We went on such a fun field trip yesterday, put together for homeschooling families in the area, at Honeyman State Park. The day was so gorgeous, we couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather, and the great outdoors made for the best classroom. (I had us all bundled up and wasn’t prepared with warm weather gear like sunhats- whoops.) We enjoyed the field trip they hosted last year so much that we made a point to be there again this year when we learned that they were hosting another one. This year families rotated between four stations learning about Cordage: Past and Present, Ignite: Playing with Fire, Ethnobotany: Organic, Local, and Free and Land Nav: Staying Found.
Highlights that day included practicing starting cottonballs on fire using a flint and scissors (and watching how to use a bow drill to start a fire), splashing in the lake, seeing a fish that was just caught right before it was released back into the lake, eating spruce tips and other spring greens, making daisy chains, and playing a game of hide and seek where the children took turns hiding behind bushes and holding up a mirror to reflect the sun which the other children had to look for to find them.
I love watching children engaging in nature, fully immersed with all of their senses in whatever is before them. I love seeing the look on a child’s face when they hold a piece of usnea in their hands for the first time and discover the springiness inside like a little elastic cord. I love watching a group of kids pile around a boy who caught a newt so they can all admire it. All of those little things feel magical and fill them with awe. They are magical and the wonders of nature should fill all of us with awe, and reverence for the beauty of life around us.
We went around that day feeling trees, and uses all of our senses, to learn to identify the different trees and tell them apart. Each small hand that I saw gently feel each branch, made me smile. I think we can all agree that children, in general, need more time spent outside, and being out in nature is where we learn so much.
P.S. We’re off on an adventure, and I’ll be back in this space next week. Have a great weekend!