Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Toddler Nature Study: Exploring a Creek

One of my favorite outings this summer was our exploration of a creek bed at Highbanks Metro Park in Worthington, Ohio.  This was a great opportunity for us to observe nature up close and personal.  

To help the kids catch a crawdad, we lifted up several rocks very slowly while the kids held their nets behind the rocks.  Soon enough a tiny crawdad darted out right into our net!  (Don't worry!  The crawdad was later released unharmed.)  
Here is a picture of a frog that was also found living in the creek.

And here we are releasing the Frog:

Marcus wanted to see what a frog felt like:

Sophia really had a blast getting all dirty and splashing in the creek:

And as always, Marcus enjoyed learning about nature. He was very patient as he waited and tried to catch another crawdad.

We used an old peanut butter jar as our "observation" container. Here Marcus looks at some creek water up close.

Sophia looks for rocks and shells to put in her jar:

Here we are in all of our muddy creek glory!

Sophia's Soggy Bottom. :)

To get to the creek, you have to take a stroll down a very nice nature trail. One thing that walking with toddlers teaches you is to stop and "smell the roses." Toddlers seem to notice EVERY small detail. A short walk can take forever because they seem to want to stop and study every rock and every tree. We adults have somehow forgotten our senses of natural wonder . We tend to hurry down paths to get to the next destination; stepping over the small pebbles that the kids find so interesting without a second glance. My children have taught me how to stop, slow down, and study everything on this Earth in all of its matter how small or how seemingly common.

The Long Road Home:

Marcus holds his observation jar:

Wild Sunflower:

Mystery Flower that we are attempting to identify:

It was a good day.



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