On Wednesday, Mary (6) got it into her head to go on a nature walk. She kept dashing away from morning school to assemble a nature walk kit into her backpack. I agreed we could go walking in the afternoon when the weather was warmer.
I used to take the children on formal nature walks with sketch pads and colored pencils in hand. I love Charlotte Mason's educational ideas in this regard, but perhaps I was pushing it a little too young--I don't know! It was always my idea and required a lot of direction on my part.
I thought it was pretty neat to have one of my kiddos want to go on a nature walk of her own accord--for the first time! She found a half-eaten apple covered in ants, so drew the bugs.
Then she found a patch of mud with footprints of deer, dog, and human, which caused much conjecture.
On our way back, we stopped at the neighborhood playground, where John met two neighborhood boys and joined their football game (read: boy heaven) and the three others played on the playground.
When we got home, Mary enthusiastically declared that we should go on many more nature walks, as this one had inspired an idea for a short story she is going to write (and it's a pretty neat plot, in my opinion). She thinks more nature walks will give her more ideas. I've got to say that getting beyond the stage of having only babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is pretty exciting!