03 May, 2012

What to do with Little Ones ~ Nature Study

Well, what a long time it has been between posts!  I am determined, however to continue my series on What to do with the Little Ones.  I've been reminded lately to be more intentional with my time with my little ones.  My youngest daughter is 6, and my son is fast approaching 4, and is eager to learn and "do school." 
One of the first things we did when the big girls were about 4 and 5 was to go on nature walks.  We would go for a walk around the block, or to the local park, and pick up different leaves or cones to bring home for identification.  We would also try to identify trees by their leaves, or the birds and insects at the park and in our backyard.  If you have access to a good beach, go and look at shells and try to identify them. Sometimes we would draw our finds in our nature books, but almost always we would look them up in our nature books. 
Here are some helpful New Zealand nature books for identification of New Zealand flora and fauna:

This is just one of a series of pocket guides to New Zealand wildlife. We own this one, as well as one on native trees and shrubs, and one on New Zealand birds.  They are great for identifying common species, not just natives.

This book is from another GREAT series by Andrew Crowe.  They include life-size photos of common species in New Zealand, and you can get books on insects, native trees, birds, sea-life, wild-flowers, or for ease of use, some of them come in a plastic-covered fold-up pocket guide, for while you are at the park or the beach.  These books are readily available from your local bookstore or you can buy online at Fishpond.

Dave Gunson also has a great series of books on NZ nature.  I recently picked up the above book on sale at our local bookstore for $10.00.  This book not only has lovely illustrations of shore life, but also includes information about each species, and its location within the different tidal zones. 

We have many more books on NZ nature, many of which I have picked up at library book sales for just a few dollars.

So get out there and enjoy the beautiful natural world that God has given us here in New Zealand!  Your children will love it, and I believe, they will have a life-long love and interest in God's creation.

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