Nature Journaling in itself is easy and fun. Basically, you go out in nature, observe and draw!
Although the kids and I have done it before while inside and sick …
But when I heard there was a class at the Mo Department of Conservation- I signed us right up! I was curious as to how they would teach this!
First- we made upcycled journals 📓 with old calendar pictures!
Second- the instructor explained to the kids to write the date, the location, and the weather at the top of their journaling page.
Third- the instructor flew a mounted bird across the room. She had the kids describe it, after it had flown past. You don’t draw while you are looking… observe the animal and all it’s unique characteristics – then draw it!
Fourth- we got to go outside… with binoculars! We changed locations a few time!
Fifth- we drew!
The other day – Eddie was inspired!
he was inspired to eat a worm because he just read “How to eat Fried Worms” 🐛 . Thankfully – he decided NOT to eat it, and he set the worm free!
Second, he was inspired to build a bird house out of wood!
His new carpentry skills and inspiration happened because he loves his mama ❤️️!
HOW IT STARTED…
I was sad that the kids’ old picnic table was being destined for the trash!
I had bought the table for a dollar at a garage sale years ago and the kids helped repair and paint it…
Pieces were missing again, there was rotten wood, and the kids are probably technically too big for it… but I loved the table and all the memories that went with it!
I was reluctant to let it go and voiced hope for the table- but my husband told me to let it go… (we try not to hold onto things just for memories sake).
Well- Eddie heard me and decided to fix the table for me… all by himself! 😍
Then he used it as a workshop table- and built a birdhouse for me- ALL BY HIMSELF!
…and then he built me another birdhouse!
Eddie has a heart of gold!! 😊❤️️
I have seen a bird in both houses already!!! I’m so excited for the new families in the yard!!!
After church we ran some errands- one of which was to buy deck screws so everyone could build with wood. We went to Lowes and a large box cost… $30!!!
I bought the box- knowing it would bring lots of joy and experience for the kids…
…and then I drove past an estate sale! I stopped and bought all their nails and screws and hammers 🔨 for $20!
NOW THE KIDS ARE OUTSIDE SAWING AND DRILLING AND HAMMERING!!
We went to the Rockwood Reservation for a class on bird nests!
After a fabulous presentation on the four type of nests (cavity, cup, pendulum, and platform), the kids went outside to see some actual nests!
Red-shouldered hawk nest way up in the tree…
Then it was time to get muddy…and make a nest!
- First the kids where given a lunch size paper bag folded down small, a plastic knife, and a cup of mud
- The kids then covered the bag with mud
- Then fibers like grass, straw and leaves where wrapped around and in the nest
Their finished nests…
The kids were told that if they put their nests outside in a safe spot, a bird might choose it to use! If a bird lays eggs in the nests, we are to call Rockwood Reservation and let them know 😆!
The kids excitingly chose a spot around our yard! Now we watch and wait and hope for a bird family 😉
Whew! What a week! So much fun! So much learning!
We went on many field trips this week- but our favorite one was to the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate factory!
The first thing we did at the factory/store was get our fortune read by Zoltar!
The tour, organized by the Green Spiral Tours, was great!
It smelled soooo good!
Earlier today- we held a great Dangerous Boy Meeting! We cleaned up our local park – 8 trash bags in 1 hour!
Earlier this week – the kids and I went on various other field trips…
Powell Symphony Hall to hear an education concert – Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
A bike 🚲 ride
I know that Saint Louis is blessed with an abundance of opportunities for field trips… and I am certainly doing my best to take advantage!!!😊😊😊
Prairie hats and aprons are a huge deal when playing house outside!
They are also a necessity when camping in covered wagons… which is exactly what Simone’s Girl Scout troop will be doing in a few months!
So… some sewing savvy moms (aka Girl Scout moms) and I got together to teach ourselves how to sew prairie hats for all 26 girls!
9 hats were made that day!
Yesterday, while the kids jumped on our new trampoline…
Once the Girl Scout hats are done, I want to make them for every little girl I know!! 😆
Most importantly, I’m going to make Simone and I matching hats… and wear them together out in the wild 😍
First of all- Happy Valentine’s Day 💜
Second of all- I am exhausted LOL!
We just had a FULL day of free educational activities. We had taken a break from field trips, so it felt really really good to get back into the community and use its resource!
First the kids learned via PowerPoint about producers, herbivores, carnivores, and decomospers.
The hands on activity was clever and fun!
We ended the class with a nature hike and Andre found a bone with teeth marks all over it! (Very cool!!)
We then ate lunch at a different park…
So I drove to my sisters house where he took a warm shower and the stick fell out of his eye! Yay! But man was I worried!! 😳 😩 😳
Then- we went to the library for the MOST amazing fantastic storyteller BOBBY NORFOLK! He told the story of “Henry Box Brown and the Underground Railroad”.
…then we participated in a STEM activity at the Library.
So, now you see why I’m exhausted… too much fun and learning today 😊📚😊!
It’s a beautiful February day!!!We are all doing yard work and just enjoying the day… even Clover!
Since we can’t plant anything in the garden (it is only February!) we decided to collect seeds for the spring!
In the summer, Simone had some gorgeous marigolds growing by her camper playhouse! Now, they are dead flowers…
It all started with a book…
This book is amazing! I’m reading a chapter aloud a day- and each chapter tells the story of a bird through the eyes of a bird watcher. After we read the chapter, we also watch YouTube videos to actually see the bird 🐦! We are learning so much about bird behavior!!
Anyway, the book is very inspiring- all we wanted to do was go bird watching.
The problem… my kids can’t all be quiet 🤐 at the same time! LOL! 😂
We have tried to go bird watching, but it’s near impossible to see anything.
I set up more feeders outside my front window –
added a variety of food
* meal worm cake
*woodpecker suet feeder
*Woodpecker, Nuthatch, and Chickadee seed
*sunflower seeds and Safflower seeds
* thistle seed
…. and even put a comfy couch in front of the window!
Too name a few – cardinals, blue jays, titmouse, sparrows, doves, finches, downy woodpecker and (my favorite) a northern flicker woodpecker!
It is very hard (for me) to snap a picture of these beautiful birds… but I did manage to get a picture of a downy woodpecker 😊!
We went on a very chilly hike today to a park by the Missouri River, Sioux Passage.
It felt great to be outside…
If you live in Saint Louis, I recommend you going to this park! Drive all the way back to the river near the boat drop and look to the left… it’s worth the trip!
As I mentioned in my previous post Dangerous Boys, when there is a void in your life, sometimes you need to fill it yourself!
Our void… there was no age appropriate story time for my children.
We went to a wonderful, fabulous, magnificent story-time at our library for about 8 years and had the same story teller/ bookreader, Ms. Beth! Even as the kids grew older, she tapered the story-time to fit their age. But, unfortunately, the library changed and my kids were too old to participate.
Gingerbread themed books and crafts
Kids playing together
Well – today we built a fort and read books inside it!
The kids helped bring every blanket we owned to the church gymnasium, along with old couch cushions, pillows, and giant stuffies!
Everyone was cozy as I read an assortment of books aloud!
The church has a large gym, with toys, that the kids get to run around and play with.
Simone, Eddie, and Andre like to rollerblade!
I love that my kids now belong to a story-time!
There is something special about curling up together in a cozy setting with the sole purpose of listening to books being read aloud.