Natural Nature Learning

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Our family hasn’t been blessed with acres of property off in the country for our children to frolic to their hearts content. But a small city lot and many local parks have offered us tremendous opportunities for outdoor learning activities.

PARKS

To make up for the lack of open natural space in our neighborhood, we go to various local parks at least two to three times per week. We don’t go to the parks for the play equipment but for the exposure to a more natural setting. We are about half-an-hour driving time from Puget Sound so we often frequent parks with direct beach access. Continue reading

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Free Nature Study Resource

I was on the REI website recently  and stumbled upon this interesting item called the Family Adventure Program. It has a free downloadable journal for keeping track of outings and other outdoor activities.

There’s also some information on the webpage about family-friendly hikes in the local area, some free bonus activities you can download, and if your child is age 5-12, she can receive a certificate of completion and a free prize.

http://www.rei.com/family-adventure

Just thought I’d pass on the info in case anyone’s interested. Very unschooling and Charlotte Mason friendly. My kids are too old for this now (23, 20 & 15), but we all would’ve LOVED this resource when they were younger!

 I love REI and even used to work there … 😎

Frugal Family Field Trips

Family field trips are a simple, fun, and fairly inexpensive educational enrichment activity you can enjoy regularly with your children.

Here are some quick ideas to get you started:

  1. Many manufacturing plants offer free tours to families or small groups, and any free samples given out make great souvenirs when on vacation. Call ahead to find out about tour availability.
  2. Field trips to local attractions such as zoos or aquariums can be expensive, but purchasing an annual family pass pays for itself in just a couple trips. Knowing you can come back again and again, frees your family to thoroughly enjoy themselves without feeling the need to hurry and see everything in one day to get your money’s worth out of the admission price. Return to the same site whenever you want a family outing, and then buy a pass to a different educational attraction next year.
  3. If your family enjoys attending live performances, check for free concerts, plays and other cultural events in local parks during the summer months.
  4. You can also contact college or community performance groups (drama, ballet, orchestra, etc.) to see if they’ll allow you to watch them rehearse for free.
  5. Many local theater groups need volunteer ushers for their live performances. Volunteering in this manner is an excellent way for the older members of your family to gain free admission to a wide variety of cultural events, plus it provides a useful service to the local arts community.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is a full-time mother of three, free-lance writer, and author of several bestselling books including, Frozen Assets: How to cook for a day and eat Visit Debi online at: http://www.SimpleMom.com