Sunday, March 20, 2011

Science Sunday: The ill-conceived nature walk

Science Sunday

017Ha ha ha ha ha, okay I have to say the title amused me.  But, it’s ill-conceived because I hadn’t completely thought through what my goals were.

 

And yes you can walk for the sake of walking, but I had a learning goal in mind:

 

 

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Goal 1:  Didn’t happen.  It’s a little hard to gather all of the little twigs and such if you don’t have a bag to put them in.  But, we saw lots of things that would make great nest materials.

 

Which the kids had no interest in.

 

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Goal 2: Insects- which we didn’t really see all that many of.  Too early in the season probably.  But, Superman proudly flipped over a BIG rock and showed us how there were “bugs under here Mommy, come look and see.”

 

 

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Goal 3: Birds- which we saw exactly 1.  This vulture.  We see a lot of these in our city, it’s not fully “civilized,” so to speak, so there’s a lot of deer, and other wildlife that gets hit on a fairly regular basis.

 

But, we did hear a lot of birds.

 

So, my goals didn’t work out all that well.  Instead we had a totally different learning experience:

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Example 1: What made the marks on this tree? 

 

This led to a long discussion about what animals could possibly do this, and finally my pointing out these aren’t claw marks, but someone cutting the tree.  Why did the person cut it?

 

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Example 2:  What animal did this?

 

Okay, I honestly have no idea, but we came up with a lot of theories.  To me some of that inner stuff looks kind of like gum that’s melted.

 

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Example 3: Oserving what was there: turtles.  We spent a long time watching these turtles in the pond, and talking about why they’re sitting there, what turtles eat.  What is plankton, what are tadpoles and minnows, so on and so forth.

 

In all, it was a wonderful day.

But, here’s a couple of take-aways for those of you planning a hike.

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1.  Remember the ages of your kid and plan the length of the hike accordingly.  I wanted to go further, but realized we were at a point where we needed to head back, so we did.

 

2.  Bring snacks and water, even if it’s a short hike.  This always improves my kids’ moods.  We stopped a couple of times on the trail to eat their snacks (granola bars).

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3.  Make them stock and carry their own backpack.  They were responsible to put in 3 snacks, and I gave them the water bottles.  The boys got permission to add a flashlight and a stuffed toy.

 

4.  Check what they put in.  Princess added in her new Bob books, a hard back, and about 10 pounds of weight.  She was not happy when I took away all of that, including the glittery tiara.  She did get to keep some of her wands.

 

I’m not that mean, or stupid.

 

Stay tuned later this week for our most frequent conversation piece…….  I bet you’re all curious now!

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