Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nature Backpacks...Every Mom Should Have One!!!

Our first official field trip of the new school year is tomorrow!!!!

We will be heading down to the MK Nature Center for a tour and a little "play time" with their Stream Simulator. 
I soooo love this nature center...
the best part? 
My little girls have been begging me to take our Nature Backpack, full of all our outdoor goodies, out all summer long, BUT that hasn't been possible. 
So tomorrow I plan to make the most of it and hope they get their fill with their nature journals and all. 
A BIG HUGE Thank You to my friends who are picking us up and making this a possibility for us ~ we are so looking forward to a day at the park!

For those just dying to know what special goodies are contained in our fun little backpack...
do let me share!!!  
Who doesn't just love a good show and tell?

First and foremost ~
must be one of my very favorite quotes that I've attached to the side of our trusty lil' bag...
"Every child should have  
mudpies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hay fields, pinecones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets ~
and any child who has been deprived of these
has been deprived of the best part of his education." 
Luther Burbank

Second, check out the cuteness of this backpack ~ and how appropriate...an adorable tweety bird ~ We are all about the great outdoors here.  :0)

Third, the contents of this wonderful little bag:
In my opinion...the very MOST important parts of this bag are the natural journals...for that is where all the magic begins and takes place...to look through a child's eyes might be one of the greatest treasures of life!
A great set of watercolor pencils is awesooommmeee...the kids LOVE these!  And the only time I EVER let them use them is on these special days.  :0)
Also have a great set of colored pencils and
Some sketching pencils.
If you have little ones, they may love to have crayons (WARNING!!!  This comes from experience, so listen closely...NEVER, EVER, EVER leave your Nature Backpack in the car with a big ol' pack of crayons in it for days on end...I'm sorry to report the contents will suffer)
Don't forget to throw in AT LEAST ONE handy little pencil sharpener...YOU will NEED IT, I promise!
A couple of little gummy type erasers are nice for those perfectionists you may have...I'd far prefer they didn't feel the need to have to erase away, but I'd prefer erasing over tearing out the page due to frustration.

Okay, now for the Educational Part of the backpack...
You MUST invest in a few books ~ they will be treasures and you can pick them up a little at a time...no need to run out and make a gigantic purchase ~ unless of course you can and you wish to, and if so, by all means RUN AWAY and have fun doing it!!!

Here are some of my favorites:
A great Field and Guide for Plants and Flowers
"  "  for Wildflowers of North America
"  "  for Rocks and Minerals
"  "  for Birds
"  "  for Butterflies and Moths
(I have a variety of these, some are The Simon & Schuster's Guide to...,
another that I have really enjoyed are the Pocket Guides by James Lagomarsino.)

I'm thinking you probably can't go wrong, just open 'em up and if you like what you see, go for it!

We have the GREATEST Field Guide book for Birds ~ I'm a little afraid we may have worn it out...it is an audio field guide, titled The Backyard Birdsong Guide  A Guide to Listening by Donald Kroodsma...FANTASTIC and so FUN!  I need to put a new battery in and hope for the best!

Another Super Fun one that I LOVE to use are the Fandex Family Field Guides...
we have one of Wildflowers, one for Birds and one for Trees.  I love the way they fan out with a beautifully colored visual at the end with info packed for all you may ever wish to know...great for identifying those things we are unfamiliar with!

I have also thrown in a few little books and sticker books that are intriguing to kiddos...some from Magic School Bus, and others that are just the right size for little hands, packed with stickers they love to look through.

Obviously this list is not exhaustive...it is just a great start and one that we have really loved. 

The big reason for keeping it all together in the backpack is that it is quick and easy to grab and go out for a fabulous outing...no need to be running around trying to gather all the supplies...they are already gathered ~ LOVE IT!

Hope this gives you a hankering to put together something fantastic for you and your kiddos to enjoy...this is a great activity year round...not just during fair weather...so prepare for days that will be treasured and remembered forever! 
And when it's cold outside, throw in a thermos of cocoa and a few cookies and just watch the magic happen.  It's the best way ever to fight off those winter blues!

I'd love to hear your ideas for great things you like to do outdoors (or indoors) with your kiddos....
Show and Tell is so much more fun when there is more than one of us doing it...
YOUR TURN!!!
  :0)