I really recommend this book: The Kids’ Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences. In this book, every day of the calendar year is represented, with accompanying hands-on activities and educational materials.
In our megamultimedia world, in which many zombify their kids before they can crawl, by positioning them before a wall-sized hypnoscreen – nature activities have never been as important as they are today. Also – our country is woefully behind the rest of the world in science education, and also disgracefully handicapped by our epidemic of obesity.
There is no better way to fall in love with science than to get out in the woods, and down in the dirt. What I’ve featured on our blog has only scratched the surface of our outdoor activities. I hiked 4 miles a day, 3 days a week, with Bee in the Bjorn – back in in her larval and pupal days. She eagerly came to anticipate my leaning over so she could feel tree bark or unstrap her to settle down among mossy stones and babbling minnow-filled brooks. Today she shows her grandparents lichen and trail blazes the way some kids identify moo cows.
When we find a jumping spider in our living room, she runs for her magnifying glass to tell me how many eyes she can count – then asks me to call Mommy at work so she can report her findings.
It is an atmosphere of wonder, creativity and genuine excitement for learning – – and this book does a heck of a job making sure you can make no excuses on any day of the year, not to explore and experiment (aka play) in the natural world.
Get one for yourselves, and for your friends – your childens’ minds and bodies (not many couches outside) will reflect the wisdom of your choice.
(for anyone who has come to anticipate our Unplugged Projects on Mondays – that site is on vacation this week, and will be back again next week)