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.


Annie Kate said...

Yes, just going for walks is so wonderful for little ones! There is always so much to see.

Miss 9, my youngest of 5 (4 girls, 1 boy, just like you) just went walking with me to see the damage after a massive storm. And this afternoon we walked up a dry creek bed; now there's water in it, and the next storm is just coming along as I type.

Both the old Well Trained Mind and AO use How to Read a Book, and it's so worthwhile! I especially benefit, because I go through it over and over with each subsequent child.

Chelle said...

Just popping over to *see* how you're doing, since your blog has been a little quiet of late?

Hope all is well with you and your sweet family??

Multi-tasking Mama said...

Despite starting my 2013 school plan in December as I was going to have January off (yeah right!) I am still working on it. I just started reading some blogs for inspiration and when I read this post on some NZ nature books a big smile emerged as I am doing birds (well Apologia's Flying Creatures to be exact) this term and I was looking for some Kiwi bird books. Yeah; thanks for the recommendations. Don't yah just love it when things fall into place. Keep on blogging ;)

Anonymous said...

We love Andrew Crowe's books!
And hello Chelle - fancy seeing you here! :)

Emily said...

Oh, Mum, you HAVE to do some more posts - you haven't posted fora whole year. It's four daughters and TWO sons, now!

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