It doesn’t take much to get children interested in nature and wildlife. It seems to be a natural instinct. But there are a few ways that we can enhance their curiosity of nature, using a few inexpensive, simple tools. For instance, a backpack.
What child doesn’t like to pretend they are an explorer? Climbing the tallest rock, or running through the open prairie, even peeking into a dimly lit cave. Well, to be an explore you need tools. A backpack is something almost everyone has and is easy to carry around while exploring.
Here are a few, inexpensive, simple tools that children can take with them while exploring.
Magnifying Glass: This is great for looking at insects. We all caught insects as little ones and we can see features with our eyes, but not the detailed hairs on the legs, or the eyes, the antennae, the hooked toes and spines. This is a great way to highlight the fine details and will help them use their observation skills.
Small Bucket, or Container: This simple tool can be great for children to catch and release. We all want to see something up close, but may not know how to contain it. This can be an easier way for children to stop and look at what they caught. Just remember to release when you are done looking!
Camera: Kids love cameras! This is a fantastic way to let children have responsiblity. Let them take pictures of their wildlife finds, or anything they find picture-worthy. This can also help adults figure out what peeks your child’s interest. This doesn’t have to be an expensive camera, remember, just one that is user friendly and light to carry.
Nature Journal: What exploring trip would be complete without a nature journal to write or draw everything they find? Go out and buy an inexpensive journal that they can use. These by no means have to be detailed entries, but could even be sketches or thoughts about what they find. Also, provide children with pencils, and different colored pens or markers as well.
Binoculars: Many animals can be seen, but a lot can only be seen in the distance. Having binoculars handy in the backpack is not only a great way for your child to enjoy their animal discovery but also allows them to spy more wildlife that they wouldn’t have seen with their naked eye! Again, these do not have to be expensive binoculars, get ones that are child friendly and ones that are not large on their face.
Now grab your backpack and explore!!