Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Green Hour Challenge Assignment #3

What a wonderful Nature Study we had a this week. I am really enjoying the fact that "I" am heading out to enjoy the great outdoors with my beautiful children. And the bonus is I get to spend extra special time with my friend {{Lisa}} and her wonderful girls.

While I was reading our Green Hour#3 assignments, I ran across something that really spoke to me. I want to share what I read from Handbook of Nature Study:

"... and these (children's nature journal drawings) were universally so excellent that most people regarded them as an exhibition from the art department; and yet many of these pupils never had had lessons in drawing. They had learned to draw because they liked to make pictures of the living objects which they had studied." pg 17

"Too much have we emphasized drawing as an art; it may be an art, if the one who draws is an artist; but if he is not an artist, he still has a right to draw if it pleases him to do so. We might as well declare that a child should not speak unless he put his words into poetry, as to declare that he should not draw because his drawing are not artistic." pg 17

We were asked some optional questions in regards to Nature Studies. Here are my responses:

1. Has it changed since starting these challenges? YES. I never got around to doing this before. Always wanted to, but didn't. I really appreciate having something to guide me to accomplish this "subject" I have always wanted to do with the kids, but never got around to it.

2. Are you committed to keeping up your Green Hour time because you see the benefits stacking up in your family? YES. Last night while I was tucking Jake into bed he asked if we could go on another nature walk tomorrow. They love this time out. I love this time out with them. I see a desire steering with in my children to want to learn about God's wonderful world.

3. Have you started keeping your own nature journal or photo album of you experiences outdoors with your children? Yes. I did my first journal sketch this week. I plan on adding pictures from our walk into their nature journals and/or notebooks. And dream of all dreams, I hope to scrapbook our nature walks. If anything, this blog is a virtual scrapbook.

Now onto the happen'ins of our Nature Walk. We meet at the Clear Creek Trail, but this time it we walked the middle section of the trail. One more Clear Creek Trail meeting and we have walked the whole trail. YIPPEE! And then we will go to a new place for our nature walks. We are blessed to live in an area with lots of wonderful places to go nearby. Or we could even head out our door too. We don't have to go anywhere, we just enjoy these outings, especially with another family.

Here are a few things we heard on our walk: birds chirping, creek flowing, frogs croaking, people talking (oops, must have been mom), & the wind.

Here are some things we saw: frog, bird, 2 dogs, people, grass, tree, many different plants.

Here are some things we touched: Fuzzy leaves, hard acorns, slimy frogs, rocks, trees, wood, water, flowers, people (ok... I must let you know that this is Timmy giving this answer each time... LOL), and moss.

Holly & Timmy wanted to learn more about the tree frog. We discovered (from reading HNS pg 177), that they don't have suction cups on the ends of their toes like we all thought. In fact they secrete a substance from the little round disks at the end of their toes that allow them to cling vertically to surfaces. We never knew that.

UPDATE 3-7-08: Jake wants to learn more about his acorn he found. Ok we know it is from an oak tree. Surprise, surprise. LOL But which one... It is hard to tell. What I am learning is that we need to look a the leaves from which the acron has fallen off of. And look at the bark, etc. We will just have to go back and take a closer look to help us identify it.

UPDATE: 3-7-08: Jessica wants to learn more about cattails. She wanted know how tall a Cattail can get. The type we have in our area is called a "Common Cattail" and can grow 5-9 feet tall. She also did a fun fact: The speices of CA, TX, Mexico, and Argentina can grow to be about 18 feet high! WOW! She also went onto draw one in her sketch journal and is adding her information to her journal page.

* We read a couple books: Crinkleroot's Visit to Crinkle Cove (wonderful read aloud book) & Crinkleroot's 25 More Animals Every Child Should Know.
* I had the kids lay out their treasures on colored paper and I took a picture of them. I will add this picture to their nature journal or notebook in a few days. They had so much fun looking at each item again and arranging them in their own special way so we could capture this memory with a picture. And this is a great way to record all their treasures they brought home.
* Each child picked an item out and we placed them in a book to be pressed. We will add them to their nature journals after they are done drying. (for more information read blog comments)
* We filled out our notebooking pages and did a little journaling in our nature journals .

Below is a slide show of our Nature Walk and Journal time at home.

To read more wonderful Nature Walk Adventures, please visit Barb's Blog at The Heart of Harmony, Green Hour Challenges.

Thanks for stopping by!


Keri said...

What a fantastic outing!
I like the slideshow that you put together...the kids did a great job with their collections and drawings!

Sea Star said...

Your walk looks wonderful.

The kids looked like they were really enjoying the world outside. You have a lot of great things to look at and study.

mamasmurf said...

What a wonderful walk you had! You are so lucky to have places like this virtually on your doorstep - we have to drive to most places to see lots of nature, as we live in the middle of a large town (not many green areas around here!).
Loved your slide show!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...


You are the queen of nature study now! Look at all that cool stuff you found on one nature walk. This is coming close to my perfect 10 nature hike....way to go.

I think those holes are from an acorn woodpecker...we have those here too and they just go around and around the tree, amazing. I loved seeing your violets, we have an amazing amount of violets this year, smell heavenly.

Your nature journals are terrific and personal and was that your entry again this week? Hmmm I'm slacking, I better get busy. :)

Thanks so much for the link and the inspiration to keep this up.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom
PS You still haven't invited me on your hike yet.....sigh.

Tina said...

Thanks everyone! We had a wonderful day out. I am learning so much. I just LOVE this way of learning. :o)

Even though the kids brought back baggies full of their treasures, we won't be looking them all up this time. That is way to much work for us.

Barb, We will look up the Acorn Woodpecker tomorrow too. Thanks for letting us know. :o) And you’re always invited to join us on our walks. You have an open invitation! :o)


Kysha said...

We just started this too. Wonderful pics! It felt great to break out of these four walls today. The dc had a lot of fun.

Andrea said...

What a wonderful place to do your walk. I agree, the rewards from doing this with our children goes far beyond what I expected.

Rachel said...

A wonderful day! Please tell me how you do such a great job of the pressings and the rubbings -- I am OBVIOUSLY not doing something right!!!! :-)

Thanks for sharing, this was fun and inspirational to read!


Tina said...


The best way we found out to do rubbings is to use crayons. Make sure they are at an angle and press a little harder at the edges of the object.

We tried pencils, but we couldn't get it to work/look right.

Kysha, Andrea, & Rachel~ Thanks for stopping by and for the comments. This whole experience (including visiting other blogs) has been wonderful!

Rachel said...

It definitely helps, thank you!! Um, can I ask another question (hehe) Sorry to be a complete NERD about this crafty nature stuff, but the scrap book pages you made where you "pressed" the items you collected from your day, how did you do that? Is that glue? under wax paper? How id you get grass and sticks with leaves and all that good stuff on there???? Am I just completely clueless? Why oh why didn't I pay attention in art class.....

Tina said...

You are welcome. :o)

Oh, I haven't put the pressed stuff in the notebook yet. So sorry to give that impression. I will have to go back to my post and re-word that part. :o)

The pages that show's all the "treasures" is just a colored piece of paper and I had the kids lay out their items so I could take a picture. I will add this picture to either their notebook or the sketch journals (haven't decided yet).

I did have them pick out 1 thing to be pressed that we will add to their sketch book at a later date (once the items are all dried out). I can't find my flower press (it is somewhere in this house LOL), so I just had them place their item on a piece of copy paper, wrote their name and dated it at the top, folded the paper in 1/2, placed it in a book, then put that book under something heavy. I used... drum roll please... our cat house stand. LOL Very high tech around our house. :o)

I will wait a couple of weeks and check them, and then we will add them to our journals/sketch book. Not quite sure how I will adhere them yet. But I figure I have time to figure that out still. I am “thinking” white school glue or special scrapbooking glue. But not sure. (Anyone reading this know how to do that?)

I have read about microwave pressing, but haven't tried it. Here is an interesting site to learn more about flower pressing: or

Don’t be so hard on yourself. :o) It is hard to see how stuff is done sometimes, especially via computer world. If you were in my house when we took that picture, I “know” you would know it wasn’t glued down, etc. :o) Remember the old saying; The only silly/dumb question is the unasked question. :o)


Brittney said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fantastic slide show! My boys even stopped playing "Lone Ranger and Tonto" to watch it! Your kiddos did a great job placing their treasures on the paper to be photographed and their journal entries were incredible! I love the ideas you have for gathering treasures and taking pics for them to place in their journals, along with the sketches and pressing.
Another great nature walk! Looking forward to next week!

Kristiana said...

I would love to come on your walks! What great photos! From seeing everyone's different nature walks, I'm starting to think of all the different places we could go around here. I know the object is just to get outside, but there are so many fun parks and nature walks I keep thinking of, and sad as it may sound, we just don't seem to get there unless there's a reason to! I'm excited to go exploring now. I'm such a novice at this, but my kids are really excited to do it.

Thanks for sharing everything you do. Question though--I've been pondering whether I should just add nature journal pages to a notebook as we go along, or get us each an already bound book to sketch and write in. I see you seem to have both. Any thoughts?


Tina said...


Wow! What a compliment! That is too neat. :o)

I loved the picture of your boy all geared up ready for his “hunt”. LOL And I noticed you have week 4 done already! Wow! I am off to go and read it after I finish up with my responses.


Tina said...


I agree, Lisa and I have been thinking of all sorts of places to go to that we haven't been to before. Sad to say I never made it to these places before now, but at least I am finally doing it. :o)

I have both because I like to keep records of what we do on our walks, record things we see, a place to keep our finding on subjects the kids want to dig deeper into, etc. That is what our notebooks are for. I couldn’t fit all that in a sketch book.

The sketch book is for them to draw what ever they choose to draw in it. They can label the drawing and add notes if they choose. The sketch books are theirs to do with as they please. For example, Holly sat down the other night and sketched a bouquet of flowers my dh bought for me the day.

That is what works for the way I want to do/record nature studies. But I know other families do things differently. There is no right or wrong way to record your information. If it is easiest to just use a sketch book, that that is wonderful. You just have to go with what ever works best for you and your kids.