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Convince a kid you are an outdoor expert

You don't have to actually be a certified outdoor expert to convince a kid that you are. My nephew so believes that I know EVERYTHING about the outdoors, that he's taken to saying, "Ask Dana, she'll know." for anything that is outside of a man-made structure. He'll pick up a random leaf, and fully expect that I'll know the name of the plant and use for it. How did I get him so convinced? By taking him on walks and pointing out the tiniest interesting thing I can think of.

"See that gravel? Some birds actually have to eat it! Really, it helps clear out their food somehow." I stored that info since 8th grade science when we dissected a bird. See how I didn't exactly explain why birds eat it? It was enough that I knew it helped them with their food somehow. "This is birch bark - it's good for starting campfires with. Some Indians actually made canoes out of it!" Here's another tip - sound impressed. Like emphasize how it's SOOOO crazy that someone can actually make a canoe out of bark. That heightens the excitement level. Use anything - see it, smell it, touch it, or use it to remind you of a good story. See a mouse? Remember to tell him of the owl you saw last year catching a mouse. See new corn? Tell her about the time you walked through standing dry corn and saw does bedded down.

Finally, keep it up throughout the whole walk and by the end they will be enthralled, convinced and most importantly, interested in the outdoors!

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