Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Birds, Butterflies, Bees, Blossoms and Booty

B is for Birds, Butterflies, Bees, Blossoms and Booty all which we saw yesterday on our field trip to the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

The Chattahoochee Nature Center is an amazing place to take a field trip. There are great trails to hike, animals to observe, flowers to smell, geocaches to find and lots to learn. The staff is pretty amazing too! Yesterday we attended the homeschool class, which is offered one Monday a month. We also hiked, geocached, observed nature and worked in our nature journals.

The homeschool class this month was all about how animals play and why it is important. We learned what Ethology is and what an Ethologist does. Then we learned the 4 main types of animal play: predatory, exercise, social, cognitive. We also learned some statistical facts on how important it is for children to have at least 60 minutes of unguided play a day! Another great reason to homeschool, right? After class the kids got to well...play of course. We also got to check out one of the nature centers ambassadors who doesn't exhibit play behavior...a box turtle. The kids made some new friends which always makes me happy! 

Then we introduced some of our friends to Geocaching! We ended up doing 3 Geocaches (YAY we now have 23) and scored some great Booty! While teaching our friends how to Geocache we got to see some pretty cools stuff. We saw some gorgeous Blossoms, Butterflies (hard to get pictures of them they are so fast), lots of Bees and a very cool Imperial Moth Caterpillar.

After Geocaching we visited the nature center and participated in Nature Exchange. Nature Exchange is a program where you can take in your found nature treasures and trade them for points. The center awards points based upon the condition of the items and your knowledge of the item. You can take in 3 items per visit. Then you can use your points to take home new treasures. There are tons of bins with cool things like rocks, dead insects, owl pellets, snake skins, shells, bones/skulls, fossils and more.

Then it was time to do some nature journaling. This week we started the Birds of Prey portion of our Bird Unit Study. We have been learning so much I actually think I may extend this unit study more than one month due to all the information. The kids observed a Great Horned Owl and Red Tail Hawk . We watched each one for about 15-20 minutes and discussed everything about them habitat, colors, body parts, sounds, etc. the kids drew pictures in their journals, wrote the name of the bird and then I wrote down the details they dictated to me. I absolutely love Gwyns Great Horned Owl picture. On the way out we made sure to check out the majestic Bald Eagles. We will most likely be going back to the center either this week or next week to observe a few more Birds of Prey.

Do you have a local nature center you LOVE? If so please leave a comment below, I am always looking to add NEW places to visit to our field trip list.

Linking up with this week:
Educating LaytonsBen and Me, Slowly Natural, Upside Down Homeschooling, I Can Teach My Child, Adventures in MommydomA Little R & RAll Boy HomeschoolThe Momma Knows


Marci Goodwin said...

The Nature Exchange sounds like a great idea! We always have lots of found treasures on our nature hikes!

jeannine: waddleeahchaa.com said...

What a wonderful day of learning! I like the addition of a journal entry. :)
We live in South Texas and try to get out in the world often. Local organic nurseries have been a big hit with the children. Full of plants and little critters and people always willing to share information. Zilker Park in Austin is a wonderful nature center.

A Little R & R said...

This looks like so much fun!!! I seriously can't wait to start doing stuff like this with my kids. Thank you so much for sharing...and for linking up with Mommy Teaches!!

Lauren Servingfromhome said...

You wouldn't by any chance happen to be doing Letter B also would you ;0)

Kathy Balman said...

LOL yes my posts serve multiple purposes for the various link ups ; )

ticiaM said...

Thank you for the reminder to check out homeschooling classes at our Nature Center. I know our local one provides a lot of great classes, and I've never gotten a chance to go to ANY of them.
If you're ever in Central Texas I can introduce you to a couple of nature centers :)
Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

Dawn said...

That looks like an amazing outing! We always love nature centers and zoos. There are just so many things to learn and see and do! :)

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please check the follow up box so you can receive my replies.

Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs