A while ago, I blogged about how I was going to do nature Saturdays in the fall with my girls. I researched all the possible places in our area that could have nature stuff, I made up an elaborate schedule cross referencing those programs that were only offered one time with those programs that were repeated. I honestly can't remember what we did, although I do recall that one of the highlights was the honey festival at the National Wildlife Visitor Center at the Patuxent Research Refuge and the tram ride around the property.
Life got busy and Beezus started playing soccer and the intentional effort to go out and do nature stuff was forgotten and we remained content with the wooded park and stream behind our house, and watching Sid the Science Kid and reading or watching The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That and the science that I try to incorporate into our daily routine, such as this:
Beezus: It rained last night, Mom.
Mrs. Q: How do you know ? What are the clues ?
Beezus: The street is wet.
Mrs. Q: How do you know it wasn't somebody washing their car ?
Beezus: The leaves on the trees have water on them.
and so on and so forth.
A field trip with Ramona's class to Brookside Nature Center found me back at the place where it all started. The naturalist who led the program was fantastic. She was very animated and it made me get even more excited looking at her. During part of the program she encouraged the parents to roll back the logs on the ground so the children could see what was underneath them. Ramona and I found a beetle and some salamander eggs and it was very exciting. When the beetle tried to burrow back under the dirt, I told Ramona that it was sort of the same thing as when I try to wake her up in the morning and she tries to burrow back under her pillows. The naturalist liked that metaphor.
Ramona spotted a few other things, and at the end of the walk, the naturalist patted me on the shoulder and said "She is a good explorer, and you've made her that way, Mom." I smiled and said that science wasn't necessarily my strong suit, so I needed to make an extra effort to make sure it was incorporated into my children's lives.
We've got a lot of traveling coming up in the next few weeks, but now that Ramona is riding a two wheeler (it is completely un-necessary for a 4 year old to be riding a two wheeler) I'm looking forward to nature themed family bike rides in November.
1 week ago