Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Animal tracking with kids

We've recently been told that a fox has been seen in a nearby wooded area - and so we have been going on regular adventures to see if we can spot it's home.  With new snow on the ground it's much easier to track animals here in the city, and when we look closely we can find a surprising amound of tracks (the usual birds, rabbits, mice).  It's a good exercise in slowing down and honing skills of observation, even better when done with kids who get excited about discovering the smallest details.  We did find several nice hollows, logs and burrows, and at each place Maya left a small handful of dried blueberries as a gift (because you never know if the fox might be hungry). 

These fox searching walks led to us doing more research at the local library, and delving into other interesting links like this one for making your own fieldguide of your own backyard with kids or this one eco field guide for younger kids and then reading more about the very inspiring Forest Schools that are evolving all around the world, including this one that is organized by people we know who live near Thunder Bay. 

Even though we are an unschooling family that lives in the city (on a tiny farm, but still yes, it's in the city) we have a strong leaning toward outdoor nature-based education and hope to be able to tap into something like this with a group of other families locally in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Brenda SzaszDecember 27, 2011

    There is an opossum in the neighbourhood - this year a big old one - other years at least one smaller one. In the winter I leave vegetable & fruit scraps uncovered in my big open compost, and have seen him at night when taking the pail out. He can look very fierce if he is surprised, hissing and with lots of teeth, but in fact, is a very gentle, placid creature.
    About children & nature - I knew my daughter had finally lost her childhood when she wanted to go to the mall, instead of the swamp - luckily that wasn't until about age 14.