This has been a good month to go outside. It has been a little bit warmer this month than last. With the stomach flu hitting our whole family (and a few members twice), any opportunity we had to get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, we’ve jumped on it. We slowly worked on our January Winter Fun Grid this whole month. Here are our results:
Find two evergreen trees… Can you find a cone? Describe it with words. My kids made it their mission this month to find a pine cone. Normally, that is no trouble, but for some reason, several of the parks we visited at first had no pine cones to find. Thankfully, Grandma’s backyard turned out to be a treasure trove of pinecones. Mystery solved! Here is where all the pine cones from the entire county ended up. For some reason. Their words for these pine cones: “Sticky. Smelly.”
Look for a tree with no leaves. We looked at many trees with no leaves. My personal favorite we found yesterday at a park we haven’t visited before. The branches twisted and curled in curious ways. It was a fascinating tree. The grid suggested that we draw it in our nature journal, but the kids really wanted to draw their pine cones instead, so that’s what we did. I hope to draw my tree sometime later this week.
Can you go out on a cold day and see your breath? Yep! We did that! My kids were confused and asked, “But Christmas is over. Why can we see our breath?” That line of thought stumped me for a minute until I remembered what I myself had told them previously. You see, I had excitedly announced back in November when we could first start seeing our breath in the early mornings as we waved goodbye to Daddy as he drove off to work: “Look! You can see your breath! That means Christmas is coming!” So I had some explaining to do.
Take a closer look at frost or ice with your magnifying glass. Nope. We didn’t do that. I’ve looked every morning, but alas, there was no frost on our grass or sidewalk this month. I think there were a few mornings where there was some frost on our car windows, but I only (barely) noticed this on mornings we were in a hurry (of course).
Observe tree needles…. Smell the bark of a tree. We observed needles and smelled a few pine trees. You can tell from the picture who enjoys the smell of pine and who does not.
We did not have a chance to listen for birds (though I did this in Maui! when I spent a week there with my sister to celebrate her birthday) and we did not take a friend on a nature walk, though we hope to do this soon. It has been too difficult to coordinate park dates with so many people getting the flu.
But the kids did have a lot of fun this month enjoying nature and collecting things like feathers, pebbles, and leaves. In fact, my daughter told me today that she wants to be a “Nature Girl” and do “Nature Things” and study “Nature” and collect “Nature Things.” As we discussed the various branches of science, she was vacillating between being a botanist (because beautiful FLOWERS!) and gemologist (because beautiful JEWELS!- there’s a theme here) and eventually settled on botanist since she has not found too many jewels in nature so far. I think that’s fair. X-man announced that he wanted to be a meteorologist today.
Finally, I think that winter fun should include snow angels but since we live in California where Snow is a destination, rather than a daily reality, we had to settle for Sand Angels.