Monday, January 11, 2010

Enjoying God's World -January Plans

It may not be a surprise to know that I love to share the joy of nature with our children. We've watched tadpoles turn to frogs, caterpillars to butterflies, and enjoyed lots of old-fashioned outdoor play. But with our children growing older, I've been hoping to add a little more structured nature study to our days.

This fall I picked up The Kids' Nature Book by Susan Milford at a book sale. This book has a nature related activity for every day of the year! I like what I've read of it so far, but like many other good things, this one is easy to push aside in the busyness of living.

For some motivation, each month I'm planning to list several projects that I hope to do with our children. With 365 ideas in this book, certainly I should find four or five a month that will fit our family. I know if I have a list, I may not do them all, but I am sure to accomplish more then if I have no plans at all.

Here are my monthly goals for the year -
  • To take one walk around our property with something particular to observe.
  • We have a wonderful park nearby that includes woods, meadows, and a creek and hope to visit this park at least monthly for a nature walk.
  • One simple nature related craft project.
  • One simple science experiment.
  • Learn the name of one new bird, animal, plant or insect each month.
  • Possibly add some books, recipes or games relating to nature study.
Projects for January -if the snow continues!

And if it does, it is going to take some real motivation to get me out of the house! You can't tell me that it is fun to bundle up a houseful of preschoolers for a nature walk at the temperatures we've seen the past week! Maybe our nature study will turn into watching the visitors to our bird feeder! Anyway, here is a few ideas for this month.
  • Talk about ways animals keep warm in the winter.
  • Catch snowflakes on a frozen sheet of dark paper and look at them with magnifying glass.
  • Cut snowflakes from paper.
  • Bring a cup of snow indoors and watch it melt .
  • Draw a snow scene with chalk on black paper.
  • Look for animal tracks in the snow and discuss where they may be going and what they are doing.
  • Make snow cream.
I'd love to hear your ideas for enjoying the wonders of God's creation with young children.

3 comments :

  1. I love how you have a plan, but it's not overwhelming. My kids have been waiting for enough snow to make snow cream this year. I hope we get the chance.

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  2. When my kids were young,they loved to make toad houses in the vegetable garden for me. They tried several different types and just were thrilled to finally see toads appearing. One of their chores they did willingly was maintaining the houses. They learnt a lot about toads, too. Ended up using the whole experience as part of their science curriculum.

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  3. I love reading your blog! You have such a sweet uplifting spirit. I feel so good every time I visit here. During the snow this past month we had a few snowflakes stick to the window and we were able to look at them closely and see their structure. It was such a neat thing. Good luck on your projects and thank you for sharing part of yourself with us! :)

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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