Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Get Some Air

If you are here from the Ultimate Blog Party, please check out my party post.

One thing I really missed over the winter was the habit of taking a family walk together. There are a lot of trails in our area, covering many different ecosystems. Before Little Miss was born, the four of us really enjoyed getting out and getting some exercise, as well as spending time together and observing nature. It's also a great homeschool activity, as along with science, some of the trails also have historical features. This spring, especially with the unseasonably warm weather we've been experiencing, we have been gathering the water bottles, strapping the baby into the hiking back-pack, and taking the opportunity to check out trails we've never walked before. We have even found trails to explore while visiting family. My dad has gotten a thrill out of discovering that he has this interest in common with his grandchildren, and it's reminded me of family walks we used to take when I was a child.

Something new I'm doing this year is taking pictures of as much of the plants and wildlife as I can. My plan is to help Wonder Boy and Super Girl make nature journals. We'll make a section for each trail, and use prints of the pictures I take. I will help them identify the species, and let them write short descriptions of them. If there is anything historical on the trail, I will have them include that, also.

I encourage all of you to get out with your family, and get some fresh air and exercise. Many areas have trails of some sort within driving distance, and most of them are free to access. You can often find information on local history and wildlife (along with trail maps) online or at the site, if it is a state or national park. Take along a camera, water, and snacks, and spend some time enjoying God's creations - nature and each other!


Michelle said...

My family loves hiking. Looks like you have a nice place there.

you can also bring back pieces of plants and do a board with the plants taped down.

Jen said...

You know, Michelle, I have thought about doing pressed flowers/leaves to put in the nature journals, but most of the trails we walk on are part of a national park, and you are not supposed to pick stuff. I am thinking of instead seeing if the kids can find any of the plants we identify in other settings - for example, we saw common blue violets on a recent walk, and then got home to discover them in the yard. We could have picked some of those ones to dry.

redeemed diva said...

I love family walks. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes you sit in the house all winter and forget what to do when spring comes.