Next Monday I've set up an outing to the local park/lake greenway for an easy nature walk for 3-5 year-olds in our local hs group. In prep for it we decided to go out yesterday and do the walk as a family. MB is becoming quite the little nature educator. I decided that she is going to be one of the nature leaders for the walk, showing all the smaller children some of the things to see - things that my eyes seem to miss. When I told her that her little chest seemed to puff up and she practiced for the whole walk.
We found a ducks nest, sans eggs and ducks - so they must have already moved on. She pointed out all the poison ivy along the walk and warned us to stay away. She showed me a tree that had been cut down that was fifty years old and showed K & EM how to count the rings.
We found several types of ferns and she was able to identify two of them, we observed the difference between shelf lichen and scale lichen and saw that two types of mosses were growing in the area.
Along the walk we were followed by a family of geese, saw several turtles sunning themselves (but couldn't ever get a clear picture of them), made friends with a pair of mallards and even watched a copperhead snake coiled in the pinestraw near the edge of the water.
The walk was relaxing, maybe the first time on a walk I didn't totally freak out about only being able to have one child in the stroller. EM did a real good job staying with her big sisters. K didn't drag her feet and want to stay 15 feet behind me at all times. And we only had a few flashbacks of fear from when the duck at the other park chased K down.
We came home and MB made a nature book of our walk. She actually did the typing on several pages before she turned it over to me and dictated. Since I can't show you the book, I'll include the pictures from our walk.
Tomorrow we head for the Zoo. Maybe this time we will not end of half-way down the road with a child trowing up in the backseat.