If your kids are anything like my kids, when August comes around, they start to climb the walls. At my house, when the kids get super rambunctious, we like to play a game of I-spy. It usually engages their brains and their sense of competition for a few minutes. The trickier they try to get, the longer it takes, which is usually a good thing.

In talking with a few of my favorite local families this week, however, I realized that there's a way to level up our I-Spy game and help the state of Maine in the process.

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The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, on their website, has this section for "Citizen Scientists".


Aside from keeping an eye out for Turkey and White-Tailed Deer, they have programs for folks to help track birds, bumblebees, reptiles and amphibians, dragonflies, and butterflies, to name a few. Basically, all the stuff kids are into anyway. Now they can take their interests, get outside for a bit and help the state keep track of these populations.


Send the kids outside, or better yet, take them for a nature walk and do it as a family. Give them a small notebook and have them record what they see, where they see it, and when.


They'll feel super cool at getting to be a "Citizen Scientist"  and you can get a much-needed break from the arguing and the "I'm bored! There's nothing to do!" statements.


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