Monday, September 16, 2013

Nature Walk

We go on nature walks quite often. My kids love being outdoors and the fresh air does us all good. We happen to live in an area where it is very hot and humid in the summer so we don't get out as often as we'd like. The weather is starting to cool off some and I am excited to do more school outdoors in the fall.

Our first stop was a pond that has a walking path around it. There are always frogs, turtles, fish, ducks, geese, and other animals to observe. We were lucky enough to see a large crane at the pond on this day, but I was not fast enough to get a photo of it. Sometimes it is hard juggling a toddler during our field trips.

My son took along a bucket, a small magnifying bug container (from the target dollar spot), a backyard explorer net, and a magnifying glass. He was scooping out lots of plants with his net and observing them.

We walked around the pond and looked closely to see what we could find. We found this lovely yellow butterfly and my daughter was very excited about it.

My son was able to use a small fish net (the kind you get at a pet store) to scoop out some small fish. He placed them in the magnifying bug container and observed them for a while.

We decided to take the fish home for a while to continue observing them. We filled the bucket with water for them and then placed the pond water and fish into a small fish bowl in our home. We allowed them to stay for a few days (we fed them goldfish food) and then returned them to the pond. 

While on our nature walk we went over a small bridge. My son was very excited because we had been studying the Roman Arch and this particular bridge had an arch under it. It wasnt exactly a Roman Arch but it was an arch built with stones and it was the closest we could find in our city.

This Montessori material is what sparked his interest in Roman Arches. It is called the Roman Arch and it is made up of small wooden blocks in a particular shape/size to build an arch. This particular Roman Arch is from Neinhuis but I got it with a group of used materials from a Montessori School. It is missing some of the basic rectangle pieces but all of the necessary building pieces are here. My son added some of his Kapla blocks to fill it in a bit. He built this arch over and over again.

This is what it should look like:

You place the half circle on the stand between the two stationary base pieces. Then you build the arch over it with the nine trapezoid shaped blocks. Gravity will pull the trapezoid pieces downward and together as you add the layers of blocks above the arch. Once you have completed the arch you remove the stand with the half circle and the arch remains standing. It is just amazing how easy this is but so impressive. My son just loved this material!

Our last bit of nature for the day was a night time friend. This beautiful Green Tree Frog was enjoying some moths on our front porch once the sun went down. We often get tree frogs but this was the first time my son saw one, since he is normally in bed before it gets dark enough for them to come out.


  1. I've been coveting that arch block set from neinhuis! I am sure my T would love it too. I'll put it on the list for when we get to ancient architecture!

    1. If you can swing it, definitely get it. T still uses it several times a week. Also, I have seen in at both Montessori outlet and allisons montessori cheaper. While I love Neinhuis' quality, their prices make it hard to purchase new for homeschool.