Bring on the Bugs and Birds
Place a birdbath in the garden to get an up-close look at a wide variety of winged creatures. Plant a butterfly bush to bring colorful monarchs and their cousins flittering to your yard—a sight that never fails to stop even my jangling 5-year-old in his tracks. Plus, they smell great.

Outfit your kids with a magnifying glass and jar with some holes punched in the top to collect some specimens—ladybugs, green lacewings, earthworms, even lightening bugs—for closer inspection. (With very young ones, just be sure to watch what they put in their mouths, and the same goes for plants and plant foods, too.)



Some blueberry bushes and a strawberry patch will encourage birds to stop by. Then encourage them stay. Provide them with nesting materials by hanging a mesh bag from a secluded section of fence and weave in stringy materials such as yarn, string, dried grass, even hair from your brush. Watch for them to turn up in nests nearby.

Explore the Night
Plant with an evening excursion in mind; watching night bloomers do their thing is nothing short of magical. Four o'clocks open at just about that time each day. At dusk, the evening primroses start to shiver, then pop open. Later, flashlights in hand, kids can watch the moonflowers tremble, then unfold, drawing moths to their trumpet-shaped flowers and releasing their memorable perfume.
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