Monday, June 4, 2012

5 days of (everyday) Exploring God's Creation - Day 1 - Gear Up and Go!

"There are not seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."
Walt Streightif

I'm joining an awesome group of some 20+ bloggers writing this week on the topic of Mothering and homemaking. I do hope you'll check back and follow along on Adventurez and check in with the others as well. I'm honored to participate with these women as we share our hearts on serving our families: 

As mothers, our families take their cues from us. It may be a lot of pressure – but it’s a true statement. I want the atmosphere in my home to reflect that I’ve spent time with my Creator and I want to create an exciting environment in which my children can better get to know Him. Don’t you?

I’m so happy to bring you this 5 day series where we will be investigating ways to facilitate everyday types of exploration of God’s creation for your kiddos. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be exciting. It doesn’t have to be difficult to be memorable. I want to encourage you to just get out and do it - explore! 

Today we’re beginning with a few ideas to help spark the interest of your children.
Gear up! Up the excitement factor with a few basic supplies :
            1.       Field guides 
2.       Notebooking Pages– clipboards & colored pencils
3.       Science journals– notebook for sketching and taking notes  
5.       Walking/hiking stick (even found in the yard)
7.     Clear packing tape to make homemade scientific slides for viewing samples

We use both the notebooking pages from places like Notebooking Fairy and also make inexpensive journals from regular Composition notebooks. I help the boys cover them with brown paper grocery bags and then 
decorate until their hearts are content. They draw, color, add stickers until they are properly personalized. 

Having these things on hand make them realize that they are doing real scientific research. They become genuine explorers - and that is exciting! 

A few tips and tricks I've learned along the way: 
     1.       Don’t go further with the kids and gear than you are willing to drag, carry, and haul back!
     2.       Snacks and water are a necessity
     3.       Start them young
     4.       Use the tone of your voice to show excitement and it’s contagious
           5.     Start small and work your way up to bigger adventures and longer hikes            

         On more than one occasion I’ve had to carry the gear and or a child back to the car. I always bring some kind of rope when we are kayaking because at one point or another – I’ll probably be towing someone.

Keeping it close enough so that I can pull that off is important when we are off on an adventure without my husband. Wish a few extra safety precautions in place – I feel confident doing that. Speaking of precautions – I always bring a safety whistle and plenty of water.

Staying hydrated is important. I will often freeze a couple of bottles of water and then throw them in a back pack with the other water.  It keeps our fruit and snacks cold (cheese and fruit are snacks we like on the trail – protein and natural sugars for energy) and as the ice melts – we have cool water. I keep a clean cloth handy – pour a little ice water on it for a quick cool down on the face and neck.

Starting your children off young helps them get used to the idea of exploring nature. We had ours out before they could walk. With young children – small is good. Talk to them about the adventure ahead of time using an excited tone. Talk to them excitedly on the way to the trail.

Use over exaggerated movements and whispers (like you are super quietly tiptoeing through the woods) to teach them to go quietly into nature. Young children will NOT pull this off perfectly. They will see something at point and shout, they will possibly begin to fight with siblings over who goes first down the trail. (Mine would never do that of course, but yours just might.) The important thing is that you are teaching them to be observers. The quieter you can teach them to be – the more opportunity you’ll have for viewing wildlife in its natural environment. 

Our God is an awesome God. His creativity shines vibrantly through in the world He created. Take the opportunity to point that out to even the youngest of children.

Scripture is full of verses about creation to share and teach to your children as you explore. I’ve found that kids love learning what God says about any topic. They are inundated by talk of evolution at every turn. It’s important that we point them towards the Master designer. The more you share His Word and point out His handiwork in nature – the closer their relationship with their Creator will be. All of creation points towards an intelligent designer. Soon they will begin to notice the wonders of Creation on their own. My son demonstrated that with his comment the other day:

Explosions destroy – they don’t create order like you find in nature.” Parker Becton 10 yrs. 

I have carefully compiled a printable full of Creation verses for you to share with your family. If you will kindly sign up for my monthly newsletter – you’ll be directed to download a free copy! 
Follow along with the 5 days of . . . series via the link to blogs below: 

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments


Hyacynth said...

Your blog and your thoughts are so inspiring! When I spent time with you in person, it was such a blessing, as it encouraged me to get out with my kids regardless of the fact that they are young! Thanks for these tips, Kelly!

Kelli Becton said...

Thanks Hyacynth! I appreciate your support!

Jeri Lynn said...

Wow Kelli, Great post! Now, I want to go for a hike and explore! Your 10 year olds revelation, amazing! Don't you just love when they "get it." Priceless :)

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Great tips, Kelli! I'm bookmarking for reference. While not really an outdoorsy, hiking kind of girl, I'll take my kids if they ask. :) The idea of having scriptural reference while out in nature is definitely appealing. Thanks for sharing. Happy Monday, friend! :)

Kelli Becton said...

Thank you ladies - little at a time goes a long way! I so need those bible verses today - those little messy boys are getting to me! :)sent them outside!

Aurie{OurGoodLife} said...

I love these - great ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing :)

Kelli said...

This is wonderful. I never thought of the little backpacks for each one. I am definitely doing this. This going into my inspiration journal. I am working on our bucket list for this summer. I think I might just make up their backpacks and we add this to once a week taking nature hikes to our bucket list and activities. Thank you for the scriptures, that is much needed.

Kelli Becton said...

Y'all are so encouraging! I thank you thank you thank you!

Anne Elliott said...

Kelli, question for you. What do you do for bug protection? We used some natural stuff ("Herbal Armor" by All Terrain) and it worked a little (a.k.a. not much). Mosquitoes are Minnesota's unofficial state bird, and ticks are their best buddies. The girls and I were getting the eebie-jeebies... :-)