Gear. It's the key to enjoying any season with young children, whether the frozen depths of winter or the muddy greenery of springtime. As soon as the snow melts and the air softens, we are so eager get outside! We want to drag the kids out on a nature walk immediately, no matter their footwear or their level of interest. But wouldn't it be more fun to breathe in the spring without listening at the same time to protests and whines? Make nature hikes fun for the kids all spring and summer long with a few key bits of gear.
To start, a camera. (This one is perfect for small kids with slippery fingers.) As soon as they get outside, the little ones will see things they want to bring home with them. Things that may be slimy, crumbly, or worse, alive. Much better that they take a picture!
Cameras and eyes can only see so much. But with a pair of binoculars, kids can gaze up at the birds, at the tops of trees and other distant vistas. And to take in the full marvel of a caterpillar or a bit of lichen, one absolutely needs a magnifying glass. It's amazing how much a strong lens can broaden the world.
For those inclined to write, "pretend write" or draw what they see, a nature journal is a must. This one includes specimen envelopes and labels for the advanced botanist, but a simple, pretty and 100% post-consumer-recycled notebook, will also do the trick nicely. For leaf, bark, and rock rubbings in said journal, crayons are also a must!
But the question you're really wondering about is...who will be carrying all of this stuff? Why your intrepid naturalist, naturally! Grab a fine looking backpack, and off you go!
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