placing identification tags on their wings. Tagging kits (with easy-to-follow instructions) can be ordered from www.monarchwatch.org.
Climb a tree. Role play. Doesn’t that downed tree look like a pirate ship? Could the animal trail leading into the woods be the path to a lost city? Maybe that hole in a tree leads to the castle of a fairy princess. Set the stage and let your child’s imagination run wild. Be sure to join in the fun—after all, someone needs to be the evil pirate king.
Go dove hunting. For entry-level practice in the art of wing-shooting, take older kids dove hunting. The only gear required is a shotgun, shells and some camouflage clothing. For regulations, season dates and hunting tips, visit the hunting page listed below.
Round up a rainbow. Take your kids on a hike in mid-October to witness Missouri’s trees at their showiest. Challenge them to collect a leaf of every color in the rainbow.
Bag some bushytails. Squirrel hunting provides hours of fun and is a cheap gateway for your kids to the sport of hunting. Regulation information, season dates and tips on cleaning squirrels can be found on the hunting page at www.MissouriConservation.org/7604.
Float leaves or sticks down a stream. Create some cordage. Milkweed pods pop open this month. Let your children scatter the fluffy seeds in the wind, then use the milkweed stems to make cordage for bracelets.
Host a weenie roast. October is the perfect month to build a bonfire and let your kids roast hotdogs and marshmallows. Older kids can gather wood and build the fire, learning an important survival skill in the process.
Feed the birds. Help your kids coat pine cones with peanut butter, roll them in birdseed and tie a string to their stalk. Hang up these “all natural” bird feeders, and in no time, flocks of cardinals, chickadees and nuthatches will arrive for a feast.
Rake leaves into a pile for your kids to jump in. Get starry-eyed. Dry fall air is a boon to stargazing. Head outside with your kids on a crisp, clear night, take along a star chart from the link listed below, and behold the Milky Way in all its splendor. If you have a laser pointer, use it to point out constellations to your children.
Sculpt some snow. Snowmen are great, but if the snow packs well, don’t stop there—with enough imagination, your kids can sculpt a whole menagerie of creatures. Let them