A fun way to get outside and explore your neighborhood, a local park, the river running through town, is to grab a pair of binoculars and head out your front door. Binoculars are great for getting a closer look at the birds that call your neighborhood home, and also the insects, small mammals, and even fish that might live in your local parks or waterways, and don’t let you get too close. Or if plants and trees are more your styles, use those binoculars to get a clearer look at leaves, upper branches, and who’s hanging out in the tops of the trees.
Binoculars allow us to observe the behavior of animals from a distance, and these close encounters hold kids enthralled. This young girl in the photo below was a camper at a bird camp out in western Nebraska. Each camper had a pair of binoculars to use for the day, and once those straps went around their necks, no longer were they 8-10 year old children. Instead, intrepid explorers and researchers emerged and set off around the pond to observe and record everything that moved. Given free rein, they settled in place and watched life on the pond unfold through their binoculars.
There’s no telling what an ordinary tree, duck, or dragonfly will become when viewed through binoculars, so grab a pair, go forth, and explore!