Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nature Club

Our nature club met for the second time at the creek where we met before. The weather had cooled off a lot and we'd just had some heavy rain after about a month with zero rainfall, so we thought it would be interesting to observe the changes there... and this would be a good time to take advantage of the last chance to do a nature club outing before the baby is born. Any day now...

The kids spent some time observing the stream, but there were less minnows this time, and they were harder to catch. So we walked down the stream and spotted many interesting things:


(anyone know what this thing is??)


we're going to have to do some research to figure out what this flower is called

This was interesting... I had never seen these sweet gum balls on the ground when they were green. We assumed that the wind during the heavy rains caused several of them to fall from the trees before they would have otherwise come off on their own.



The kids took some time to consult their field guides and make some sketches.

trying to identify the beetle...

Caroline makes a rubbing of a fern

A tiger swallowtail butterfly floated by on a breeze.. it just so happens that it is our state butterfly. Caroline found it in the field guide and sketched/labeled it in her notebook.

Cecilia may be our family naturalist... she went slowly along the creek, stopping to pick up various seeds, rocks, a muscadine... and then she spent the longest time sketching in her notebook. She drew the beetle, and us walking along, and then later she sketched some pinestraw. I was thankful for her slower pace... it was all I could manage, ha ha!

Here's the whole nature club... just now noticing they are all a bunch of blondies except for one of mine!

They are excited about their club... Caroline came home and made some sort of sign-in sheets for each family in the club. Not sure how they work or what she plans to do with them... we may have to structure it so that we devote at least the first hour to nature observation and then give them a half hour or more (depending on our schedules) to just play and have their own "nature meetings," which I think is what Caroline made those sheets for...

This used to be our "nature shelf." It was too high up and narrow and just got cluttered with dirt, basically... so I turned it into Caroline's very own "chapter book shelf." After reading her a chapter book, I put it on this shelf, because she likes to reread them a lot. She also loves these old school readers... s we have some of those there as well.

With our nature study club, I figured it was time to make a better, more serious nature shelf... so I took this old flat basket and lined it with a red playsilk (I figure I can change the color based on the season... red for fall leaves in this case, even though it's not really fall here yet!)...

...and I put all our recent nature finds in it. It is on a lower shelf now, where Cecilia can see it well. I have other things they have found in the past... rocks, feathers, acorns, a bird's nest... and I need to figure out how to arrange them as well. Any ideas? If anyone else has a nature corner, I'd love to see photos of how you have it set up!

9 comments:

Lisa said...

This is awesome, Erin! Is this something you signed up for or are doing on your own with other moms? I love how you gave the kids nature guides and notebooks, etc. What fun!

Lisa said...

This is awesome, Erin! Is this something you signed up for or are doing on your own with other moms? I love how you gave the kids nature guides and notebooks, etc. What fun!

Erin said...

we're just doing it on our own... three homeschooling families so far, with kids ages 2 through almost 9!

Tiny Actions said...

What a cute idea to have a nature club. I'm more inclined to do something like this with a few of my friends and have a date on the calendar each month. What a neat idea.

Erin said...

Our plan is to do it one Thursday afternoon a month... we may meet at a few different spots and try to visit each one in a different season to observe the changes.

sandra said...

the green thing that cecilia is holding looks like a walnut. walnuts have the outside covering, then inside is the hull with which you may be familiar. crack open the hull part and voila! you have a walnut. we usually have quite a few from our walnut tree.
sandra

Erin said...

Thanks, we will have to break it open and see how it looks inside! That will be a good low-key science activity to do sometime in the next few weeks!

Jenny said...

The beetle is a Betsy beetle. A neat trick for the next time you find one...put it in the palm of your hand, close your hand around it, and shake it back and forth, (like you're making a mixed drink)while holding it to your ear, the beetle makes a really neat squeaking/squealing noise!

Erin said...

Thanks for the info, Jenny! Maybe we'll find another one sometime and can try that!