We took Green Hour Challenge number 2 this week. We had a lovely day with a bit of sunshine and warmer weather today, so we headed out into our yard. I pre-read the assigned pages from the Handbook of Nature Study, and therefore learned about the importance of preparing the children what to look for, etc. I simply told them that we were going to take a nature walk, and that we would be listening, looking, and touching things. I tried to model curiosity and a posture of listening/observing.
I was amazed at the things we were able to see in our very own backyard, which is mostly used for swinging, sliding, and bird feeding! We found evidence of bunnies (you know the little brown kind!) in two places in the yard, and because it was Saturday and daddy was with us, he pointed out the places in the yard that he has noticed bunnies hiding.
We visited a grouping of bushes near the back of the yard where birds seem to gather. There were clusters of small red berries on that bush. We discussed that perhaps the birds like the bush for the berries. Then we took note of the area around the feeder. The birds had been quite messy with the seed and there was much on the ground. We were delighted to see the branches on the tree turning a scarlet red color on the ends!
So, here are the observations that each family member made
DD3 heard birds, saw three birds, and felt soft, little berries.
DD5 heard tweeting, saw spotted leaves and felt nice soft "hay" (aka dead grass!).
DS6 heard chirping, saw red berries, and felt dry, hard grass
Daddy heard hooting, saw a flying kite, and felt a smooth and rough tree.
Mommy heard barking, saw red branch tips, and felt cool, gentle wind.
All in all a wonderful challenge full of fun and lots of noticing in our very own backyard! We have decided to start with a family nature journal with a weekly entry.