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Three Easy Ways to Explore Nature in Your Backyard


After reading Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature, we were all inspired to get outside. I brought the book out at breakfast to occupy my boys while they ate their food (trust me on this one: at 2.5 and 4 years old, otherwise they get distracted and get up wandering).


There are lovely illustrations and a beautiful walk through the year’s seasons.  Here are a few of the ways we explore our backyard.


Pond Dipping

We’re fortunate to have a pond in our backyard.  Take some time to find one near your home. This activity is simple and will create that sense of awe and wonder for the natural world I am always talking about.

Simply grab a clear container, dip it in the pond and scoop up water and other specimens.

You will be pleasantly surprised at all the fantastic pieces of nature that drop into your bucket. We took some time looking at images and illustrations before we went outside for our Pond Dipping.

This motivated and inspired my boys to get geared up for the activity. A magnifying glass is also really great to have on hand. I always encourage my boys to put the bucket back into the pond to allow the plants and animals to return home.


Thumbelina Walk

Read Hans Christian Andersen’s classic book Thumbelina. Then go on a Thumbelina Walk. You can bring along a string or ribbon or find a twig or branch along the way to lay down on the ground. “Let’s go on a Thumbelina Walk” usually does the trick for most children familiar with the tale.

Get down on the ground and exaggerate, trying to get down to Thumbelina’s level: “What would Thumbelina see?”


Nature Rubbings

Bring along a crayon and some paper. Find leaves, the bark of trees, and flowers to rub their pattern onto your paper. My son even found a dry, dead moth to rub. You’ll be surprised at what patterns nature can make.

These activities are easy & inexpensive. Have fun getting out into nature! 

Thanks for reading,

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