Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nature Walks

We have started up our nature walks again  I think it is a great way to get the kids interested in being outside.  In the winter we tend to stay inside, it is cold and not much is available to bring home besides snow.

Right now, our nature walks tend to be in our yard or down the street to my mom's house, but it is still fun.  I think that the experience of the different bugs and insects help the kids to not be scared of said bugs.

Last year, Emma was incredibly afraid of worms.  It was mildly entertaining for me, but I thought for sure she was traumatized; screaming whenever I picked one up.  This year we have been doing a lot of digging in the gardens already, which of course means a lot of worms.  Enter the addition of cute little baby chicks, and all of a sudden Emma has the intense desire to bring her babies a snack, and now welcomes the chance to dig up worms in our yard.

Another part of our walks is to choose a couple objects to investigate further when we get home.  If it is a bug, I like to take a picture instead of bringing it home.  When we get home, the kids draw what they saw.  Eventually I would like to bring journals with us so the kids can draw while we are outside, but I am not sure that would work right now.  Then I try to find out a bit of info on what we discovered so that the kids have a couple of fun facts to learn and then memorize.  It is amazing what kids will learn if put in a hands-on situation like being outside.

Overall, it is a great activity for my active littles, while still calling it school!  We plan to continue this throughout the summer and fall, although we may spend a lot of time picking bugs and weeds out of the garden, and learning why they are bad :-)

Do you take nature walks?  Do you have a nature table?  Is it part of your education plan for your children?

I'm linking up at the Hip Homeschool Hop today :-)

7 comments:

  1. Hi Heather,

    We love nature walks and take them regularly. I started those before my daughter could speak, I'd walk outside and point out different plants, insects, and animals, and tell her all about them.

    We still do that today, only now she can talk, and sometimes she educates me on what she sees. She's eight-years old. When she was about three or four I purchased the book, Insects: Their Natural History and Diversity.

    It's obvious the book was meticulously researched, it's over 700 pages, and has numerous photos. We love using this as one of our reference guides, when we return from our outdoor adventures

    My daughter draws pictures of what she sees too. Nature walks are a creative way to educate. :)

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    1. Thanks for the book idea! I was trying to think about books that I could buy for her, but haven't had a lot of time to research different options. I will have to check this one out!

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  2. Someone needs to come pick up the cutworms that are plaguing my pepper plants. Ugh! Bugs are not on my top ten list right now.

    We do take nature walks. My son is love with bugs! I am taking him to a state park this weekend to let him see some different types of birds. Should be fun!

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  3. We have done something like this since Riley was a wee one. This is the first time I've purchased them each a journal, which we will use as the weather gets better and better. We have several reference books including this one -
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Butterfly-Handbook-Definitive-Enthusiast/dp/0764157140
    The Butterfly Reference Book, which was great last year. After we hatched our butterflies, it became their most favorite theme! It's so fun! Oh and I love the fact that she's digging and feeding the babies!

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  4. We live in a pretty urban city, but we're also walking distance to a park with a trail. And when we walk, we point out leaves, pine cones, bugs, acorns, animals, etc. We talk about the sky and the clouds and the grass that we run on, as well as the flowers growing on the wide stretch of grass. I absolutely love being outdoors and make sure that my toddler gets a bit of it every day.

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  5. Great site! Got here via Hip Homeschool Hop.

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  6. Definitely! We LOVE strolling through the woods, seeing what we can see, hearing what we can hear, just enjoying. It's such a GREAT time for bonding!

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