Things to do Outside

Feeling cooped up? We've developed a variety of activities to get you and your family outside and exploring your neighbourhood. Stay tuned, we'll be adding new content to this page regularly.

Inspired by the Grand River
Make your own paper boat 
  • Take a piece of paper and place it in front of you with the shorter side at the top. Fold the paper in half from top to bottom.
  • Fold left to right to find the center and reopen. Bring the top two corners together to the middle, forming a point, and crease.
  • Fold the top flap at the bottom of the paper up; turn over and fold the other flap up. Fold the triangle tabs in over each other so you have a triangle.
  • Pop open the center like a hat, push the pointed sides to meet, and crease down so that you now have a square.
  • With the opening facing you, fold the top layer up to meet the other point. Turn the paper over and repeat.
  • Gently pull apart the top two points while pushing out with your fingers to form the bottom of the boat. Reinforce corners with clear tape, and also tape around the bottom to keep your boat dry. Now you're ready to launch your craft!
Tin Foil River 
  • Find an incline (backyard hill) or create one with found objects.
  • Unroll a long length of tinfoil (the longer the better).
  • Roll the edges of the tinfoil.
  • Secure the top of the tinfoil with a heavy object (we used a brick).
  • Add water and watch the tinfoil river flow! 
The Great Flood Measuring Activity 
  • The 1974 flood in Cambridge, was caused by weeks of wet weather and spring melt, and is still one of the largest floods ever recorded in the Grand River watershed.
  • Grab your measuring tape and go on a walk around the flood site (downtown Galt) or around your neighbourhood. Measure up to your waist, the level of flood.
  • See how high that is on buildings and places in your community
Inspired by the Gardens

Fairy crowns 

Things you will need:

  • Faux or real flowers in various sizes and textures
  • Faux or real greenery for filler
  • Scissors
  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape

Cut a length of floral wire that's long enough to wrap around the crown of your head twice, with a little room to spare. Measure around your head with the wire and plan where you'd like your crown to sit. Create a loop with the wire, twisting one end around the middle of the wire, in the size that you'd like. Then wrap the long end of the wire around, weaving in and out of the loop to create a strong base. Continue wrapping until you reach the end, and twist the end around the loop to secure.

Once you have a base, start placing your main flowers. Start with the largest blooms and place them where you'd like them. If your stems have wires in them, you can simply wrap the wires around the base of your crown. 

Using the same technique, start covering the entire loop of the crown base with your filler greenery.

Place your crown on your head and have fun!

Nature Photography

Grab a camera or phone and take focus on nature. Find these things and take a picture to create your own nature gallery:

  • Bug or bird
  • Up close on nature (micro shot)
  • Source of water
  • Stand at bottom of tree looking up from base
  • Sunrise of sunset
  • Field growing food
  • Unique rock
  • A reflection
  • Tree bark
  • A sign of the season
Tree Bark Rubbings 
  • Take paper and wrap it around the trunk of a tree. Secure with some packing tape.
  • Grab your crayons
  • Start colouring on the paper and see pattern you get
Inspired by Heritage

Grab a camera or phone and take focus on heritage. Find these things and take a picture to create your own heritage gallery:

  • Pillar or column
  • Date stone
  • Heritage plaque
  • Gingerbread details
  • Historic Place of Worship
  • Tudor style
  • Interesting window
  • Old sign or painted sign on building
  • Repurposed heritage building
  • Oldest tree in neighbourhood

Go for a walk and look for the oldest date stone on a building in your community. A datestone is typically an embedded stone with the date of engraving and other information carved into it. See who can find the oldest building.  

Inspired by Simple Homemade Fun
 Chalk obstacle course
  • All you need is chalk and some vision. For literate children, write out an array of gross motor movements in a sequence, like you would hopscotch. For instance: jump like a bunny x 3, hold tree pose on one side, walk on your hands and feet, jump on one foot, hold tree pose on the other side, jump on the opposite foot, twirl x 2, jump up and try touch the sky x 4.  
 Kitchen utensil bubble wands
  • Go through a kitchen drawer and collect slotted spoons, fly swatters, spatulas, and anything else that has holes to make bubbles. Make your own bubble solution and then head out to see which utensil creates the best bubbles!
Forest Bathing

The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air can give people a sense of comfort. Nature is great for easing stress, helping us to relax and to think more clearly. Spending time with trees can help restore mood, refresh and rejuvenate. 

In Japan, many people practice shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, this is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging, it is simply being in nature, connecting with it through your senses. Find one of the many great forests in our community, make sure you don’t pick up your phone. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly, just let your body be your guide, listen to where it wants to take you. Follow your nose, and take your time, it doesn’t matter if you get anywhere. You are savoring the sounds, smells and sights of nature and letting the forest in.

You can forest bathe anywhere in the world, wherever there are trees; in hot weather or in cold; in rain, sunshine or snow. You don’t even need a forest, you can do it in a nearby park or in your backyard. 

Region of Waterloo Museums has also created Virtual Field Trips as part of our School Program so your family can watch and learn from home!