|Kiddo showing off a seed he found|
2.7 milliseconds after uttering those words, I grabbed my son, a backpack full of gear, and some fruitsnacks/water, and headed to our local park, Claude Moore, in Sterling VA. Miles of beautiful trails, lakes, streams, and even an historical area, this is our favorite place to spend a sunny day; and a perfect location for a Nature Scavenger Hunt!
I made a simple 10 item list: 7 “easy” items and 3 “maybes”:
- Something red
- A bug with 6 legs
- An oak tree
- A fish
- A red bird
- A feather
- A seed
- A pinecone
- A squirrel
- An earthworm
|Kiddo spots a Cardinal – Check!|
We started down a trail, he was thrilled, all decked out with books, binoculars, a net, and a magnifying glass (all found at the local toy store when he was barely 6 months old- mommies can dream!)
He loved using the binoculars– after he finally looked through them the right way of course ; )
|Off to look for some fish|
As a boy, his favorite activity was getting muddy and wet in the stream, looking for fish, tadpoles, and other interesting things. I literally had to drag him away from the water to go on to the next item on our list. But we ended up back in the water anyway! (BRING BOOTS!)
We collected some of the items (pinecone, seed, feather), but left most things there. Like the red bird and squirrel of course!)
|Kiddo running to the water, holding his bag of goodies.|
The hunt took about an hour, he had a BLAST! We talked about the science behind each item… how seeds grow. How to distinguish an oak tree from other trees, what pinecones are, and what types of birds and animals eat them (there are seeds inside!). We talked about what types of animals live on land, water, or both. We discussed why birds have feathers while squirrels have fur. He was loving it, and learning, all at the same time!
After we found everything on our list, we found a lovely spot with a bench near the water, and celebrated with fruit snacks, while looking over our collection. (**After liberally applying hand sanitizer of course! A must if you’re going to be playing in a stream or lake!)
It was a wonderful day, and one I will never forget; and hopefully one he will remember as well.
What did we do next?
We went to the library of course! We checked out books on animals, trees, and DINOSAURS!
Check back next week for our “Make your own fossil adventure!”
Want more now? Check out this great list of kiddo-friendly science experiements
Thanks for reading! I blog on educational childrens activities, as well as living and parenting with chronic pain and disease. Follow me by entering your email in the upper left hand corner where it says “Follow by Email”, you will receive a notification from “feedburner,” so click the link in the email to confirm your subscription. Or, follow me on Twitter!
tags: science, kids, experiments, children, activities, education, toddlers, nature, sterling, claude moore park, parenting, parenting tips