Summer is here and school is out, but there’s still so much to learn on any excursion outdoors. To wit, we headed off on a nature hunt today with a three-part agenda for exploration.
First, I simply announced that we were off to explore: What did Travis hope to find? After some initial thought, he settled on butterflies and bees. To make the hunt exciting, I gave both kids their own little notebook to draw in (though obviously little sister’s drawings would be more of a scribble), a pencil to take notes, and a magnifying glass. It was time to look and discover!
Travis was soon rewarded with a white butterfly, plus lots of bees buzzing among the flowers.
He loved pausing on a bench to draw a flower!
For the second part of the hunt, I gave his search a little more direction with a list of things to find. The categories and his answers were:
- Something wet: a puddle on a rock
- Something scratchy: a plant stem
- Something soft: fern leaves
- Something slimy: wet lichen on a tree
- Something pretty: flowers
- Something dry: tree bark
- Something from a tree: a leaf on the ground
- Something tall: a rock
- Something hard: a tree trunk
- Something blue: a blue jay
He enjoyed the challenge a lot, and pulled out the magnifying glass for most of the items he found.
“I see something tall!” he shouted proudly, running to a big rock.
Oddly, the hardest to find was something slimy, though we thought a recent rain storm might have turned up lots of worms.
For the final part of the lesson, it was time for a rainbow hunt. I recommend bringing along paint chips (free at hardware stores) for this activity, and working your way through ROYGBIV. Travis very carefully compared his samples to the flowers and other items that he found, rejecting these flowers as not a true yellow for example.
He took it very seriously until each color was checked off the list!
How are you enjoying nature so far this summer? Please share in the comments!