Nature Walks - Different locations and styles

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Mom2MnS
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks

Unread post by Mom2MnS » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:27 pm

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:53 pm

Hi Laura :) Sometimes we take nature walks on purpose... like the day we did a mushroom expedition, or dandelion day, or when we go out to specifically discover something.

Other times, nature happens to us :) like the others have written about... a hummingbird visits M's bedroom window, S gets excited about butterflies, we find lots of critters in the garden, or tracks in the woods, etc

We do try to sketch in our nature notebooks weekly. This year (since January) we have been drawing things as they bloomed in the yard.This made for a months-long discovery time, and it was fun! Since we planted the vegetable garden, we have been drawing the weekly growth of the vegetables.

About Pocketful of Pinecones... it is one of my very favorite books! I re-read it several times a year for encouragement and ideas. It is a great story, as well as a wonderful nature study resource and nourishment for a homeschool mom's heart :)

Yes, we took our little guy out with us - and he loved it! This was one very fun part of school that he could really get into and enjoy. He also draws with us, often times surprising and delighting us by what he "sees". He is also a source of great questions ;)

mgardenh
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Re: What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks

Unread post by mgardenh » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:30 pm

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:02 am

We live in the southwest dessert. Its been 105 so we do not do much in the way of nature walks during the week. But the lizards certainly like the cool tile in our play room in the back of the house. We have had 3 in the last couple of months. DDs love for me to catch them and watch them and send them back outside. The other day both of our dd held a prairie lined racerunner and we had a Mediterranean gecko in our house.

We looked them up on the internet to find out what kind after words.

CarolG
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 10:23 pm

Re: What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks

Unread post by CarolG » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:31 pm

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:30 pm

Although we haven't been doing this for quite a while... in the past we've set aside a day and I just told the girls to find something that interests them and to draw it. I bought a sketching pad for each of the girls with watercolor pencils and let them go at it. We take a snack with us, and just go until they find something they want to draw. I sit in the shade with the younger two (baby and 3 yo). The 3 yo has her own notebook that she draws with at the same time. Winter is harder, but we enjoy bird feeders from our window.

Carol

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:33 pm

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:32 pm

One thing we did at a nature center this spring worked well. We just had a checklist of things to look for as we walked. We were looking for signs of spring like:

* tracks
* scat (animal potty)
* chewed bark, branches, or leaves
* budding plants
* animals coming out
* insects coming out
* fur, bones, owl pellets, & other remains
* sounds of animals

We *saw* so much more when we were looking!

Kids could just write a list as they walk. Or if they don't like to write, you could make your own checklist ahead of time, like the nature center did for us. Maybe focus on a topic to look for -- such as signs of spring.

You can also find various lists online. Here are a couple things I quickly found by Googling:
(just check off what you *see* -- don't need to collect things!)
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/articl ... oject.html
http://www.wstar.org/hunt2.html
http://www.abcteach.com/MonthtoMonth/October/walk.htm
http://blackdog4kids.com/holiday/thanks/nature01.html
http://www.e-scoutcraft.com/activities/ ... _hunt.html
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/childre ... garden.htm
http://www.campingtripfun.com/scavenger-hunt.html
http://www.diva-girl-parties-and-stuff. ... erhunt.pdf
http://www.woodlakenaturecenter.org/KidsPage.html
.

claraskids
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:08 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks

Unread post by claraskids » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:41 pm

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:43 pm

We have a hard time doing a "formal" nature walk because of my extreme allergies. However, my dd is very much an outdoor child on her own. Our current favorite is the robin's nest built under the unused mailbox. We've watched the two eggs hatch, become babies with no feathers but all mouth, and now turn to babies with some feathers (and still all mouth :) ).

Now that our very first garden is growing quite successfully, I have a feeling that we will be spending even more time "learning in nature". My kids actually tried the radishes that they helped grow!

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Winter

Unread post by my3boys » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:24 am

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:00 am

I'm not sure where you live, but we live in Northern Ontario and we get a lot of snow and cold here. I used to stay inside a lot, but I have three very busy boys and my house was beginning to be ruined by excess energy.

Last year I invested in good boots and snow gear for everyone (yes, I wear a snow suit too) as well as an ice fishing sled to pull the little ones in for walks. For toys I kept out sand toys and dump trucks. Everyone got their own shovel and small sled that they could carry up a hill. We made a hill in our back yard with the snow that we snowblowed out of the driveway and walkway.

If it is really cold I wrap scarves around the kids faces, but we at least go for a walk every day (unless there's a blizzard). In the in-between times I dress the kids in rubber splash suits and boots - I let them go in the water and mud that way.

We also did some 'science' activities on melting and freezing, animal tracks, bird feeding, polar animals and how they deal with the weather.

Setting up a bird feeding area near a window is a great winter 'nature study' activity - you can observe from inside (and use your nature notebook), as well as make various kinds of feeders through out the season.

I like to do some activities with bought flowers or potted plants during the winter - we learned about cactus last year, but you could do an herb garden, or learn to sketch flowers from the store, etc.

We also did an ant farm last winter - thinking about doing buying fish this year. So, all that to say that the cold won't hurt the kids and you can also bring nature indoors to observe.

cbollin

When there's not a whole lot of green

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:02 am

Keer wrote:This is probably a dumb question. &) How do I take my kids on a nature walk when we don't really have any nature to walk THROUGH where we live? The most nature would be in our yard (and that's not much LOL). We live in a suburban neighborhood where the houses are close together and there's not a whole lot of green. ;) Suggestions?
Excellent question. Lots of ideas:

*Is there a local greenhouse/nursery nearby? Sometimes it is just so much fun to walk through those places. I used to live within walking distance of one. I told the owners why I was there and they enjoyed our little family field trips. We'd buy something every once in a while from there as a way to say thank you.

*What about a city park? -- great story on that from last week. We were at Park Day and ended up making that our "nature walk". Climbed trees and then -- there it was! a dead squirrel on the sidewalk. eeewwwwww.............. the boys (from co-op) were daring each other to touch it with a stick. the girls were staring in amazement. Then they all ran away and rolled down the grassy hill. It was one of our best nature walks yet.

*turn it into a sky look. One thing we've been doing a lot isn't exactly a "nature" walk, but instead we've been watching the sky for the International Space Station to fly over. we're learning about degrees above the horizon, and directions in night sky. Here's the link for that.
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/si ... ted+States

for those not in the USA
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/si ... index.html then select appropriate country

*neighbor's garden

*do a long project ---- make a chart from your window of where the sun "rises" and "sets". Draw a picture. Over several weeks (then months) you will notice something. It doesn't always rise/set in the same spot. Put the dates on the picture. Ours was just a sketch from the kitchen window.

*observe shadows at different points in the day. Even if it is just buildings and people, shadows are different lengths at different times of day.

*make a weather chart and observe clouds. It's ok to sit back and pretend to see shapes. Or you can get fancy and check out the weather channel (weather.com) and observe

*watch a rain storm

*can you visit a creek in the summer?

-crystal

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: When there's not a whole lot of green

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:47 am

Kirsten,

(Since you live near by... ;) ) We go over to Cherry Creek State Park and bring a picnic lunch. I read from our read aloud as the kids eat, and then we walk around, taking pictures of the egrets, ducks, and pelicans. I think you can park at Quincy and Parker, and walk into the park without paying. We've also gone down to Castlewood Canyon once for a nature walk. It has more desert type plants (cactus, mesquite bushes). We haven't done nature walks in a while, as it's been too cold. We have some greenbelt walks through our neighborhood that we've enjoyed too. We don't see much in the way of wildlife (unless you count squirrels), but lots of variety of plant life.

I think living in suburbia, we have to work just a little harder to do a nature walk. (Shhh, don't tell, but sometimes we've even just made our nature walk a walk to the park to meet friends and play, especially when it has been warmer. Once we saw an eagle doing that (of course, I didn't have the camera that day). That way we get in that "socialization" stuff that all those other people worry about for our kids ;) . )

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

RB
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Re: When there's not a whole lot of green

Unread post by RB » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:57 am

Writing from suburbia as well...

BIRDS!!!!! MFW Adventures turned my kids into avid bird watchers. They see a new bird and look it up in our state-specific bird book. We keep 2 bird feeders fairly well stocked, and would like to learn more.

Neighborhood scavenger hunts.

Watching ants in the driveway.

Cloud pictures.

Looking forward to ordering our butterflies for K. We did this when oldest was in K and it was the hit of the year.

Maybe growing something from seeds this year.

We live near the coast, so beach walks are a favorite when we have enough time for a 10 minute drive to a beach.
R.B.
dd 15 dd 14 ds 12 ds 1
Adventures and 1st ('07/08), ECC and K ('08/09), CtG ('10-'11), RtR ('11-12), Expl-1850 ('12-'13)

Keer
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:21 pm

Re: When there's not a whole lot of green

Unread post by Keer » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:25 am

Thanks for all the great ideas!!! We are very new to this, so I may be full of questions. My kids are definitely not used to just "observing" and "discovering" - it will be a major growing experience for them LOL!
Kirstin
teaching ds (10th), ds (8th), dd (7th), ds (4th), dd (3rd), and dd (K)
keeping ds (3yo) and dd (1yo) out of trouble

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Re: When there's not a whole lot of green

Unread post by my3boys » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:30 am

This is a great site for nature study helps http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/- she actually breaks it down into lessons with activities - many of them you could easily do in the city. Another really good book is "Easy-to-Create Wildlife Habitats" - it is specifically designed for 'city kids'. We've made good use of this book. Indoor gardening, studying pets (there are even science kits out there for this), and studying weather also make good city nature study.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

Mommyto2
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:14 am

Re: When there's not a whole lot of green

Unread post by Mommyto2 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:10 am

How about going to the pet store? There are lots of critters there that can turn into "nature study."

And then some days when mommy just can't handle a nature walk shhh don't tell anyone but we watch discovery channel or animal planet or similar. I know it isn't the same but in a pinch when I don't feel well it works for us.

Brenda
mom to ds 9 and dd 6

LA in Baltimore
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:01 pm

Charlotte Mason and only children

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:27 pm

sarah wrote: I am currently reading summaries of Mason's original works and I am a little concerned. I know MFW doesn't rely on just Charlotte Mason or that people follow all of her recommendations, but it seems like she is very adamant that we let children just "be." She talks about children playing games and imagining together and adults backing off. It actually seems like she is pretty big on preschool children being together in groups (which surprised me), but I guess she wasn't originally writing to homeschoolers.

How does this work with an only child? My son is not an only by my choice- we are praying for more children just in case you wondered. I do encourage him (even make him sometimes) go outside and play. I do not play with my son every minute so he has learned how to play by himself but he's not overly imaginative when it comes to certain types of play. Being an only makes it harder I think. Plus I'm just not sure it's a big part of his personality by nature.

So is MFW (or Charlotte Mason methods in general) based on younger children learning/playing with each other a lot or on older children interacting or teaching them? I don't mind playing with my son some and imagining but I will admit it's not my natural inclination nor do I feel obligated to do so as a parent. I do try to make up for it by letting my son play with other kids as much as possible.

I am all for kids playing outside a lot. I also believe in the importance of it for a child's well being and mind, but I was a little concerned about HOW much Mason emphasizes it. My son and I walk almost every day in the warmer months anyway, but staying outside every day to play for hours is not realistic for my life. Especially in the colder months. Do you think my only will do okay with this and how much of curriculum is based on this? How do you that have only children encourage them to play outside alone and be imaginative? My son loves the outdoors but he also prefers to be with people nearby.
MFW programs are a blend of Charlotte Mason, Classical, etc. so do NOT concern yourself about your "only" spending tons of time by himself outside! A little time outside for play and exercise on days when it is feasible for your family routine/area weather as well as a fairly regular weekly nature walk for nature study would be more than enough (IMHO) to enjoy any MFW program.

I had an "only" for 6 years and although he was content to play by himself outside, he had a lot more fun being creative with building-type toys inside the house. It all worked out fine in the end. He spent more time outside when he had a friend over and more time being creative inside when he didn't.
Hope that helps a little...

I'm sure you'll be hearing from more soon. :)
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: Charlotte Mason and only children

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:49 am

sarah wrote:So is MFW (or Charlotte Mason methods in general) based on younger children learning/playing with each other a lot or on older children interacting or teaching them?
My only dd is in her 4th year of MFW and is loving it. I'm "the teacher," and I don't think she's missing anything by not having an older in the family. Does that answer the question?
sarah wrote:staying outside every day to play for hours is not realistic for my life. Especially in the colder months. Do you think my only will do okay with this and how much of curriculum is based on this?
We follow MFW's curriculum pretty closely, and do not feel that we are deviating by not being outside for hours each day. And when it's in the teens and twenties outside, we're lucky to make it out to the store - forget the yard or park! :)
sarah wrote:How do you that have only children encourage them to play outside alone and be imaginative? My son loves the outdoors but he also prefers to be with people nearby.
I think it's pretty normal to prefer company when one is outside. I guess where we live, the added "security" of knowing someone else is outside is helpful, too. You never know when a deer or coyote or marmot or whatever is going to go by and it's nice to have someone there. My dd has a great imagination and will play by herself indoors quite happily, but always likes to have a friend over to play outside. If I just plain need for her to go get some fresh air and burn some energy, I'll encourage her to "go climb the rock wall and go down the slide 10 times and you can have an otter pop!" or something like that. Once she starts clambering around and having fun, she usually likes to stay out for awhile. Or I'll play music outside while she swings, and she loves that -- she swings and sings! But, again, when it's cold out - we just don't go out. (Which is just one of the reasons I'm so happy to be moving back to AZ! But that's another topic.)

Hope that helps a little. My main point is, no one expects you to spend hours outside with your only child every day for them to get a good CM-based education.

I hope Julie chimes in on this! She's got a boy and gives better advice than me, anyway! :) (She doesn't have an "only," but the advice she gives based on raising her youngest is very applicable.)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Charlotte Mason and only children

Unread post by Wendy B. » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:30 pm

sarah wrote: So is MFW (or Charlotte Mason methods in general) based on younger children learning/playing with each other a lot or on older children interacting or teaching them?
I never got the impression from my years of reading CM that it is based on younger children learning/playing with each other a lot or an older child teaching them.

CM does emphasized children spending quantities of time outdoors. Compared to what a lot of children of this generation are doing ....hours of tv/video games/etc each day... spending that amount of time outdoors would be beneficial! I didn't get the impression from CM's writing that the goal was for them to engage in imaginative play while outdoors although many children would naturally do so. I always thought the goal was to spend time in the natural world and have unstructured play.

My goal is for several times a week for my kids to spend several hours outdoors in unstructured play. We might also go for a walk either for exercise or a nature study during that time but I want the majority of time for them to run and play. We will occasionally meet friends or participate in a hs parkday. I use this time to catch up on my reading and planning. I really like a hs parkday where I get to spend the afternoon with some good friends while the kids get to romp and play.

We haven't made it out for a few weeks because of rain and unseasonably cold weather and I always notice a change in behavior when these periods happen in our life. During the summer months when it is triple digit heat index we will usually spend our outdoor time at a pool or at the beach.

As far as how to encourage them to play outdoors. HS parkdays are great or just heading to a park with a book and casually announce that you aren't leaving for at least an hour and let him figure out how to use his time.

I don't think that outdoor time is the most important aspect of a CM education nor should you forgo all her teachings because you do not want to spend hours out doors. She has many gems of wisdom about teaching young children many which are incorporated in MFW (narration/copywork/dictation/livingbooks/etc) and some that you incorporate in your homeschool (habits/masterly inactivity/nature walks/etc.).

One of my favorite CM quotes is "Education an atmosphere, a discipline, a life." If you figure out how to apply that thought to your homeschool you will be set for success!
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Charlotte Mason and only children

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:22 am

I totally agree with the others that Charlotte Mason is more than groups of kids in the out-of-doors. Of course, Charlotte was writing recommendations for group schools, so she is going to "assume" there are bunches of kids to manage. She organizes the day so that the teacher can venture outside during the afternoon, but she probably couldn't realistically move kids around very much within the school building. We can adapt her ideas a bit for schooling in our homes. We may even make a personal decision that spending half the day outdoors is not a priority in our own family. We can still benefit from CM's wonderful wisdom.

I do think that nature walks during the elementary years are a treasure. They are also good tools for developing observation skills and just for slowing life down a bit. MFW schedules them weekly during some years, and if you can do that it can be a blessing. Not every day, mind you, but weekly if you are able. I find weekly to be much more realistic -- Charlotte describes children scampering to and fro for long hours every day, discovering the treasures of nature, but the reality might be that my son was more excited because it was only a treat once per week. And his mother's fund of knowledge about trees and birds and French phrases is possibly not as large as CM's -- barely enough to fill an hour or two per week :~

Some of my favorite posts about making these nature walks work in all different situations are on this thread: [above]

Besides nature walks, general "outdoor play" can also be a useful tool to have on hand for active kids like my son, even when there are no other kids. It can be a reward, a break, or an emotional outlet. I like your idea of walking together. At our house, it has varied a lot over the years. When ds was younger, he might be found reading outside on a hammock or running around the outside of the house to wake himself up. He even has indoor activities such as a chin-up bar and a giant rolling ball. I have purposely "added in" movement and activity in order to keep our minds alert when our house is quiet. But since he's doing these things alone, he naturally has more time to observe and think and imagine; he may not need as much extra time set aside as kids in CM's classrooms. And really, there is enough variety built into MFW that we didn't always have to do anything extra -- cooking projects and science experiments and even singing are all included -- and of course every family will use these ideas differently.

The Hazells have tried to organize their days so their children have free afternoons, but they don't expect all afternoons to be used for outdoor play. For instance, a popular idea around this board is to use afternoons to do service. To me, the Hazells have taken CM ideas and applied them to the world that I live in, allowing for the values and priorities I have. I think you will find MFW to be a treasure.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

sarah
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Charlotte Mason and only children

Unread post by sarah » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:54 pm

You guys have made me feel better. Better that my son isn't that unusual and better knowing that the curriculum doesn't call for tons of outdoor activities. I hear people talk about how their boys could be outside for hours and how good that is for them and I agree but my son has never been a fan of being outside alone for extended periods. The days of the kids playing outside after "school" are gone. Plus my husband is more cautious about this kind of thing. But in the winter outside is just not going to happen sometimes- it's been below 20 degrees at our house for a week solid now. And the wind chill is in the negative. It does bother me though because growing up we ran around outside for hours upon hours and I hate my son is missing that to some extent.

Thanks, the link for the previous post really has some great ideas.

cbollin

CTG nature walks

Unread post by cbollin » Wed May 12, 2010 10:20 am

sojen wrote:In Adventures we focused the nature walks on birds and in ECC we focused on trees. Any focus in CTG?
I have a suggestion.... when possible, try to line it up with topics from Genesis in Kids.

For example, when it is plants/trees/earth --- do nature walk related to that. What trees can you identify? How are they different in the seasons? Which ones do you like? What's the dirt like at the park compared to our backyard? What about the creek?

Or when you do Sun Moon Stars -- make some of the nature walks/observations at night. Follow the moon's cycle. Spend all year "tracking sunrise/sunset" and the relative location of each. (in other words observe it from the same window each time and notice how over time the sun seems to rise over "debbie's garden" then it is rising over the middle of our swing set, then it is rising over Cole's swing set... and then it tracks back.....
Or find constellations, track meteor showers.
or -- even though it is man made.... have you ever watched the International Space Station...
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/si ... ted+States
(remember too, that you'll get to do more in Astronomy in RTR.. so don't feel like you have to get all of it in in CTG nature walks... make it family time)

When you have topics in birds/fish --- go look.

-crystal

1974girl
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 am

Snow project...

Unread post by 1974girl » Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:13 pm

(Ok, you guys who got 34" are going to laugh at me here with my 3" but we were happy! LOL )

Last year, we had the local meteorologist come to our co-op and talk about weather. She homeschools too! YEAH! But she said to have your child put black construction paper in the freezer the night before snow. Then as it comes down, they can "catch" snowflakes on the black paper and observe them. Because the paper is frozen, they won't melt. So...get out the paper!
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

LA in Baltimore
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:01 pm

Re: Snow project...

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:21 pm

A piece of black velvet material works really well, too.
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!

MuzzaBunny
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Snow project...

Unread post by MuzzaBunny » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:10 pm

Or just your solid plastic sled :)
Bunny

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Snow project...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:05 pm

I love the idea of looking at the snowflakes!

We saw a Youtube video on the Minnesota snowstorm this weekend, and there's a guy who did little experiments on the "Minnesota cold" that start with "It's so cold that...(parts 1-8 I think). I liked when they were "blowing frozen bubbles" in the cold. The bubbles froze, and then they rolled and sometimes shattered just like Christmas ornaments. So there's another science experiment :)

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

rxmom
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:29 am

Re: Snow project...

Unread post by rxmom » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:10 am

A great book to read with that is Snowflake Bentley (i think that's the title) a true story about a man who developed a method to study snowflakes and photograph them...very interesting. I remember my kids loved this story when we were in our "Adventures" year....

Delcey
Blessed beyond measure...Lovin' MFW in SW VA
ds (14) ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT, Coming Soon...AHL!
ds (12) 1st grade, ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT
dd (9) MFWK, MFW1st, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT

Canoearoo
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Snow project...

Unread post by Canoearoo » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:28 pm

Julie in MN wrote:I liked when they were "blowing frozen bubbles" in the cold. The bubbles froze, and then they rolled and sometimes shattered just like Christmas ornaments.
We've done that!! ITs so fun, kids love it. With all the snow we have we also made snow cones, icebergs and I bought snow into the house to use in a sensory table. We also tried to see how fast the water freezes out side when it is -10 verse in our freezer.

When it gets really cold in Jan-Feb you can boil water and throw it out the back door and watch it turn instantly to steam/snow. For 1st grade lesson about camels and how they walk on the sand, we used our snow shoes instead! We post holed it on the snow then added snow shoes. Then I explained that camels feet are just like snow shoes. Great visual!
"I am, I can, I ought, I will". -Charlotte Mason

dd 2004, dd 2005, ds 2008
MFW User Since 2009

MelissaB
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Kindergarten Outside Time

Unread post by MelissaB » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:12 pm

I remember reading about the nature walk ideas in the book For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaefer. We went once a week to the walking trail in our local park. It's a simple trail, nothing fancy, with lots of trees.

The first day, our girls each picked out a favorite tree, and that was their tree for the rest of the year. We had a simple Nature Notebook (a plastic folder with brads to hold blank white paper and a ziploc bag for our "collections.") We brought along a few color pencils or crayons each week.

Week 1 - We chose our favorite tree, took a leaf and placed it in our ziploc bag.
Week 2 - The girls did leaf and bark rubbings from their trees.
The rest of the weeks - the girls would draw their trees. Their first pictures were terrible. :-) But, as the year went on and they continued drawing the trees each week, they did pay more attention to the individual details of the tree (the FtCH book was right!). By the end of the year, their drawings included worn spots on the side of the trunks, knots on the branches... Some weeks, they might draw ants at the base of the tree that were eating something; a giant spider's nest in the weeds growing just beside the tree; a rock they'd never seen before. Each week, there was something new to see. As the seasons changed, they drew fall-colored leaves, months of just bare branches, and then in spring - viola! - beautiful green trees again.

It was a wonderful time.

Today, we take the girls occasionally to the same trail. They still find their tree.

Enjoy your Kindergarten year! It's a very special time.

Melissa
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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