardines where one person hides and everyone tries to find them.  The spinoff is when you find them you hide with them until everyone finds the hidden person.  Couple this game with some smores and you have a winner for sure!  Flashlight tag is always another great option for dark nights and is fun for all ages.  Flashlights also provide a great opportunity to make shadow creatures with your hands, or use special art pencils to draw fun or scary creatures on your flashlight and then refect it to see their giant shapes.

Being outside in the dark is always exciting and adventuresome and can make for some great memories and stories for years to come round the campfire. So, grab your flashlight buddy and head outdoors for some safe and fun activities while the weather is nice!

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