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Nature Walks {in Your Own Backyard}

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Nature Walks in your own Backyard

I am so excited to review Creative Nature Study: Ideas to Jump-Start or Invigorate Nature Study in Your Homeschool from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I was given this e-book free for review as part of my application process for their Schoolhouse Review Crew {so exciting!!}. It is available for purchase on their website.

In my mind I have always had a specific picture of what a nature walk consists of. It has varied to a degree over the years. A nature walk went from something that you do on trails in a state park to a walk that you take in your neighborhood. It always happened in the Spring, when new life is being born. We can never quite make it out the door, so I gave up.

Reading Creative Nature Study: Ideas to Jump-Start or Invigorate Nature Study in Your Homeschool was just what I needed. Yes, some of the stories and ideas included leaving the house and exploring, but there were also ones that were written to moms who needed to utilize their own backyards. It includes chapters such as, How to Get Started, Where to Go and What to PackCreative WalksNature Study with Allergies or Asthma, but there is so much more.

Each chapter is broken down even further as authors describe what they have done in the past. Places they have gone. Activities they have participated in. Creative writing exercises, journaling. There is so much in this book. I will definitely be coming back to it again and again.

Creative-Nature-Study

 

Even if you don’t homeschool, this is a great resource. It gives ideas for scavenger hunts, ideas for learning when traveling to aquariums, state parks, beaches, farms, gardens, such a great resource. It helped me think outside the box. Not sure what to pack on a nature walk? No worries. They tell you exactly what you need to bring with you. They even mention other supplies that you may need depending on your purpose.

We took the “I See God” creative walk idea, but used our yard for our walk. We also went out looking for specific things. First we watched a Wild Kratts episode while I nursed the baby and laid her down for her nap. Then we gathered our supplies. This trip, our supplies were pretty basic. We weren’t going very far.

Our supply list:

Magnifying glass Nature Study

  • magnifying glass
  • Big Book of Bugs and Insects
  • Clothing {some of my children think clothing is optional at times}
  • Shoes {yet again, usually optional}
  • our “listening ears”
  • “watchful eyes”

Since this was our first official nature walk together, I wanted them to experience nature with their senses. They loved it! We walked outside and just stood in the sunshine for a bit. They are 5, 4, and 2, so that wasn’t very long. We looked at our flowers and found a bee buzzing around.

Flower Nature Study

Of course the bee flew away every time I tried to take the picture. But the kid’s saw it and we talked about what the bee was doing and why he was flying around the flower.

Then we walked over to our butterfly garden. While we didn’t see any butterflies or caterpillars {this is November!}, we saw and touched the seed pods that didn’t release from our plant. This was a great mini-lesson on how seed travel and how some plants reproduce.

Seed Pod Nature Study

 

We walked around to the front of the house and they ate some lemon balm. This rounded out our five senses. We smelled the fresh air and flowers still blooming. We listened to the creek behind our house and the wind blowing through the trees. The seed pods were soft, the rocks were hard, the bark on the tree was rough. They tasted the lemon balm. We saw the plants, the insects, spider webs, and we saw my least favorite part of the whole nature walk:

Snake Skin Nature Study

Thankfully it was old, but still. A snake was there.

My children loved this little nature walk in our own backyard. There were so many exciting things to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. It was fun experiencing it through their eyes.

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krystel

Sunday 16th of November 2014

i hate snakes so much and im very scared of them

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Thursday 20th of November 2014

Me too! Unfortunately our property backs up to a creek :(. Thankfully I haven't seen them!

Layne

Sunday 16th of November 2014

What a neat idea -- we home school as well :)

Jason B.

Sunday 16th of November 2014

There's also a lot of nature centers that host free nature walks in fields and streams. Has the bonus of a guide who already knows a lot about what you'll be likely to find.

Gabby

Friday 14th of November 2014

What a great idea! This book sounds amazing--we need to get it.

MaryEllen

Thursday 13th of November 2014

I hate snakes too! The rest looks fun though!

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