Teaching Children to Explore Nature with Field Guides

July 25, 2013

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All the credit for this post goes to my son, MacGyver! He is my science inspiration and teacher.

DIY Backyard Science Center for Kids

Many of you have viewed MacGyver’s backyard science center where he cares for and observes all of his creepy critters.

Teaching Children to Explore Nature with Field Guides from waddleeahchaa.com

A key component to MacGyver’s science center are his pocket field guide books.

DIY Backyard Science Center for Kids

MacGyver doesn’t just collect creatures. He actually cares for them, creating habitats and feeding them an appropriate diet.

Teaching Children to Explore Nature with Field Guides from waddleeahchaa.com

Butterflies and Moths a Golden Guide

This is where the field guide research seriously began for MacGyver.  He has been fascinated by creepy critters since he was a wee little guy. All of our family and friends know he is a nature boy. Accordingly, several years ago Grandma gave him his first little Golden Guide. The corners of the book show that is well used and much loved.

DIY Backyard Science Center for Kids

He uses his Butterflies and Moths field guide to identify the caterpillars he finds. He researches what butterfly it will morph into and what each caterpillar eats. He takes the caterpillar through it’s life cycle and then releases the butterfly.

Flight of the Butterflies IMAX movie

If he’s trying to attract a particular butterfly, he researches what plants the caterpillar eats or where the butterfly lays its eggs and then purchases that particular plant and adds it to his butterfly garden.

Gardening with Children

Yes, MacGyver created his very own butterfly garden by himself (with the help of Miss Enigma of course). You can check it out for some of his plant recommendations.

Independent reading time

Here’s the thing . . . MacGyver was late blooming into reading. However, because we kept reading a positive experience and allowed him to pursue his interest, MacGyver never knew he was a struggling reader! Today, MacGyver is an avid independent reader who especially likes to read books to gain knowledge and learn facts.

I found a pipefish at the beach. FREE printable book.

As we wonder and explore our world, you’ll find MacGyver with one or two or three of his field guide books in-hand. This fall when we return to the beach for our annual beach retreat, we’ll take along a new sea life field guide book to aid in our explorations.

Teaching Children to Explore Nature with Field Guides from waddleeahchaa.com

You can find quite a variety of field guides so I encourage you to pick one on a topic that interest your child. There are small detailed pictures and little bits of important information. I suggest the pocket sized versions so they can be easily be used on the go! These are a wonderful addition to the classroom or homeschool!

I like field guides because they give children authentic, real world reasons for reading and acquiring information! Happy exploring!

Life with Jeannine

Do your children use field guides? What topics do they research?

Insect Theme Activities and FREE printables from waddleeahchaa.com

This week we’re also Sharing More Insect Theme Activities and a Book GIVEAWAY!


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