Wednesday, June 6, 2012

(everyday) Exploring God's Creation - Day 4 - Easy Local fun

Everyday exploring means you don't have to go far or work too hard at it in order to do some great exploring! Consider your local parks - an empty lot in the neighborhood or community woods. What kind of State Parks or historical sites do you have nearby? Do you have any National parks within range for a fun day of exploring? June is National Oceans Month - That makes it a great time to study about sea creatures or to visit a local aquarium. Try the National oceans and coast park finder to see if there is a park within range you don't happen to know about.  If you can't get to one - try a virtual exploration  of sea creatures here   (not a Christian site - but has a great data base with scientific names & class of creatures) 

Check local resources. How long has it been since you stopped by the local Visitor Center? I have found much information through tourist resources and information right in our area! OK, so I live in a resort area - but I've done the same exact thing all around the country and used the information to plan wonderful family adventures. Pretend you're a tourist in your own town! 

In the picture above from top left in a clockwise rotation - we are exploring a historical landmark, investigating a gopher tortoise hole in the empty lot next door, walked down to the local neighborhood compost and nature park (where all the native plants are labeled), and shooting/ skipping rocks in a creek.

These are easy types of everyday exploring that the boys gain so much from! 

While we laugh and play enjoying the fresh air - it's simple to slip in a little lesson or bits of information about why it's important to use native plants in your yard - or why the rocks sink in the creek when the little stick boats float for our boat races - having fun while learning about buoyancy! 

Use what you have! Most everyone can find some kind of local park or nature center to put to some good use. Check with your local county web site to get started. There should be a "parks and recreation" section. 

Simply taking the time to notice the intricate beauty of the wildflowers and weeds and giving God the glory for His creation is a wonderful lesson for your children! What's in your yard? 

"All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being" ...John 1:3 

Bugs and Wildflowers - Some ideas to implement nature study into your experience 
1.       Start a collection – become scientists, use scientificmethod, gather and record data
2.       Weeds matter - bring a notebook or sketch pad and draw neighborhood weeds
3.       Insects make the world go round - use a magnifying glass to inspect a few - talk about their unique designs and their special features - talk about what classifies them as insects 
4.       Reinforce the learning with crafts – make a clay bug or paper flower – put together a picture or scrapbook album of your find. 

10 favorite Family Fun Craft ideas and links: 

A color matching nature tray -                                         Painted Rocks -

A Trail Tote            Painted Pebbles

Mud Cupcakes -                                                     Simple Birdbath - 
Beyond Mud Pies: Mud Cupcakes    Easy Wreath Birdbath
Nature Prints -                                                     Rock bugs - 

Nature Prints     Rock Bugs 

Clay Prints -                                                                 Sand-Cast Fish -                               
Leaf Tokens        Sand-cast Bass

Water Scope -                                                         Observation Bucket -                                                      
Magnifying Waterscope    Observation Bucket  

Enjoy yourselves! Get out and make some wonderful family memories in nature this summer! 

Linking with these wonderful 20+ bloggers for the 5 days of Mothering and Homemaking 

Also linking with: The Better Mom  - The Taylor House   


Rebecca said...

Kelli, I have really been enjoying your series! Yes, we love our local state parks!!!

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Thanks for all the great ideas! I especially love the collecting rocks and painting them. LittleGirl would LOVE this! Happy Thursday, friend! :)

Kelli Becton said...

Thanks girls - LARRI I especially want to provide ideas that even people who don't consider themselves "outdoorsy" can really enjoy -

Christy said...

Thanks for all these ideas and for linking up! The photography is great, makes me want to take my kids outside right now! (I have three boys too, and a girl...) :)

Kelli Becton said...

awww Christy - thank you! it's been raining here for several days- cramping our style!