July brings plenty of chances to get outside and try new things. Here are a few especially intriguing activities, plus a startling dinosaur video for the inevitable rainy day.
Become a citizen scientist
Citizen scientists come from all walks of life to help advance scientific research, and some projects are especially good for kids who want to make a difference. In the Northwest, you could take part in a bee hunt, snap photos of ferns, help chronicle our changing coastline and more. Find projects at scistarter.org.
You probably have everything you need for this creepy, crawly project that comes courtesy of the Pacific Science Center. Find the right tree or bush, spread out a sheet and give the foliage a good shake, then use the ideas at bit.ly/go-bug-out to gently learn from the little surprises you see.
Party with the stars
Summer is the perfect time to plan a family stargazing party, and Washington state has some of the last, best stargazing in the world. Start by checking timeanddate.com/astronomy/night to see what will be happening overhead on a clear day. Sky-watchers who want to shoot for the stars can follow Martha Stewart’s elaborate plan at bit.ly/go-stargaze … but the rest of us down-to-earth folks can simply grab blankets and head for a spot without much light pollution.
Listen to the wind
Transform all those odds and ends, from bottle caps to jingle bells and shells, into a recycled wind chime. PBS Parents has a how-to video at bit.ly/DIY-wind-chime.
Dive into a dinosaur age
Go underwater and watch the Rhomaleosaurus — a prehistoric sea dragon of sorts — come back to life in a 360-degree video filmed at the Natural History Museum in London. It’s at bit.ly/londondragon.