Friday, May 2, 2008

Simple & Slow Fridays: NATURE - Post Your's Here

While aquariums, mountain hikes, camping trips, and other experiences can be educational, they're not necessities in introducing kids to nature. There doesn't have to be a formal teaching; kids and nature just naturally go hand-in-hand. It's not a one time experience; it is a daily connection and you need look no further than your own backyard!

Even here in suburbia my kids are learning about nature; sometimes I wish they didn't interact with it quite so much, though (LOL!)... last year all of buds on my lilies were plucked off one by one before they could even hope to bloom, this year Nathan is bringing me a smooshed caterpillars, and then of course there is all the bird poop from the dove on our front porch that the kids absentmindedly walk through in bare feet... you know, the fun stuff. :)

Seriously though, there are tons of caterpillars in the backyard (even with Nathan smooshing them and the robins that carry them off - there are tons)! I found these ones pictured below in about one minute's time. I'm hoping several of the many caterpillars in our backyard will make it to the butterfly stage. I would love to have a backyard full of butterflies! I haven't found any making cocoons yet, though... .

We're also watching the carrots grow that we planted at the end of March. They are really doing well! Just think... all this from a $0.10 pack of seeds!

Nathan and I even had a run in with two wild birds (sweet little wrens) yesterday. While he and I were outside digging up iris bulbs, the wrens flew into the house through the open sunroom door. They were both on the shelves in the living room chirping away. When we came in, one flew directly out and the other flew down the hall into the boys' bathroom:

I was eventually able to direct it back outside after a few failed attempts. Nathan was just in awe of the whole situation. A bird! In the House! WOW! :) Wrens are such cute little birds; I think we need to get these two a house and keep them around...they just aren't allowed to eat the caterpillars! :)

Tell me about the time you've been spending with your kids in nature. Please leave me a comment or if you blog about it, leave your permalink in Mr. Linky:

post signature


mom24 said...

Ah yes - the 'nature' that they bring INto the house! I can't say how many times I'm saying to leave the rocks, dirt, dandelions, grubs, leaves, etc. outside! Never had bird poop though - LOL!
Nature is so much fun to learn about with little ones!

Joyce said...

Mine are grown, but I'll add a suggestion. We once got a good book from the library about identifying caterpillars and finding out which ones changed into which butterflies. The kids had a lot of fun with that. There are also kits you can order that have caterpillars that will make their crysalis' in the little cage, and then hatch into butterflies which you can release into your yard. They are completely fascinating!

Super B's Mom said...

Nature rocks!

This is one of our favorite times of the year, since the caterpillars are making their cocoons. We have 6 in a jar at the moment. Now is the perfect time to gather them up!! Several have already made their cocoons this week.

The bad news is that those caterpillars aren't butterflies in the making. They're actually Eastern Tent Moths. But the good news is, that they're just as fascinating. We "birthed" seven of them last year, and it was just as fascinating to me as it was to Super B.

Happy Caterpillar'ing! :)

Lindsay said...

My daughter loves being outside. If I ask if she wants to go to the park or on a walk she gets really excited. She gets a kick out of looking at flowers, picking up rocks and sticks, and just looking at new things. She's at the stage where everything new is exciting, so I try to indulge her curiosity as much as I can.

I used to LOVE looking for those caterpillars as a kid. I'd get so excited looking for them that I'd find their nests in trees where the momma moth had lain eggs that I'd climb up to it to find them.

Lulu said...

We're fortunate to have some real gardeners in our family. They really get to see what it takes for food to make it from the farm to the table. It's fun for the kids to see how artichokes grow...and taste when they are cooked with their leaves stuffed full of cheese and breadcrumbs!

My grandfather keeps bees, feeds the local wildlife, and generally encourages nature to spill in his front door. My idea of roughing it is a Holiday Inn with limited cable, so I'm glad they have some balance.

Jamie Kaufmann said...

i'm participating this week!