Go for a walk. Seriously, take a hike. And if you want to turn it into a fascinating experience that can fill an entire afternoon, take along an Audubon Field Guide. If you live anywhere in the mid-Atlantic states, I highly recommend you buy the National Audubon Society Regional Guide to the Mid-Atlantic States. It’s a great, handy reference for most things you’ll encounter along your walk, from trees and flowers, to bugs, birds, and bears. It’s fun and satisfying to learn the names of the flora and fauna in the world around you; to be able to tell your children that it’s not just a butterfly but an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail; not just a tree but a Yellow Poplar and the tallest in eastern forests. Showing your children you have a bit of knowledge and interest in the world around you can only help pique their curiosity and desire to learn, as well. Soon they’ll be turning over rocks in the stream, wanting to know what that “bug” is (it’s a burrowing crayfish, Cambarus diogenes) and then running up to you with not just “wildflowers” they picked, but White Wood Asters.
Should you want more information, Audubon goes into much, much more detail with separate field guides to butterflies, fish, wildflowers, trees (eastern U.S.), trees (western U.S.), the night sky, weather, rocks, mushrooms, fossils, seashells, and most regions of the U.S., along with a host of other topics. The guides are perfectly sized to toss into a backpack and are totally durable with a flexible plastic cover and sturdy pages.
The writer of The Balanced Guy, Roman Horoszewski, is not particularly balanced but he’s definitely trying to be. He makes the effort by not only doing “guy stuff” but also by spending time with his three sons and wife while attempting to remain informed about the world around him. He and his family live in the Princeton, N.J. area. His blog is @ http://thebalancedguy.blogspot.com/