An Interest-Led Nature Study

Sometimes technology serves our natural learning process nicely. On a perfect summer day, we spent a full afternoon in a relaxed interest led study of our nature pal exchange , and I’d like to share!imageI made a Pinterest board of nature photos of Hawaii in the area of our naturepal family. I laid out all of the nature bits sent to us, with a relatable book, pencils, magnifying glass, and journal.imageBased on questions they had about the nature book our pals made,  we watched a Youtube video of making Poi, from Kalo.image

imageOur nature pal gave us a gorgeous Ku Kui necklace. We wanted to know what a ku kui nut was and how to make a necklace, we searched far and wide on Youtube and Pinterest.imageThe girls favorite thing to do was open the bottle of Hawaiian salt and taste it (which I was reluctant to at first for some reason, but you gotta keep it breezy (link) and I’m so glad I did). We talked about the taste and continued tasting as we watched a video of the Hawaiian salt factory that makes this specific kind of salt, found only on the island our nature pals live on. imageWe used our Pinterest photos to identify which parts of Hawaii our sea glass was probably from (again their doing not mine)!imageWe watched a tutorial video our nature pal sent us on how to make music with the river rocks they gave  us. imageWe spent a lot of time feeling the soft sand sample, dropping shells into it, shaking it up to see how it mixed.imageBased on a photo from our Pinterest board we imagined baby sea turtles popping their hard out of the sand. This was a particular fascination with the girls.

We looked at the book that I set out. We talked about what constitutes and island, observed the map, and Fin made a map of her own.  imageThe girls rounded out the study with imaginative play adding critters to the beach sene.imageFor our next session I added a bucket of water and critters to let them go wild with imaginative play. I held them off from dumping the sand and shells, to preserve it for closer study. But now it’s time to let them explore on their own terms. Through play! image

And that’s that!

For more on Inquiry-led learning click here!

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Contents of a Nature Basket

A nature basket takes the infamous Charolette Mason “natural journal” to the next level. Simply put, the nature basket accompanies us on our nature walk. It’s where we gather, document, and further observe the encounters we find in nature.Processed with VSCO with f2 presetHere is a list of what is in our basket!
Except for the art supplies, all of the contents were found at a second hand store, scrap store, and dollar store (including the basket itself).

Nature Journal: found at the dollar store, a small spiral notebook with thick, line-less, paper.the humming room reggio inspired charlotte mason influenced nature and outdoor idea-7The journal is for documenting finds on the spot (like a tree you can’t take home) or for pressing finds (like a flower) to document later.

Watercolor and brushes: found on Amazon, (brushes), I bring a water bottle along to activate the palate and for color changes.the humming room reggio inspired charlotte mason influenced nature and outdoor idea-5

water 2These are for documenting the encounters seen in nature in a more beautiful way, not for every nature walk but for ones really moves the soul. For example, it’s newly spring and a place you visit often has newly bloomed tulips that you must sit and paint about!

Colored pencils and sharpener: found at a second hand craft store.the humming room reggio inspired charlotte mason influenced nature and outdoor idea-6These are used for jotting down what is seen. Drawing a sketch and writing down your ideas and questions.

Specimen jars, pipettes, tweezers, magnifying glass: found at second hand scrap store and on Amazon.the humming room reggio inspired charlotte mason influenced nature and outdoor idea-9

the humming room reggio inspired charlotte mason influenced nature and outdoor idea-8These are for collecting bugs, flowers, mushrooms, water etc. to examine and take home for further observation!

Binoculars: found at a thrift store.the humming room reggio inspired charlotte mason influenced nature and outdoor idea-8For observing far off encounters!

And finally a basket: found at a thrift store. Sturdy and spacious.the humming room reggio inspired charlotte mason influenced nature and outdoor idea-31The carrier of all the items you might need to get a deeper study of nature on your next nature walk!IMG_6723(Take your finds home and display them on a nature table so further exploration can be had!)
Processed with VSCO with p5 presetAn important aspect to point out about the nature basket and nature walks in general is that they are meant to be executed in a relaxed leisurely manner. The basket shouldn’t feel forced at all. Make it available and see what happens! Find a local nature trail and take a walk. Leave the basket behind the first few times. Continue to visit the same spot over a few weeks time and bring along your basket when you feel it’s time!Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI’d love to hear about your experiences!

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨