Did you know that the average American child spends more than 50 hours per week using electronic media? That works out to more than seven hours a day.

Let that sink in for a moment, and then I'll tell you about the good folks at the Indiana Children & Nature Network (ICAN) and their Nature Play Days that are coming in June, including at several parks right here in Hendricks County, Indiana.

What is ICAN and Nature Play Days?

ICAN is a network of Indiana organizations, businesses and individuals encouraging children to spend more time outdoors for their physical, mental and emotional well-being. By playing outdoors, children gain physical strength, social skills and cognitive skills while also having a great time!

So as kids spend so much time in front of electronics, they don't reap those benefits of outdoor play. ICAN, then, promotes at least 30 minutes of outdoor play per day, and additionally, they organize Nature Play Days every summer. This year's Nature Play Days take place from June 8-16.

Here in Hendricks County, area park departments take Nature Play Days seriously and plan special programming for the event. Want to take the kids out to some Nature Play Days activities? Here's where you can find some.

Start Nature Play Days off with some Bikin' in the 'Burbs on June 8!Bikin' in the 'Burbs

Start Nature Play Days with a bicycle ride! Bikin' in the 'Burbs will be Saturday, June 8 from 9 to 11 a.m. at parks and trails in Avon and Brownsburg. Bike safety has never been this fun!

Courses will take bike riders along the B&O Trail in Brownsburg, the Bicentennial Trail in Brownsburg and Avon, Avon Town Hall Park and Washington Township Park in Avon. Start at any park trail, but make sure you stop at all three locations!

Bring the bicycle out for a day of free family fun on the trails! Bike with a cop, check out trail fire equipment and learn how to get your bike trail ready.

For more information, follow the Facebook event by clicking here.

Teddy Bear Picnic

Grab your favorite stuffed animal and your lunch, and join naturalists at McCloud Nature Park just outside of North Salem for a Teddy Bear Picnic on Saturday, June 8 at noon. After a picnic lunch on the grass, participants will go on a bear hunt with park staff!

This program is free to attend.

Camo Critter Crawl

You’re invited to play hide-and-seek with McCloud Nature Park's resident (replica) animals — and perhaps some of the park’s (live) residents, too -- on Sunday, June 9 at 1:30 p.m. during the Camo Critter Crawl program.

Can you see past the tricks and illusions of nature’s masters of disguise? Scour the trails to put your observational skills to the test!

This program is free to attend.

Summer Lunch Bunch

Families are invited out to Ellis Park in Danville for the Danville Summer Lunch Bunch Program at noon every Tuesday in June and July -- including June 11 during Nature Play Days -- for a free sack lunch and some activities out in the fresh air. Danville Community School Corporation teacher Stephanie Prater will read stories aloud to program participants on June 11.

For more information, click here.

Enjoy a Wacky Wednesday at Gill Family Aquatic Center in Danville on June 12.Wacky Wednesday at Gill Family Aquatic Center

Danville Parks & Recreation hosts Wacky Wednesday at Gill Family Aquatic Center every Wednesday throughout the summer, including on June 12, from 2 to 3 p.m. Come check out the Gill Family Aquatic Center on Wednesdays for fun pool programs for the kids. They will host pool games for the kids to win prizes and much more. Some of the games include fastest down the slides, biggest splash, relay races and so much more.

For more information, follow the Facebook event by clicking here.

Summer Fun Run at Williams Park

Bring the entire family and some friends to explore Williams Park in Brownsburg during the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County's Summer Fun Run Series on Wednesday, June 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. Run or walk a one-mile course or a longer course through the park at your leisure anytime during the event. This event is free to attend.

For more information, click here.

Movie Night in the Park

On Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Scamahorn Park in Pittsboro, Movie Night in the Park features a showing of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald. Start the evening with dinner from The Kickstand food truck and dessert with Kona Ice. Let the kids run around and play in the park, and then the movie starts at dusk (about 9:15 p.m. or so).

For more information, follow the Facebook event by clicking here.

Can you overcome the WTP Adventure Challenge on June 15?WTP Adventure Challenge

Kids ages 14 and up (and adults, too!) who are up for a physical challenge will be interested in the WTP Adventure Challenge on Saturday, June 15, at 7 a.m. at Washington Township Park in Avon.

This running course challenge through the park starts at the Eagle Shelter and navigates through the paved and wooded trails through obstacles and challenges. The route extends approximately 3 miles from beginning to end. The last great challenge involves climbing their hill that is not for the tepid at heart!

For more information, click here.

Story Walk Read-Along

On Saturday, June 15, from 9 to 11 a.m., join Avon-Washington Township Public Library staff and read a story aloud on their Story Walks located in Avon Town Hall Park and at Washington Township Park. Everyone who completes the trail could win prizes with the top prize being tickets to Holiday World! 

This event is for beginning to intermediate level readers. Registration will begin on June 8. For more information, follow the Facebook event by clicking here.

Family Letterboxing

Anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, venture out to McCloud Nature Park for some Family Letterboxing. Grab a clue sheet and solve the riddles to find the letterboxes on our trails. Each letterbox contains a stamp and ink pad to prove you found it. Find all of the letterboxes to earn a prize!

This program is free to attend.

Family Campfire

Join naturalists at McCloud Nature Park on Saturday, June 15 at 7 p.m. for a fun evening around a Family Campfire! Enjoy a sweet treat by the fire and learn about a nocturnal animal that can be found in the park. Roasting sticks and s’mores are provided. Bring your own food to cook over the fire and make a meal of it!

Try throwing an atlatl at McCloud Nature Park on June 16. (Photo by Deb Stukenborg)This program costs $5 a person, and advance registration is required by June 13 by clicking here.

Up & Away!

Head back out to McCloud Nature Park on Sunday, June 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. for the Up & Away! program. Try your hand at throwing an ancient hunting weapon called an atlatl. You can even take aim at a prehistoric beast with the atlatl.

Participants also can borrow a kite from the Nature Center or bring your own and launch it into the sky. Other yard games will be available to play, too!

This program is free to attend.