One of my favorite things about where we live in New York City is that we are right near Central Park. Whenever I long for the mountains of Washington or worry that my own children aren't going to have the romping outdoors kind of upbringing that I did, we can walk across the street and envelop ourselves under the treetops, dip our toes in the pond, search for worms or lady bugs, and generally get pretty dirty. Nothing feels quite as 'normal' to me as being outside.
There is something so beautiful about spending time out of doors together as a family, our imaginations seem to take off and we each, in our own way, feel so connected to God and all He has created for us to enjoy- The Earth is full of His glory and we are able to experience him in a different way, see his handiwork, and praise him anew.
I have always loved studying and exploring nature with my children, but as wonderful as it is, I think it can be a little mysterious to most moms! In our family, we spend an afternoon a week outdoors with notebooks, watercolors or colored pencils, a field guide, our magnifying glass and a big blanket as our home base. The children all collect treasures that I keep near me in a small basket. They take turns exploring our surroundings and drawing the landscape at large, or perhaps a particular plant or animal, rock or shell. We look up what they have discovered in our field guide (We use The Handbook of Nature Study- my favorite!) and learn about the name of our finds and some tidbit about it.
Sometimes we go looking for something in particular that we are studying- trees and roots or wildflowers, birds or a type of rock. The wonder of it all really lies in the adventuring together and the beauty of discovery.
Summer is a great time of year to get outside with your own crew! To encourage you, I've put together a Nature Notebook for you full of printables to help you explore. It includes:
-Journaling pages and questions to ask about your surroundings
-A June Calendar with beautiful cut-outs to track the weather
-Graphics to study the parts of a flower
-A poem for June, and a place for your child to collect June adjectives and create a poem of their very own.
You can view and download the entire Nature Notebook as a free PDF by clicking the link below:
Happy June friends!