A Nature Walk!

On a beautiful day, enjoy the summer weather; take your child exploring by going on a nature walk! Just a few moments in your backyard, at grandma’s house, or at a local park can unearth a wealth of information and fun.

Have your preschooler record his findings in a simple trail book. Just staple together some white paper with a construction paper cover.  She can draw pictures of her favorite sights, glue or tape samples in their book, and make rubbings.

Here is a rubbing on one page:

On the next page, there was leaf residue left behind from the leaf itself.

Collect then glue or tape samples into the book. This is a Gerbera daisy. The seeds remind me of dandelions. They have a wonderful furry texture, but the dried petals are crisp.  The colors of the petals are wonderful as well; orange on the top and yellow on the bottom. Beautiful! Spread some glue on the page and sprinkle the seeds onto the glue:

Your child can draw pictures of findings. If your little one can’t write words, they can dictate to you what they want recorded. Talk about the shapes and colors of your discoveries; it’s okay to keep it simple:

You can look for plants. Moss on a fence or rock has wonderful color and texture that is fun to feel and explore:

Keep your eyes open for simple forms of wild life such as worms…

and insects!

Our part of the Midwest is currently being inundated with Periodical Cicadas. There are millions and “ka-gillions” of these bugs in the trees in our yard. The males “sing” in unison with a rise and falling pattern throughout the day; and they are loud! They also have brilliant color and markings:

They don’t like to have their picture taken and flew into my face, hair, shirt…as the camera closed in on their space. I suggest that if you are taking pictures, use your camera strap so you don’t drop your “investment” as you dance around trying get the bug out of your hair!

Use the cicadas or other local  neighborhood critters that pique your child’s interest as a learning opportunity. If your child is older, run an internet search to find more information on the topic of their choice.

We have been reading Bugs, Bugs, Bugs, by Bob Barner. This is one of my favorites about bugs! It has bright, colorful  and fun illustrations that pop off of the page.

One feature that I find very valuable is this chart that is a two page spread at the end of the book. This shows children how math and science data can be summarized in a graph.

A nature walk is a fun and rich learning experience, that is simple and inexpensive.  Depending on the age of your child, you can cover a number of integrated topics such as science, language, motor, math, pre-academic, and literacy skills. Talk about what you see, feel, smell, and hear. Notice size, shape, color, textures, numbers, and talk with your child about their findings.  Wear insect repellent to protect against ticks and chiggers. Watch out for poison ivy! :)

Make a happy, summer memory together!

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12 comments to A Nature Walk!

  • Hi Kristi,
    Thanks for connecting with me on my blog. I love the various ideas you have shared here for helping kids interact with nature and derive meaningful learning experiences. Loved the pictures and the book that you have recommend sounds very interesting.
    Good to know more about you in your bio. Do keep in touch and let’s form a community of nature-inspired parents/teachers… :)

  • I love all the nature pictures. My kids are always on the lookout for wildlife in all it’s forms. Today my oldest found a big brown toad.

  • JDaniel4's Mom

    What a wonderful book! Exploring is such fun!
    This post counts as a entry in the June edition of the Summer Reading Challenge.

  • One of my son’s favorite activities are nature walks. Last year we were covered in cicadas. We had just set one free when I heard it screaming in a scary way. I watched it fall from the sky so we went to see what was going on. There was this huge scary wasp thing on top of it, killing it. It started flying as soon as we approached and I had *no* idea what this thing was. I grabbed up my son and ran around the yard screaming and flailing before I finally fell on my face. It would have been quite amusing to watch. I looked up the freaky cicada killer, and its called.. a cicada killer. The sounds were horrific which probably added to my freak out. Lol. Anyways, that book looks fantastic. My son would love it. He especially enjoys little extras in the back of books that add to learning. And I love the leaf rubbing!

  • I was wondering when someone would finally blog about a Cicada activity, lol. We’ve got them all over here. My boys take better naps due to their “singing” so I’m not complaining about them… except when they dive-bomb me, then complaining. LOve the trail guide book.

  • Thank you all for reading! I’m glad you liked the book; I was totally impressed with it.
    @Rose ~ Aren’t toads fun?! We managed to get a big bull frog trapped behind our piano one day. We had a lot action in the house that day. LOL
    @Jackie and Joyce ~ I think our Cicadas are finally starting to complete their cycle of life…They aren’t quite as loud. It is really amazing to me how they ‘sing’ together in the afternoon. They’ve been interesting but I am glad to see them go!

  • Nature walks are TOTALLY awesome! We haven’t been on one in a few weeks due to HOT, HUMID temperatures and being busy, busy, busy, but I hope to get on one this coming week! Beautiful photos! And that drawing is precious! Stopping in from Science Sunday!

  • Ticia

    I agree that chart at the back is amazing!

    Thanks for linking to Science Sunday

  • Jessy~ Thank you for stopping by. Last week we had a breath of cool/dry air and it was wonderful. Hope it comes your way!
    Ticia~ Thanks for the link up for Science Sunday! I always enjoy perusing all of the links for new ideas to share. Thank you!

  • [...] favorite book is “Bugs, Bugs, Bugs” by  Bob Barner. You can see photos and a description at this post. I found these bugs at Walmart in the party favor aisle and was tickled to find them. There were 4 [...]

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